National Basketball Association Playoffs
Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder shook off the pesky Houston Rockets
and took Game 2 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series, 105-102,
despite blowing a 15-point lead in the fourth quarter. James Harden and Carlos
Delfino spearheaded a 21-2 flurry down the stretch to give the upset-minded
Rockets a four-point lead with just over three minutes remaining. But the
Thunder's subsequent 10-2 run, highlighted by Durant hitting a go-ahead 3-
pointer and assisting on Thabo Sefolosha's open three, has the series headed
to Houston with Oklahoma City holding a 2-0 lead.
Elsewhere in the NBA playoffs:
Western Conference Quarterfinals (Best-of-seven)
San Antonio Spurs 102, Los Angeles Lakers 91 (Spurs lead, 2-0)
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals (Best-of-seven)
Indiana Pacers 113, Atlanta Hawks 98 (Pacers lead, 2-0)
National Hockey League
The Chicago Blackhawks wrapped up their first Presidents' Trophy in 22 years
on Wednesday thanks to a 4-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers. Thanks in large
part to playing their first 24 games of this season without a loss in
regulation, the Blackhawks clinched the best record in the NHL for the first
time since the 1990-91 season, the only other time they claimed the honor
which assures home-ice advantage through all four rounds of the playoffs.
Patrick Kane had a goal and two assists while Patrick Sharp, Jonathan Toews
and Johnny Oduya all scored for the Blackhawks, who snapped a two-game slide
and upped their point total to 75.
Elsewhere in the NHL:
Tampa Bay Lightning 5, Toronto Maple Leafs 2
Detroit Red Wings 3, Los Angeles Kings 1
Phoenix Coyotes 2, San Jose Sharks 1
Major League Baseball
Jordany Valdespin hit a game-winning grand slam in the bottom of the 10th
inning and the New York Mets outlasted the Los Angeles Dodgers, 7-3, on
Wednesday at Citi Field in the second of a three-game test. New York's David
Wright tied the game in the bottom of the ninth with an RBI single.
Elsewhere in the NL:
Cincinnati Reds 1, Chicago Cubs 0
St. Louis Cardinals 4, Washington Nationals 2
Colorado Rockies 6, Atlanta Braves 5 (12 innings)
Arizona Diamondbacks 3, San Francisco Giants 2 (10 innings)
Pittsburgh Pirates 5, Philadelphia Phillies 3
San Diego Padres 2, Milwaukee Brewers 1
After belting four home runs, the Toronto Blue Jays prevailed Wednesday
afternoon behind some small ball. Maicer Izturis walked with the bases loaded
in the top of the 11th inning, as the Blue Jays avoided a three-game sweep
with a 6-5 win over the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards.
Elsewhere in the AL:
Chicago White Sox 3, Cleveland Indians 2
Houston Astros 10, Seattle Mariners 3
Boston Red Sox 6, Oakland Athletics 5
Detroit Tigers 7, Kansas City Royals 5
Tampa Bay Rays 3, New York Yankees 0
Texas Rangers 11, LA Angels of Anaheim 3
The first round of the NFL Draft will take place tonight in New York. The
Kansas City Chiefs have the first pick and, barring a trade, are expected to
take an offensive tackle. Texas A&M's Luke Joeckel or Central Michigan's Eric
Fisher are considered the likely choices. Jacksonville will pick second,
followed by Oakland, Philadelphia, Detroit, Cleveland, Arizona, Buffalo, the
New York Jets and Tennessee.
The Oklahoma City Thunder, Indiana Pacers and San Antonio Spurs are each
sporting 2-0 series leads in their first-round playoff series after winning at
home on Wednesday. The Thunder blew a 15-point lead in the fourth quarter but
rallied down the stretch to beat the Houston Rockets, 105-102. The Indiana
Pacers used another terrific all-around effort from Paul George to down the
Atlanta Hawks, 113-98, and the Spurs' balanced attack powered them to a
thorough 102-91 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.
Three more playoff games are on tap for Thursday, with the Miami Heat and Los
Angeles Clippers trying to extend 2-0 leads on the road while the Bulls and
Nets play a pivotal Game 3 in Chicago. The defending champion Heat had little
trouble with the Milwaukee Bucks in their first two games in Miami, while the
Clippers needed Chris Paul's buzzer-beater to edge the Memphis Grizzlies in
Game 2 of their Western Conference series. The Bulls earned a split in
Brooklyn with a win on Monday.
The Cleveland Cavaliers made it official Wednesday and announced the return of
Mike Brown as the club's head coach. Brown previously served as the Cavaliers'
head coach for five seasons from 2005-10, compiling a regular-season record of
272-138 with playoff appearances each year and the club's only trip to
the NBA Finals in the spring of 2007. The Cavs were led on the floor at that
time by LeBron James, who quickly took his talents to Miami as a free
agent the summer after Brown was fired in the wake of the team's 2010
playoff exit in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Brown returned to
coaching with the Los Angeles Lakers for the 2011-12 season, leading the
squad to a record of 41-25 during the lockout-shortened year, which ended with
a loss to Oklahoma City in the second round of the playoffs. He was then fired
this past November after a 1-4 start just five games into his second year.
Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol has been named the 2012-13 NBA Defensive
Player of the Year. Gasol, the first Grizzlies player to win the award, earned
30 first-place votes and a total of 212 points from a nationwide panel of 121
sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada.
Miami's LeBron James, who has never won this honor, finished second in the
balloting with 149 points and 18 first-place votes, followed by Serge Ibaka of
Oklahoma City. Gasol averaged 1.7 blocks and 1.0 steals to go along with 14.1
points, 7.8 rebounds and 4.0 assists in 80 games this season. He was one of
only six players in the NBA to average at least 1.5 blocks and 1.0 steals,
leading a Grizzlies team that allowed a league-low 88.7 points per game during
the regular season.
Louisville guard Russ Smith will return for his senior season. He made the
announcement Wednesday at a news conference with Cardinals head coach Rick
Pitino at his side. Smith led the NCAA Tournament champions with an average of
18.7 points in 40 games. He also grabbed 3.3 rebounds and dished out 2.9
assists while shooting 32.8 percent from beyond the arc.
Matt Kenseth's win at Kansas last weekend was virtually nullified by NASCAR on
Wednesday, as the governing body docked the driver 50 points for a rule
violation discovered in a post-race inspection on Tuesday. NASCAR said on
Wednesday that one of the connecting rods on the No. 20 car did not meet
minimum weight. In addition, Kenseth's crew chief, Jason Ratcliff, was
suspended for six races and fined $200,000.