About Last Night: Almost Famous

In case you were busy learning how boring Nevada is outside of Las Vegas, here’s what you missed in sports on Tuesday.

  • Texas’s Yu Darvish was one out away from a perfect game, but he was forced to settle for a near shutout as Marwin Gonzalez singled late in the Rangers’ 7-0 win over the Houston Astros. “He sure did mar my win tonight, didn’t he?” Darvish asked rhetorically after the game, before adding, “see, you can make puns out of anyone’s name. Not just mine, Yu guys.”
  • Kobe Bryant got his 19th career triple-double as the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Dallas Mavericks, 101-81, in a critical Western Conference showdown. The Lakers also retired star center Shaquille O’Neal’s no. 34 at the game. Bryant showed great respect for his former teammate, saying, “He’s the best player I’ve ever suited up next to. I mean, even Dwight Howard is no Shaquille O’Neal.” Bryant’s eyes narrowed, as a flood of memories came back to him before he added, “But, of course, Shaquille O’Neal is no Dwight Howard.” Bryant’s eyes narrowed yet further as he felt compelled to add, “But Dwight Howard is no Shaquille O’Neal,” before Bryant’s eyes became somehow even narrower as he said, “But Shaquille O’Neal is no Dwight Howard.” Then Bryant, his eyes now impossibly narrow, added, “But, of course, Dwight Howard is no Shaquille O’Neal,” before he closed his eyes completely, swallowed hard, and said, “and neither of those guys could hold Elden Campbell’s jock.”
  • Carmelo Anthony scored 50 points as the New York Knicks beat a depleted Miami Heat team, 102-90. “Depleted?” Anthony asked incredulously after the game. “So they didn’t have LeBron, or D-Wade, or Mario. I still had Shane Battier in my face all night long, explaining how futile my efforts were, and how basketball games are just a meaningless place for fans to place emotions that would otherwise go unprocessed. You try dropping 50 on a guy who’s questioning the very nature of your existence.”
  • Barcelona’s Lionel Messi scored a goal, but had to leave the match because of injury before Paris Saint-Germain nabbed an injury-time equalizer as their Champions League quarterfinal match finished 2-2. Messi called the injury “a trial, reminiscent of the one I went through this week about 2,000 years ago,” before quickly adding, “I’ve said too much,” and getting everyone in the press corps drunk off of a suspiciously convenient supply of red wine.
  • The Boston Bruins had a banner day as they beat the Ottawa Senators, 3-2, and acquired veteran forward Jaromir Jagr from the Dallas Stars. “I gotta say, I’m disappointed in the move,” said Boston superfan Aaron “Sully” Sullivan. “One of my greatest moments is that time I got everyone at the Garden to chant ‘You suck, Jagr!’ at the same time. That was me. I did that. And I’ve given thanks for that moment every day for 10 years. Now what am I supposed to be thankful for as a Boston fan?”
  • Madison Bumgarner threw eight scoreless innings, and the San Francisco Giants avenged their Opening Day defeat with a 3-0 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Bumgarner improved to 6-2 against the Dodgers, a record he attributed to his respect for Hollywood legend James Garner. “Did you know that he was born James Bumgarner? Dude was Maverick, dude was in The Notebook. And have you seen The Rockford Files? Have you seen it? You can’t come into Garner’s town with Garner’s name and lose your cool. Guy was cool as it comes, may he rest in peace.” When told that Garner was still alive, Bumgarner hung his head and whispered, “Damn, that was a real bum Garner move on my part.”
  • An injury-ravaged Bulls team dropped a key game in the battle for home-court advantage in the East, as they fell to the streaking Wizards, 90-86. John Wall had another monster game with 27 points, nine assists, and eight rebounds in the win. “Call me John the Gray,” Wall said with a laugh after the game, donning a robe and a pointy hat. But no one was laughing when Wall pulled rookie Bradley Beal aside and told him of the epic journey he planned to take Beal on to a far-away land known as “Respectability.” When told that the journey would be the greatest test he ever faced, Beal protested: “I’m just a lowly Wizard, and ‘Respectability’ seems a long way off.” But Wall assured Beal: “No man is just a Wizard any longer. Join me, and you shall call yourself a Wizard with pride, my boy, as ‘Respectability’ shall be ours forever!”
  • The Pittsburgh Penguins, forced to play without injured captain Sidney Crosby, saw their 15-game winning streak snapped at the hands of the Buffalo Sabres. The moment was described as “the premier moment in Buffalo sports history” by Buffalo native Michael Phillips, narrowly edging out the Bills’ recent signing of former Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb. Phillips then added, “As a Buffalo fan, I just have so much to be thankful for.”

Filed Under: About Last Night, Boston Bruins, Carmelo Anthony, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Astros, John Wall, Kobe Bryant, Lionel Messi, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins, San Francisco Giants, Texas Rangers, Washington Wizards, Yu Darvish

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Spike Friedman is a contributing writer for Grantland and makes theater with the Satori Group in Seattle, Washington.

Archive @ SpikeFriedman