There were eight technical fouls handed out and three players ejected from last night's second round NBA playoff game between the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards, and if you want to know why, Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas summed it up pretty well: "We don't like them and they don't like us."
The Wizards took game three from the Celtics 116-89, but the lopsided score wasn't the story so much as the ugly confrontations that marred the contest. The bad blood between these two teams stretches back to the regular season and it's only intensified with the pressure cooker of the playoffs. The biggest flare up occurred when Boston's Kelly Olynyk was called for a foul on an illegal screen that sent Washington's Kelly Oubre Jr. to the floor. Oubre got to his feet and charged at Olynyk, shoving him as a scuffle ensued with several players involved and the refs probably feeling like they were patrolling the ice of a hockey arena instead of the hardwood of a basketball court. Oubre was ejected from the game and later in the fourth quarter Terry Rozier of the Celtics and Brandon Jennings of the Wizards were also sent to the showers early after picking up double technicals. Oubre's ejection was deemed a flagrant two foul and the league reviews those, so he could be facing a possible suspension.
Either way, the Celtics know they have to play better in game four. They still lead the series two games to one, but Thomas was held to just 13 points after scoring 53 in game two. John Wall led the Wizards with 24. Game four is Sunday in Washington. No word if boxing gloves will be handed out before tip off.
Nothing so dramatic in game two between the Golden State Warriors and Utah Jazz. Draymond Green knocked down five three-pointers and finished with 21 points as the Warriors won 115-104 and have a two games to none lead in the series.
To Major League Baseball, and there are some similarities between the Wizards-Celtics relationship and the one between the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles. But in game four of what's felt like more like a forty game series there were finally no batters hit by a pitch, no ejections, and we hope, no racial slurs hurled by terrible people from the stands of Fenway Park. Instead, there were just reminders that Manny Machado is a thorn in the Red Sox side and he proved it again last night, breaking a 3-3 tie in the fourth inning by hitting a three-run home run bomb out over the Green Monster that led to an 8-3 Orioles victory. Kyle Kendrick was on the receiving end of that Machado blast. The veteran pitcher was making an emergency start after the news that knuckleballer Steven Wright will need surgery on his knee and is done for the season. Kendrick pitched pretty well for three innings and had a 3-1 lead before he fell apart in the fourth and gave up five runs punctuated by the Machado homer. The Red Sox pitching staff has been very good to this point, both starters and bullpen, and mostly it's been the offense that's scuffled. But there are cracks showing in the dam and David Price can't return to the rotation soon enough. The good news is that he threw a simulated game yesterday and his elbow responded well. He is ready for a minor league game or two before finally making his first start for the big club this season, and if he can return to form it will greatly bolster the starting five. Dustin Pedroia hit his first home run of the year for the Red Sox last night in the losing effort.
The Mets and Braves were rained out last night, and the NY Yankees were idle. They open a compelling series in Chicago tonight against the defending World Series champion Cubs.
In the NHL playoffs, I was quite surprised to see the Ottawa Senators jump out to a two games to none lad over the NY Rangers, but I suspected the Rangers, who really do have the more talented line up, would bounce back, and they've done that now with a 4-1 win at Madison Square Garden last night, knotting that series at two games apiece. But, as often ism the case in the playoffs, it's not the big name stars coming up big for the Rangers, but the fourth line plugger players you don't often think of helping to dig the Bluehshirts out of the hole. Oscar Lindberg scored twice last night and tough guy Tanner Glass had two assists for the Rangers win. Game five shifts back to Ottawa Saturday and the Senators expect their superstar defenseman Erik Karlsson to play, even though he left last night's game with an injury in the second period and did not return.
In college men's lacrosse, the Norwich Cadets had their season come to an end after a 14-11 loss to Lasell in the semi-finals of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference playoffs in Newton, Massachusetts yesterday. Cody Moore did all he could, scoring three goals and two assists for the fourth-ranked Cadets, ousted by the top-seeded Lasers, who will play for the GNAC championship this weekend at home against Mount Ida.