About Last Night: Lakers Can’t Break Even

Kobe BryantIn case you were out stocking up on discounted Swedish meatballs, here’s what you missed in sports on Monday.

  • George Karl’s Denver Nuggets continued their torrid offensive play as they beat the Los Angeles Lakers at home, 119-108, to deny the Lakers a chance to get back to .500. After the game, Kobe Bryant was all smiles, joking around with teammates and coaches in the locker room. When asked about his cheery demeanor, Bryant said, “I’m so glad you asked. You see, I enjoy losing to Coach Karl in the regular season because it reminds me of the last time I lost a postseason series to him back in, hmmm, I can’t remember when. He’s been coaching my whole career, though, so I’m sure he must have beaten me once in the postseason. No? No.” Bryant then pulled a microphone out of his waistband and dropped it on the ground.
  • The Boston Celtics pulled out a gritty overtime road win in Salt Lake City, beating the Utah Jazz, 110-107. Head coach Doc Rivers was so pleased with his team’s performance that he took the whole squad out for a wild, Utah-style night of pizza and Sprite at The Pie. Unfortunately, things got a bit out of hand when Avery Bradley accidentally ordered a Diet Dr. Pepper and, hopped up on caffeine, tried to persuade Paul Pierce to join him for a late-night “YouTube Karaoke” session by loudly singing through Warren G’s “Regulate” half a dozen times. Police were dispatched to the scene, but no charges were filed in the incident.
  • Kansas ended Iowa State’s 22-game home winning streak, topping the Cyclones, 108-96. The upset was particularly stunning, as Iowa State head coach Fred “The Mayor” Hoiberg had successfully spearheaded a legislative push in Ames, Iowa, to outlaw home losses. After the game, Kansas’ Elijah Johnson, who led his team with 39 points, was taken into custody, and the Story County Sheriff’s department intends to hold Johnson until the conclusion of the Big 12 tournament. Constitutional scholar and Kansas head coach Bill Self called Johnson’s imprisonment “an outrageous overstepping of constitutional rights that cannot stand, as we must stay true to our Founding Fathers’ intention that our nation is one where non-elected titles cannot grant a man extrajudicial powers. He’s not a real mayor! Stop letting him act like one.”
  • Marquette bounced back from a loss at Villanova, topping Syracuse at home, 74-71. This was Syracuse’s fourth loss in their last five Big East road games, as Jim Boeheim’s trademark 2-3 defense, while succeeding in its stated goal of forcing teams to beat the Orange from the perimeter, has, unfortunately, allowed teams to beat the Orange from the perimeter. “Why did I state my goal with this defense?” Boeheim asked rhetorically after the game. “Thirty years it works for me, and suddenly everyone knows how to beat it. Pride cometh before the fall, Jimmy. Pride cometh before the fall.”
  • Tom Brady signed a three-year extension with the New England Patriots Monday, ensuring that he’ll play in New England on a team-friendly contract until he’s 40. And with this news, Buffalo Bills general manger Buddy Nix’s ill-fated plan to revitalize his franchise by “not having to play against Tom Brady on a team-friendly contract until he’s freaking 40” is back to square one.
  • The Chicago Blackhawks ran their point streak to 19 games beating the Edmonton Oilers, 3-2, in overtime. Marian Hossa got the game winner after the puck came off of veteran Oilers goalie Nikolai Khabibulin. When asked if he was disappointed he couldn’t stop Chicago’s scoring streak, Khabibulin responded, “When I was boy in Soviet Russia, toiling at my hockey academy in Sverdlovsk, I fell in love with girl from town named Vlada. Her father was important member of Nomenklatura, and she was as beautiful and clever as any woman. Any woman. A true Russian beauty, with a mind to match. I asked her on date, where we were to walk past factories of the town, over to Iset River, where we would take in view together, and she agreed. But on the day of the date, she tells me she must get back with her former boyfriend, Boris, a brash lothario at my hockey academy, and the nephew of the most powerful man in our city. She left Nikolai broken-hearted, feeble, hopeless. Then, things got worse, as Boris comes in the next day and pulls me aside as we are changing. He shows me her panties, along with panties of the other women whom he slept with, all in a row. We were so young. So, so young. But it built in me a hate for those who score, which led me to goalkeeping, to America, to freedom. So was this the worst rebound attempt for me in the midst of another’s scoring streak? No. I am too old to feel in that way any longer. But, as is the old Russian saying, ‘It is the worst things that give us power.’”
  • Tottenham Hotspur came from behind to beat West Ham United, 3-2, at Upton Park behind two stunning goals from Gareth Bale. The Spurs moved to third in the Premier League table with the win, and after the game, Bale spent 20 minutes in front of a mirror practicing being gracious in case he’s forced to play Tottenham as a member of Real Madrid in next year’s Champions League.
  • The Seattle Mariners overcame a 7-2 deficit against divisional rivals the Los Angeles Angels to win, 9-8, in Cactus League play. While no one at the stadium or on either team seemed to care about the outcome of the game, as a Mariners fan looking down the barrel of a long season, let me have this one. They can have Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, and that time they pretended like they were disappointed they got outbid for Chone Figgins. Just, please, let me have this one. Please.

Filed Under: About Last Night, Boston Celtics, Chicago Blackhawks, Denver Nuggets, Kansas, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Lakers, New England Patriots, Seattle Mariners, Tom Brady, Utah Jazz

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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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