Thunder roll, Rangers blank Devils, Kemp to DL + Free Plays for Tuesday, May 15, 2012

76ers gain split with 82-81 win

Saturday, the Philadelphia 76ers led most of their Game One second-round matchup with Boston but couldn’t put the game away losing 92-91. Monday, they sealed the deal with six foul shots down the stretch to hold off the Celtics 82-81 and gain a split at TD Arena. Jrue Holiday led Philadelphia with 18 points, Ray Allen came of the bench to lead Boston with 17. The Celtics jumped out to a 9-0 lead and hit their first five shots from the field but managed just 28-79 the rest of the way. Philly’s last playoff game win in Boston was in 1982.

Oklahoma City was well rested and focused. The Lakers were road weary and playing a quick turnaround game. Both showed Monday as the Thunder put a 119-90 beatdown on the Lake Show. The game was never in doubt as the OKC led 30-23 after one quarter, 59-44 at the half, and 98-68 after three quarters. Russel Westbrook had 27/7/9 for the Thunder with “The Durantula” adding 25/8/4. Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bryant each had 20 for the Lakers.

There are two games in tonight’s NBA playoffs starting with Pacers/Heat Game Two in South Beach. Miami is a seven-point favorite with the total 185 1/2. Miami won Game One 95-86 holding Indiana without a field-goal in over the final 4:55 of the game. The game tips at 7:05 PM EST. Chris Bosh is out indefinitely for Miami with a lower abdominal strain. The Clippers and Spurs open up their Western Conference semifinal in Alamo City. San Antonio is an 11-point favorite and the total 190 1/2. San Antonio is currently on a 28-3 run and are well rested after waxing Utah in four straight games. The Clippers are banged up and off an emotional Game Seven win at Memphis less than 48 hours ago. LA will be prohibitive underdogs to pull out a win tonight.

Clippers/Spurs Game One Preview

Rangers draw first blood with 3-0 third period

The Devils and Rangers Game One went exactly as scripted, especially for the Rangers. Scoreless after 40 minutes, who would blink first. The Rangers took advantage of a disorganized line change and a Dan Girardi blast from the point beat Martin Brodeur for the winner of an eventual NYR 3-0 win. Henrik Lundqvist made 21 saves including several tough chances for the shutout. This was the 14th straight game where the Rangers scored three goals or less and the 15th straight game of holding an opponent to less than three goals. Game Two is Wednesday at Madison Square Garden.

Devils/Rangers Game One highlights

Tonight, the Kings are minus 135 road favorites at Phoenix, the total 4.5 with the over -130. Game One was a shooting gallery with the teams combining on 75 shots, 48 by the Kings. Los Angeles is now 9-1 in the playoffs including a perfect 6-0 on the road. Phoenix has won five of the last seven in the series at Arena.

Diamond dust, MLB fires arbitrator from Braun case

Major League Baseball management has fired Shyam Das, the arbitrator who overturned Ryan Braun’s drug suspension in February. MLB informed Das and the players’ association of its decision last week. Das had been baseball’s permanent arbitrator since 1999, part of what technically is a three-man panel that also includes a representative of management and labor. The sides will now try to select a successor. If they cannot agree, baseball’s collective bargaining agreement calls for them to ask the American Arbitration Association for a list of “prominent, professional arbitrators.” The sides would then alternate striking names from the list until one remains.

On the field, Matt Kemp’s league leading 399 consecutive game streaked was snapped as he sat out the Dodgers 3-1 win over the DBacks with a sore hammy. Kemp was put on the 15-day DL after the game. Kemp first suffered the hamstring injury on May 5 in Chicago, and since then he’s hit just .200/.304/.250 and hasn’t had a hit in his last four games. Sunday he left the game in the third inning after aggravating the injury while running to first.

Other than Josh Hamilton, two other players have been on big tears. Since being cut by the Tigers, Brandon Inge has resurrected his career in Oakland. Inge had a home run and four RBIs in four of five games including two games against his ex-mates. Mets third-baseman David Wright is on a six-game run off reach bases twice. He’s done son in 24 of 31 games this year and leads the majors with a .400 batting average.

London will likely be final Olympics for Coach K

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski says he thinks the London Olympics will be his last coaching Team USA. Coach K was brought in after the US finished a disappointing third in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. In 2008, Krzyzewski led a team that included Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, and Dwayne Wade to gold in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Two years later, the USA won the Worlds with a different roster that was led by Kevin Durant. Should Coach K step down after London, USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo will have to find a new coach for the 2014 Worlds and the 2016 Olympics in Brasil.

Preakness probable starters with Morning Line Odds

In alphabetical order before post-position draw

Bodemeister 3/1

Brimstone Island 30/1

Cozzetti 20/1

Creative Cause 8/1

Guyana Star Dweej 30/1

Ill Have Another 3/1

Liaison 15/1

Optimizer 12/1

Pretension 25/1

Teeth of the Dog 20/1

Tiger Walk 20/1

Went The Day Well 8/1

Zetterholm 20/1

Free Play

(NBA) San Antonio -11 over Clippers

(NHL) Los Angeles/Phoenix Under 4.5 +120

(MLB) Anaheim Angels (Santana) -150 over Oakland (Colon)

(MLB) NY Yankees (Sabathia) -150 over Baltimore (Chen)