There's a reason Kevin Durant signed as a free agent with the Golden State Warriors, and that reason is knowing what he could do in combination with Steph Curry. In game two of the NBA Finals last night in Oakland, Curry and Durant were unstoppable in a 132-113 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers that has the Warriors up two games to none, and neither game has been close.
Curry recorded his first career playoff triple double, finishing with 32 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds, while Durant poured in 33 to go with 13 rebounds, and six assists. The signature play of the game occurred in the second half when Curry was matched up one on one with LeBron James, and dribbled left, right, feigned toward the basket, circled back to the edge of the three point line, then drove into the paint around LeBron and put in a lay-up over the outstretched arm of the man most consider the best basketball player on earth. When Curry wasn't dancing like a waterbug around larger players like LeBron, he was feeding passes to Durant, who was hitting from everywhere, and the duo was too much for a Cavs team that needs to give their leader more support if they're going to have a chance in the series.
James had a triple double of his own last night, with 29 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds, but Kevin Love scored a quiet 27 and Kyrie Irving finished with 19. When the series moves to Cleveland it'll take more than a boost of encouragement from the home town crowd to keep the Cavs from being swept. If that happens, the Warriors will have accomplished something ridiculous: Going a perfect 16-0 in the playoffs. They have yet to lose a single game in the 2017 post-season, and even against a team as good as Cleveland and a player as dominant as LeBron, they don't look like they're about to.
To Major League Baseball, and the Boston Red Sox saw one of their young outfielders get out of the first big slump of his career, and got a gift from the Baltimore Orioles in their 7-3 win over the Birds at Camden Yards yesterday. Andrew Benintendi was in a 1 for 21 stretch before launching two solo home runs and adding an RBI single in the win. The game was up for grabs, though, in the sixth, tied 3-3 when the Red Sox loaded the bases with two outs. Chris Tillman then bounced a pitch that got briefly away from catcher Francisco Pena, and Mitch Moreland started to break for home before realizing Pena had gathered in the ball. As he scrambled back to third Pena threw wildly to the base and the ball rolled into the outfield, allowing both Moreland and Jackie Bradley Jr. to score for a lead the Red Sox would not give up.
Chris Sale picked up the win, striking out nine, and overcame a shaky first inning when he gave up three runs, but at least one of them should have been unearned when Pablo Sandoval threw over to second base with no one covering when he should have just thrown to first for the out that would have ended the inning. The play went as a fielder's choice and technically no error but it was a lazy play by Panda.
Still, the Red Sox get out of Baltimore with a split of the four-game series, and they gain a game in the standings, now two back of the first place NY Yankees, who lost 3-2 to the Blue Jays in Toronto yesterday. The Jays trailed in the sixth before Justin Smoak tied the game with a home run off Luis Severino and Josh Donaldson put Toronto up for good when he went yard against Tyler Clippard in the 8th, and what looked like a lost season for the Blue Jays is now very much found. Yes, the Jays are still in last place in the division, but they're tied with the Tampa Bay Rays and both teams are just five and a half games out of first in the bunched-up American League east.
It all bodes well for some drama when the Red Sox continue their road trip tomorrow night in the Bronx against the first place Yankees. Drew Pomeranz, who's been very good in winning his last two starts, gets the ball for Boston against Masahiro Tanaka, who's lost his last four starts for the Yankees.
One thing that's certain about this NY Mets season: the unexpected should be expected, and for the Mets, that's has not been a good thing. The team suspended one of its pitchers for not showing up to a game. Their mascot Mr. Met was caught on video flipping off a fan. One of their ball boys carrying a metal chair collided with the team's third baseman, causing him to miss a pop up. And in Queens yesterday, the Mets got a double play to end the seventh inning, stood by as God Bless America was sung for the seventh inning stretch, and then had to go back out on the field on defense when they found out the double play call had been challenged and was reversed on video review, apparently during the song. That meant two seventh inning stretches, but worse for the Mets, it meant that the inning they thought was over continued for the Pittsburgh Pirates, who tacked on another un to pad their 5-1 lead, and went on to add five more in the final two innings for an 11-1 blow out victory. Rookie Tyler Pill took the loss, giving up five runs over five innings of work.
In just a few minutes from now at the French Open, the world's number one ranked player Andy Murray faces Karen Khachanov of Russia for a spot in the quarterfinals. On the women's side, Venus Williams was ousted over the weekend, ending her quest for a first-ever French Open championship. Simona Halep was in action this morning and has defeated Carla Suraez-Navarrao.
Jason Dufner won the Memorial Golf tournament yesterday, making four birdies to overcome a 77 that he shot on Saturday and win his fifth PGA tour competition.