About Last Night: Dwight’s Homecoming Dance

Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel/MCT/Getty Images

In case you were busy dealing with your body shutting down all systems unrelated to the production of mucus, here’s what you missed in sports on Tuesday.

  • Dwight Howard scored 39 points as he led the Los Angeles Lakers to a 106-96 win over the Magic in Orlando, where he played the first eight seasons of his career. Howard was met with a chorus of boos, or as he calls them, “Laughs, right? Cause that’s the typical reaction to my hilarious antics. That and guffaws. Kobe’s a big guffawer. Let me show you what I mean.” Howard then stared at the assembled press and did a throat slash gesture, before adding, “Oh, man, that guy can’t get enough of me.”
  • Valparaiso beat Wright State, 62-54, to win the Horizon League championship and qualify for the NCAA tournament. “Bryce Drew isn’t walking through that door, so it’s time to write your own destiny,” said Valparaiso legend and current head coach Bryce Drew after the game, before adding, “Well, he is. He did. I mean, I is — I did. I meant, as a player, you’re gonna have to create your own legend. But he will be attending the game. I mean, I will. You don’t have to worry about that.”
  • The Miami Heat extended their epic winning streak to 19 games, despite another off-night from LeBron James, topping the Atlanta Hawks at home, 98-81. “More like, the Miami Heat with the way we’re playing, am I right … wait, that doesn’t work,” proclaimed Heat forward Chris Bosh after the game. Bosh then said, “OK, what about, more like the Miami Hurricanes, because we’re devastating the league right now. Wait, damn, that’s already a thing, too. I’ll think of something real dumb that no one would ever name a team. What about the Miami Marlins … oh, for pete’s sake.”
  • Staying in South Beach, the Miami Dolphins made a big move in the free-agent market, signing wide receiver Mike Wallace away from the Pittsburgh Steelers. The former 60 Minutes anchor is expected to bring gravitas to a franchise that’s failed to find a stable leader since Dan Marino’s retirement. Although Wallace’s recent death makes the move a bit of a risk, it’s nice to see Miami with a better plan than the one centered on Ricky Williams, Ronnie Brown, and the wildcat formation.
  • Tony Gonzalez is coming back for one more season, after agreeing to forestall his retirement to take one more shot at making a Super Bowl with the Atlanta Falcons. Gonzalez, who is undoubtedly the greatest tight end of all time, said of his unretirement, “After last year, I finally got over the hump and lost in a conference championship game. I really hope to make it to that next level and ride off into the sunset on top, by finally losing in the Super Bowl.”
  • Quarterback and Harvard alumnus Ryan Fitzpatrick was cut by the Buffalo Bills Tuesday, just 18 months after signing a $59 million contract. The Bills’ current presumptive starter is former Seahawks and Vikings quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, who was seen knocking on the window of Fitzpatrick’s car before he drove away from the Bills’ facility. “You like apples?” Jackson asked his former teammate, before slamming a piece of paper against the car window. “Well, I got a contract. How you like them apples?”
  • The United States beat Puerto Rico, 7-1, in Miami to advance to the World Baseball Classic semifinals behind five scoreless innings from Gio Gonzalez. “I always feel stronger when I head down to South Florida,” Gonzalez said after the game, before quickly adding, “because of the sunshine. Yes, the sunshine. That good old Florida sunshine.”
  • Barcelona overcame a 2-0 goals deficit to stun AC Milan, 4-0, at the Nou Camp and advance to the Champions League quarterfinals with a 4-2 aggregate win. Barcelona was powered by a magnificent brace from reigning Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi, the silky smooth touch of midfielder Andres Iniesta, the attacking impetus of fullbacks Dani Alves and Jordi Alba, and winger Pedro’s world-class method-acting ability, which allows him to facially express a well of unbearable pain by mentally accessing the memory of past trauma.

Filed Under: About Last Night, Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta Hawks, Barcelona, Boston Bruins, Buffalo Bills, Champions League, Dwight Howard, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Dolphins, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, Pittsburgh Penguins

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

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