Knicks, Nuggets, Nets and Clippers draw first blood
The NBA playoff opened on Saturday with all four home teams picking up wins and also going 3-1 against the points. In the first game, the Knicks trailed by four at the half but then when out to hold the Celtics to just 25 second half points in an 85-78 win. Carmelo Anthony had 36 for the winners. The Denver Nuggets needed a layup from veteran Andre Miller in the final two seconds to beat Golden State 97-95. Miller had 28 for the game. The Brooklyn Nets led the Chicago Bulls 60-35 at the half before cruising to a 106-89 win. Deron Williams paced the Nets with 22 points in gaining their playoff win in their first ever playoff game at the brand new Barclay Center. In the night’s finale, the Clippers used a 37-22 fourth quarter to down the Grizzlies 112-91. Chris Paul led the way with 23 points while also dishing out 7 assists.
Sunday NBA playoff lines
The second set of NBA openers tips off today at 1:00 PM EST with the Atlanta Hawks a 7-point dog at Indiana. The total has not moved off the 185 opener. At 3:30 PM EST, San Antonio host the Lakers. The Spurs will be giving up -8.5 with the high/low dropping from 192 to 190 1/2. The night card starts at 7:00 PM EST with the defending champion Miami Heat taking on the Milwaukee Bucks. The Heat are minus a whopping 13 1/2 with the over/under 199. Oklahoma City hosts Houston in the 9:30 PM EST finale with the Thunder checking in as 10-point favorites. The total has been bet up a tick to 213 1/2.
BoSox win in emotional return home
Red Sox right-fielder David Nava hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth to propel Boston to a dramatic and emotional 4-3 win over Toronto in their first home game since the tragic bombings after the Boston Marathon. The BoSox trailed 2-1 going into the eight before Nava’s heroics and then had to withstand a Lorenzo Cain solo shot in the ninth to nail down the win.
Zag’s Kelly Olynyk is latest to declare for NBA
After a breakout season where he averaged 17.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per game, Gonzaga 7-footer Kelly Olynyk is the latest underclassman to declare for the NBA draft. Olynyk redshirted after his sophomore year where he averaged 5.8 points and 3.8 rebounds as a sophomore and made the most of his time off leading the Zags to an overall 32-3 record.
Auburn’s poisoned oaks will come down on Tuesday
Auburn’s famed 100+ old Toomer oaks were “rolled” one last time in a celebration after the Auburn spring game. Longtime Alabama fan Harvey Updyke Jr. pleaded guilty on March 22 to poisoning the Toomer trees after the 2010 Iron Bowl, when Cam Newton led Auburn to the national title – and an Iron Bowl comeback from a 24-0 deficit. The trees will be cut down on Tuesday and a renovation with a memorial is expected to be completed sometime next year.
MMA: Henderson retains belt with split decision
One of the best MMA fight cards of the year was topped by one of the best fights of the year as Benson Henderson defended his lightweight belt with a hard fought split decision victory over Gilbert Melendez. This was a back and forth fight that could have gone either way and the final decision caused a firestorm on twitter. Henderson proposed to his girlfriend in the middle of the ring immediately after the fight and was a double winner. In the co-main event, highly touted heavyweight Daniel Cormier made his UFC debut with a dominating unanimous decision victory over Frank Mir.
Canelo unifies 154-title with unanimous decision win over Austin Trout
Saul “Canelo” Alvarez beat Austin Trout by a unanimous decision at the Alamodome Saturday to unify boxing’s 154-pound title. “Cinnamon” won 115-112, 116-111 and 118-109 on the scorecards to hand Trout his first career. It was sweet revenge for Alvarez who’s older brother Rigaberto lost the WBA version of the belt to Trout in February of 2011.
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