Spurs edge heat 92-88 to draw first blood, Blackhawks get road win, Nuggets fire Karl, MLB News and Notes, + Thursday Recap: Friday, June 7, 2013

This just in ….. Rafael Nadal has just beat Novak Djokovic 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-7 (3), 9-7 in a five set marathon to keep his hopes alive of taking an unprecedented eighth straight French Open. No player of any era has ever won a Grand Slam event eight times. If Nadal wins the French this year, it would be his eight title at Roland Garros in nine years.

Parker leaner at the end of shot clock is the dagger

Tony Parker’s 16-foot leaner with 5.2 seconds left in the game was the dagger as the San Antonio Spurs beat the Miami Heat 92-88 in the first game of the NBA Finals. Parker’s shot just beat the 24 second clock and sealed the deal as the Spur’s All-Star point guard finished with 21 points and six assists. Tim Duncan got off to slow start but finished with 20 points and 14 rebounds. Lebron James had his 10th career triple-double (18/18/10) for the Heat who could manage just 5-18 from the floor in the fourth quarter where they were outscored 23-16.

Game Two is on Sunday in prime time tipping at 8:00 PM on ABC. The Heat have been tabbed as -5.5 favorites with the high/low set at 188.

Chicago breaks through on the road for 3-1 series lead over the Kings

The Chicago Blackhawks scored twice in a three minute span between the end of the second period and the start of the third to skate away to a 3-2 win at Los Angeles and send the defending Stanley Cup champion Kings to the brink of elimination. Marion Hossa lit the lamp at 1:10 of the third for the winner. Chicago can punch it’s ticket to the NHL finals with a win Saturday at the United Center where they are -170 favorites. The Game Five total is 4 1/2 shaded 30 cents to the over.

Nuggets and George Karl part ways after 57 win season

For the second time in two weeks, an NBA coach whose team registered 56+ wins this past season has been fired. Yesterday is was the Denver Nuggets parting ways with reigning NBA coach of the year George Karl when the two couldn’t come to terms on a contract extension. Karl will not be out of work long as he has prior connections to the Clippers and the Grizzlies. The Nuggets won 57 games enrout to the 3-seed in the West and Karl was named Coach of the Year on May 8th.

MLB News Notes

Dodger phenom rookie Yasiel Puig was at it again on Thursday in hitting his first career grand slam in L.A.’s 5-0 whitewash of the Atlanta Braves. After just four games, Puig is 7-16 with three home runs and nine RBIs from the leadoff position. Zack Greinke pitched seven innings of four hit ball for the win.

The MLB draft opened yesterday and the Houston Astros grabbed Stanford RHP ace mark Appel with the first pick.
The 21-year-old Appel has clocked in the mid-90s since early in his college career, and this season he refined his slider and changeup while showing more aggressiveness in his approach. Appel, listed at 6-foot-5 and 215 pounds, went 10-4 with a 2.12 ERA and a 130/23 K/BB in 106 1/3 innings this year. He’s the best combination of polish and upside in the draft this season, and he’s a highly worthy top overall pick. Appel was taken by the pirates eighth overall last year but were unable to sign him.

Rees named Notre Dame starting quarterback

To the surprise of nobody, Notre Dame HC Brian Kelly has named veteran Tommy Rees as this year’s Fighting Irish starting quarterback. Rees has 18 career starts for the Irish but but lost his job last year to Everett Golson who has since been suspended for a violation of academic policy.

Free Play

(MLB) St Louis (Wainwrights)/Cincinnati (Leake) Under 8 (Friday, June 7, 7:10 PM EST)