Thunder go up 2-0, Devils level series, Preakness Post Positions + Free Plays for Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thunder close game on 9-0 run to stun the Lakers

Down seven with just two minutes left, it looked like the Oklahoma City Thunder would be heading back to LA for Friday night’s Game Three at the Staples Center tied at 1-1 but …. timely defense and opportunistic scoring led to a 9-0 run that sealed a home sweep of the Lakers. Kevin Durant’s floating jumper gave OKC the lead with 19 seconds left. At five seconds left, OKC took their foul to give. The Lakers took timeout to set up a play for Kobe Bryant but #24 got caught up in a screen so Metta World Peace found a wide open Steve Blake who clanged what woul have been the winner. The teams combined for just 59 points in the second half.

The amazing final two minutes of OKC’s Game Two win over the Lakers

In Philadelphia, the Boston Celtics were in a foul mood opening up a 107-91 can of whup ass on the host 76ers. The Celtics shot lights out all night hitting 40-77 (51%) from the field, 22-28 from the free-throw line, and 5-11 from beyond the arc. Garnett, Pierce, and Rondo combined for 74 points, 33 rebounds, and 22 assists. Philadelphia starters managed just 36 points, Thaddeus Young led the 76ers with 22 points off the pine. Boston regained home court and takes a 2-1 sries lead into Friday night’s Game Four.

Tonight’s ESPN double-header features Miami and Indiana’s Game III at Canseco Field House. The Heat are favored by 1 1/2 and the total 181 1/2. Chris Bosh will not play for Miami, out with a lower abdominal strain. Other that Lebron James and Dwayne Wade, nobody on Miami scored more than five points in Game Two. It’s Clippers/Spurs in the nightcap with San Antonio favored by 11 points and the total 194. The Spurs have won 18 straight games by an average of 17 ppg.

The Devils solve Rangers defense and Lundqvist for road split

After getting blanked 3-0 in Game One of their Eastern Conference final series matchup with the New York Rangers, the New Jersey Devils went to Plan B and it worked. Aggressive fore-checking and lots of traffic in front of Henrik Lundqvist did the trick in a 3-2 win at Madison Square Garden. New Jersey scored on deflections by Ryan Carter and David Clarkson at 2:31 of the third for the winner. Game Three is Saturday at the Prudential Center at Newark.

Devils/Rangers Game Two highlights

The Coyotes limp into LA down 0-2 for Game Three of the Western Conference final. The Kings have been unbeatable, winning 10 of 11 games in the playoffs including six straight wins by two or more goals. Los Angeles is a prohibitive two-dollar favorite, the total 4 1/2 with the over -125. Phoenix will have to tighten up a defense that allowed 84 combined shots in Games One and Two.

Darvish back in win column, Rays dump BoSox

Texas Ranger expectations were high after laying out $107 million to sign Japanese phenom Yu Darvish. The gamble has paid big dividends to this point as Darvish threw 7 2/3 innings of one-rin four-hit ball in a 4-1 win over the Oakland A’s. Darvish struck out seven in improving to 6-1 with a 2.60 ERA. White-hot Josh Hamilton went two-for-four with a run scored.

Jeremy Hellickson and three Tampa Bay relievers outdueled Clay Buchholz and the Red Sox 2-1 snapping Boston’s five-game winning streak. The win was the fourth straight for the Rays and Hellickson’s career high six straight win. Luke Scott broke a 1-1 tie with a sac fly in the sixth and Fernando Rodney closed things out for his 12th save.

Albert Pujols hit a three-run bomb in the third inning, just his second round-tripper this year, as the Angels beat the White Sox 7-2. Pujols raised his batting average to .213 and has 2 home runs and 17 RBIs in his first 36 games for the Halos. Anaheim will pay Pujols $240 million over the next ten seasons. Vernon Wells added a two-run dinger for the Angels.

The Preakness Stakes Post Position Draw

2012 Preakness Stakes — 1 3/16 miles, dirt, 3-year-olds, NBC, post time 6:15 p.m.

Post – Horse / Trainer / Jockey / Odds

1 — Tiger Walk / Correas IV / Desormeaux / 30-1
2 — Teeth of the Dog / Matz / Bravo / 15-1
3 — Pretension / Grove / Santiago / 30-1
4 — Zetterholm / R. Dutrow Jr / Alvarado / 20-1
5 — Went the Day Well / Motion / J. Velazquez / 6-1
6 — Creative Cause / Harrington / Rosario / 6-1
7 — Bodemeister / Baffert / Smith / 8-5
8 — Daddy Nose Best / Asmussen / Leparoux / 12-1
9 — I’ll Have Another/ O’Neill / Gutierrez / 5-2
10 — Optimizer / Lukas / Nakatani / 30-1
11 — Cozzetti / Romans / Lezcano / 30-1

Free Plays

(NBA) San Antonio -11 over Clippers

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(NHL) Phoenix/Los Angeles Under 4.5 +115

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(MLB) Minnesota (Walters)/Detroit (Fister) Under 8.5 +105

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(MLB) Tampa Bay (Moore) -128 over BoSox (Doubront)

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