Maybe he'd be rusty? That was the faint hope for the Boston Celtics going into game one of the NBA's eastern conference finals against Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers last night, but even though King James had a ten-day layoff waiting for the Celtics and Wizards to conclude their 7-game series, James was merely well rested and showed no rust in Cleveland's 117-104 win in Boston.
James scored 38 points to go with 9 rebounds and 7 assists and teammate Kevin Love added 32, a career playoff high for him, in a game that does not bode well for Boston's chances against the defending champs. Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder led the Celtics with 21 points each, but Isaiah Thomas was held to just 17, and the bigger issue is that no Celtics defender came even close to slowing down Lebron. But, hey, on the bright side, the Celtics did secure the number one pick in the upcoming NBA draft, so if they're ousted by Cleveland as expected, they could be ready to take the next step next season.
To the NHL playoffs, and it's a bit silly to say this about a team that's already proven its bona fides by making it to the eastern conference finals, but can we finally start taking the Ottawa Senators seriously? The Sens were absolutely no one's pick to make it to the Stanley Cup finals this year, but they're just two games away from doing so after throttling the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-1 last night to take a two games to one lead over the defending champs. The Senators exploded for four goals in the first period, and Marc Methot, Derick Brassard and Zack Smith all scored in a span of just over two minutes to send goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, who's been otherwise brilliant for Pittsburgh in these playoffs, to an early shower.
In Major League Baseball, the Boston Red Sox went extras with the St. Louis Cardinals last night, and won the game in 13 innings when Chris Young broke a 4-4 tie with an RBI single, giving Boston a 5-4 win and a sweep of the mini two-game interleague series. The Sox were down 4-0 before clawing back to tie it. Jackie Bradley Jr. had two-run homer in the 7th. Fernando Abad tossed two scoreless innings, and Ben Taylor pitched the bottom of the 13th for his first major league save.
Jason Vargas had the best ERA among American League pitchers heading into last night's game against the NY Yankees, and let's just say that didn't impress the Yankees much at all. Aaron Hicks hit a three run homer as part of a five-run fourth inning for the Yanks and they cruised on to an 11-7 win in Kansas City. Michael Pineda got the win for New York.
If you're a Mets fan, I can't give you any good news this morning, after the Mets seventh straight loss, this one in extras when Chris Hermann led off the bottom of the 11th for the Arizona Diamondbacks with a walk-off game winning home run in the D-Backs' 6-5 victory.
And, Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays, how about you quit it already with the bat flip thing, especially when your team is mired in the basement of the AL east and the home run you just hit was meaningless in an 8-4 loss to the Atlanta Braves? Bautista homered in the 8th inning last night, stood at the plate, tried to make eye contact with the pitcher, and then flipped his bat high in the air like he'd just hit a walk off to win the game. The Braves didn't appreciate the poor sportsmanship and both benches emptied before calm was restored. Bautista's act with the bat is getting old, and he should be more concerned with his team's overall fortunes than his own theatrics at this point.
This afternoon the Castelton Spartans baseball team will take on the University of Southern Maine in the opening round of the NCAA New York Regional Division III Tournament. The fifth seeded Spartans are fresh off their North Atlantic Conference title win. Southern Maine is the #2 seed in the regional conference.