Spurs now top seed in the West, face Lakers in rematch tonight

Jazz meet Mavs in 3OTs, Clippers clinch, Bobcats lose 17th straight

Monday night in the “Association”, the San Antonio Spurs jumped out to a 70-49 halftime lead and rolled to a 120-99 win at Golden State. With Oklahoma City losing 92-77 at the Clippers, San Antonio takes over top seed in the Western Conference. Duncan, Parker, and Ginobli all played less than 15 minutes and should be well rested for tonight’s rematch with the Lakers. Six days ago the Kobe-less Lakers spanked the Spurs 98-84 in Alamo City behind 23 points and 30 rebounds from Andrew Bynum. Kobe is doubtful for tonight’s meeting at the Staples Center. The Spurs are -3 and the total 200. The teams play again in three days in San Antonio.

With just nine days left in the NBA regular season, every game has playoff implications, especially in the Western Conference where six teams are duking it out out for four playoff positions. Memphis Denver, Dallas, Phoenix, Houston, and Utah are all within three games with four or five games left to be played. From here on on out, every head-to-head is life and death and played like it.

A day after losing in overtime to the Lakers, the defending World Champion Mavericks were beaten in 3 OTs at Utah. Al Jefferson had 28 points and 26 rebounds for the Jazz who got just 11 points from their bench. Dallas got 40 points and 9 rebounds from Dirk, 27 points from Jason Terry, and 18/12 from Vince Carter. Three players off the Dallas bench played 36+ minutes. Dallas is currently seventh in the West, a half game behind Denver but 1.5 games ahead of Phoenix and two better than Houston and Utah.

The Clippers clinched their first playoff berth with their win over the Thunder. The Clips have won eight of ten and are just one game back of the Lakers in the Pacific. Denver beat the Rockets in Houston behind 9-18 shooting from downtown. Indiana, Orlando, and Atlanta were easy double-digit winners. Miami used a 31-19 final quarter to edge the Nets behind Lebron’s 37 points. Finally, in the game that set back basketball 50 years, New Orleans beat Charlotte 75-67 sending the Bobcats to their 17th consecutive loss. Charlotte could end the season 7-59 and working a 23-game losing streak.

Rangers and Lundqvist blank Ottawa, Boston and St Louis get road wins

It was a big night for the road teams last night in the NHL playoffs as all three visitors won to take 2-1 leads in their respective series. Brian Boyle scored for the third straight game and Henrik Lundqvist turned away 39 shots in the Rangers 1-0 win over the Senators. Zdeno Chara had a goal and two assists including the game winner on a tip-in at 18:07 as Boston regained home ice from the Caps. St Louis rushed out to a 4-1 then held off a furious Shark rally to beat San Jose.

Three games mark tonight’s playoff action on frozen pond headed by Nashville at Detroit. The Panthers face the Devils in Newark. New Jersey is a -170 home favorite, the total is five flat. The Red Wings are -160 home favorites over the Predators as Motown looks to avoid getting swept on their home ice. In the night’s finale, Chicago is a -165 favorite over Phoenix. The total is 5.5 and the under will cost you 40 cents.

Sportsbetting3 MLB Potpurri

The Giants locked up another member of their rotation when they signed Madison Bumgarner to a five-year $35 million dollar extension. Earlier this month, the Giants locked up right-hander Matt Cain to a five-year, $112.5-million extension. What can Tim Lincecum be thinking ???

Prosecutors might call former players Barry Bonds and Jose Canseco; baseball commissioner Bud Selig; New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman; baseball writer Peter Gammons; and former Clemens teammates Paul O’Neill, Jorge Posada and Mike Stanton to testify at the second perjury trial of Roger Clemons. The six-time Cy Young Award winner faces a maximum sentence of up to 30 years in prison and a $1.5 million fine if convicted on all six charges. Maximum penalties are unlikely because Clemens doesn’t have a criminal record, but Walton made plain at the first trial that Clemens was at risk of going to jail.

The Braves will retire John Smoltz’s #29 and induct him into the team Hall of Fame on June 8th. Smoltz was, variously, a key member of one of the greatest rotations in baseball history and a shutdown closer. By the end of his career, Smoltz ranked 16th on the all-time strikeout list and had racked up 213 wins and 154 saves (in addition to more than $135 million in career earnings). As well, he won an NL Cy Young, made eight All-Star teams and posted a 2.67 ERA across 209.0 postseason innings. Presumably, Cooperstown will come calling once he hits the ballot in 2015.

Free Plays

(NBA) Memphis -7 over Minnesota

(NBA) Knicks -3 over Boston

(NHL) New Jersey -165 over Florida

(MLB) St Louis (Lohse) -125 over Cincinnati (Cueto)

(NBA) Memphis -5 over Minnesota