About Last Night: Lakers Beat the Traffic to Summer Vacation

Sefolosha/BynumIn case you were out living a life of leisure, here’s what you missed in sports on Monday.

  • Russell Westbrook scored 28 points and Kevin Durant added 25 and 10 boards as the Thunder eliminated the Lakers and advanced to the Western Conference Finals with a 106-90 win. As he walked out of the building, Pau Gasol felt something heavy in his coat pocket. He reached in and found the hilt of a knife with a note wrapped around it. “Amigo,” it said. “Mine has a blade. See you tonight. -K.” He’s probably just letting off steam, thought Gasol, who found himself sprinting.
  • Brandon Bass scored 27 points and helped move the Celtics one game away from the Eastern Conference Finals in a 101-85 shellacking of the Sixers. Bass told reporters that he was motivated by the presence of his older brother Billy, who delighted and annoyed fans in Section 113 with spirited renditions of “Take Me to the River” and “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” whenever someone walked by.
  • The New Jersey Devils and Zach Parise (two goals, one assist) evened their series against the Rangers at two games apiece, winning 4-1. Things turned nasty in the third period when Mike Rupp punched former teammate Martin Brodeur in the chest, sparking a bench-emptying brawl and a shouting match between coaches. “I’m John Tortorella!” shouted Rangers coach John Tortorella. “No, I’m John Tortorella,” shouted Devils coach Peter DeBoer. “Well, then who am I?” asked Tortorella. “Johnny Weir, the figure skater,” said DeBoer. “Crap,” said Tortorella, who hates Johnny Weir.
  • The Orlando Magic fired head coach Stan Van Gundy and GM Otis Smith as part of a postseason house-cleaning process. Several sources with the team admitted that it already felt “way cleaner” after Van Gundy walked out the door, taking along the entourage of houseflies that constantly surround him. “He keeps garbage in his pockets,” said one source. “Or he bathes in water he collects in a watering can from city streets. Nobody really knows.”
  • Giancarlo Stanton hit a 438-foot grand slam that knocked out the lights on Miami’s scoreboard in a 7-4 win over the Rockies. In his three-minute postgame interview, Stanton used the word “natural” a whopping 68 times in 24 different contexts, desperately hoping to invite the comparison. Also, he sustained an eye strain from rapid winking.
  • After an 8-6 win over the Orioles, Red Sox slugger David Ortiz went on a rant, saying he was disrespected by the media and the front office despite the fact that he’s “the kind of [expletive] who worries about winning games.” “And not just baseball games,” he continued. “What about Hungry, Hungry Hippos? I never lose that game. I’ll pound that plastic hippo until it breaks. Ask me how many hippos I’ve broken over the years. Ask me how many kids were crying after Big Papi broke the green hippo. A thousand, at least. And I have a secret. You know what my secret is?” Here, Ortiz leaned forward and lowered his voice to a whisper. “If the game is really close, I’ll eat the marbles myself. That’s my secret. I’m the hungriest hippo.”
  • The Yankees lost for the sixth time in seven games, falling 6-0 to Felipe Paulino (6.2 innings, eight strikeouts) and the Royals. “Tough game,” said A-Rod. “I made the mistake of buying milk an hour beforehand, and I didn’t have a chance to take it home. So it sat in the dugout all game, and I was real paranoid that it would go sour. That’s the worst feeling, isn’t it?”
  • Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman was arrested for driving 93 mph with a suspended license. Team officials say they’re slightly worried about his velocity, but that his curve looks great.
  • The Tampa Bay Buccaneers traded tight end Kellen Winslow to Seattle for a draft pick, and signed former Colt Dallas Clark to replace him. While this may mark a talent upgrade for the Bucs, they’ll be losing a lot of great comedy with Winslow’s departure. Wait … no, I’m thinking of Carl Winslow, from Family Matters. Also, he wasn’t that funny. Also, Dallas Clark does a great Jimmy Carter impression that will leave you in stitches. I don’t want to give away his act, but … ah, what the hell. Right when he’s about to start doing his impression, he takes out a bag of peanuts and just starts making out with it, moaning, “I’m Jimmy Carter and I love peanuts!” Really terrific stuff.
  • Tiger Woods insisted to reporters that he’s improving, and is close to contending for titles on a week-to-week basis. When a reporter wondered aloud if Woods was still in the denial stage of the Kubler-Ross grief model after losing the structure in his life, Woods took out a 6-iron and proved that he had made it at least as far as anger.

Filed Under: About Last Night, Boston Celtics, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Marlins, NBA Playoffs, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, NHL Playoffs, Oklahoma City Thunder, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76Ers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tiger Woods

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Shane Ryan is a contributing writer for Grantland. His book about the young stars of the PGA Tour will be published by Random House in early 2015.

Archive @ ShaneRyanHere