Spurs win streak stopped at 20 games
For almost two full months the San Antonio Spurs have put on clinic after clinic on how to win basketball games going 34-3 over their L37 and on a run of 20 straight wins. Thursday night the Spurs got schooled 102-82 at Oklahoma City, their first loss of the playoffs. San Antonio now leads the Western Conference Final two games to one heading into Saturday’s Game Four at OKC.
The Thunder used stifling defense in forcing 21 Spur turnovers and holding the top-seed to their lowest point total of the playoffs. Kevin Durant led balanced Thunder scoring with 22 points. Thabo Sefolosha was OKC’s best player coming through with 19 points and setting the tone defensively with three steals in the first four minutes of the game. Tony Parker and Stephen Jackson led San Antonio with 16 a piece. Neither team played its starters in the final eight minutes of garbage time. Tim Duncan had five blocks in the game to surpass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s NBA playoff record of 476 by one.
The Miami Heat travel to Boston to face the Celtics in Game Three of their Easter Conference Final. Miami leads the series 2-0 and will take the court at TD Arena as a 1 1/2 point underdog, the total settling on 180. Boston won both regular season meetings here but are just 4-3 on this court during the playoffs.
Pretty Boy Floyd surrenders today ???
Unbeaten five-division champion Floyd Mayweather is scheduled to surrender Friday before Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Melissa Saragosa to begin a three-month jail sentence in Las Vegas stemming from a hair-pulling, arm-twisting attack in September 2010 on the mother of three of his children. The judge sentenced him on Dec. 22 for his guilty plea to reduced charges in the domestic battery case. Mayweather will serve his stint in the high-rise Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas. At least for the first week, Mayweather will be segregated for his protection from the other 3,200 inmates, Las Vegas police Officer Bill Cassell said. He’ll get one hour of exercise time a day outside his cell. Mayweather’s pending jail term will be capped at 87 days. Saragosa gave him credit for three days previously served. Mayweather also was ordered to complete a year long domestic violence counseling program, 100 hours of community service and pay a $2,500 fine.
MLB Diamond Dust
With just three games on Thursday’s abbreviated travel day card, most of the day’s news revolved around the rash of injuries currently plaguing MLB. Matt Kemp was off to a MVP type of season for the Dodgers but a re-injured left hamstring will put him back on the DL, this time for at least four weeks. Kemp is the 10th Dodger currently on the disabled list. As mentioned on SP3 yesterday, the Colorado Rockies all-everything shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is also going on the DL and it couldn’t have happened at a worse time. Tulowitzki was hitting .417/.462/.792 over the last week of play, was enjoying his most productive stretch of the season. Pitcher Doug Fister is back on the DL for the Tigers with a recurring abdominal strain. Left-hander Casey Crosby will be recalled from Triple-A Toledo to start Friday night against the Yankees. Travis Hafner had arthroscopic knee surgery and will be out at least six weeks for the Indians. Hafner, who will turn 35 on Sunday, is on the DL for the sixth time in his career. He’s in the final year of a four-year, $57 million contract and batting .242 with six homers and 23 RBI in 39 games.
Scott Stallings leads the Memorial after one round
If you are looking for big names at the top of the leaderboard at the Memorial, you won’t find any. After one round, Scott Stallings leads the way at six-under with Spencer Levin and Erik Compton a shot back. Aaron Baddeley and Brandt Snedeker head a seven-way tie for fourth at minus three. Tiger Woods shot an opening round 70 to be four back. Phil Mickelson shot a 79 and withdrew. Luke Donald and Rory McIlroy both shot one-under 71s.
National Spell Bee Winning Word is “Guetapens”
Yeah, yeah, yeah …. we know …. but its was a slow day in sports and this has been making the rounds on ESPN. BTW, “guetapens” is a French-derived word that means ambush, snare or trap. A mere bag of shells.
Fedor Mercedes Benz commercial
For more than a decade, Fedor Emelianenko was the baddest man on the planet. Fedor will reportedly retire after his June 21st fight with Pedro Rizzo. SP3 is not sure Fedor has an acting career after MMA but this Russian Mercedes Benz commercial does confirm that MMA is definitely worldwide mainstream.
(NBA) Miami +1.5 over Boston
(MLB) St Louis (Wainwright)/ NY Mets (Santana) Under 7 +115
MLB) LA DOdgers (Capuano) -105 over Colorado (Outman)
(MLB) Kansas City (Paulino) -145 Oakland (Colon)