About Last Night: New York Feeling Melo Again

In case you were busy discovering something magical, here’s what you missed in sports on Tuesday:

  • The New York Knicks blew out the Indiana Pacers, 105-79, behind 32 points from Carmelo Anthony to even their second-round series at a game apiece. “Now I will grant an exclusive interview to any member of the New York media who didn’t write our epitaph after Game 1,” Anthony announced after the game while sipping an ice-cold Diet Coke. But no one in the New York press stepped forward. “Come on, anyone? OK, how ’bout anyone who didn’t call me Car-Smell-O.” But again there was only silence. “Um, anyone who didn’t personally insult my family?” Howard Beck of the New York Times then raised his hand to ask if cousins counted, but Anthony granted him the interview before Beck had the chance to clarify.
  • Craig Kimbrel gave up back-to-back home runs with two outs in the ninth inning as the Cincinnati Reds shocked the Atlanta Braves, 5-4. “I’d be more ashamed if it weren’t the Reds,” Kimbrel explained after the game. “They were cool, which is what I think of when I think of things wrapped in red-and-white. They were ice-cold. You could throw six of them in a cooler, take ’em on a picnic, and have a hell of a day. As an Atlanta man, that’s just an instinct for me at this point.”
  • Mike Conley finished one assist shy of a triple-double as the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Oklahoma City Thunder, 99-93. The win for the Grizzlies came in spite of Kevin Durant’s monster performance; he also finished just one assist shy of a triple-double. You know what that means, America. It’s time for a spinoff pilot based on everyone’s favorite About Last Night feature, “America, Rick Barnes Did Not Make the Sweet 16 With Kevin Durant on His Team,” entitled, “Man, It Sucks to Watch Kevin Durant Try to Make the NBA Finals Without Any Help,” brought to you by Diet Coke. Man, it sucks to watch Kevin Durant try to make the NBA Finals without any help. Oh, hey, look, a Diet Coke. Thus concludes the pilot episode of “Man It Sucks to Watch Kevin Durant Try to Make the NBA Finals Without Any Help,” brought to you by Diet Coke.
  • The Ottawa Senators took a commanding 3-1 lead over the Montreal Canadiens after Kyle Turris scored in overtime to give the Sens a 3-2 victory. Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson said after the game, “It’s like we have so much extra energy. Overtime for us is nothing. Back in my native Sweden, we have a product known as Coke Light. And that is good. But the Diet Coke available in both the U.S. and Canada? It gives me the extra edge I need to get that upper hand when all the chips are down. Also, the expression “all the chips are down” is an excellent North American idiom that reminds me to put down the chips, which have lots of calories, and reach for an ice-cold Diet Coke, which has zero calories.”
  • John Tavares and the New York Islanders rallied with a three-goal third period to beat the top-seeded Pittsburgh Penguins, 6-4, and even their first-round playoff series at two games apiece. The game ended with a fight involving both Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, as tempers flared in the Nassau Coliseum. Of course, because it’s NHL hockey, expect the repercussions for the participants to be light as a Diet Coke, but expect them to come crisp as a Diet Coke from NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, who, I must point out, prefers the taste of Diet Pepsi.
  • After Matt Harvey threw nine innings of one-hit ball, the New York Mets got a walk-off single from Mike Baxter in the bottom of the 10th inning to top the White Sox at Citi Field, 1-0. “Baxter, Baxter!” the team chanted in unison as Harvey sat alone in the clubhouse, sullen. He knew that he should be happy; a win is a win, after all. But he had been so close to a perfect game; he kept replaying the infield single in his mind. If he had just located his pitch a little better, they’d be chanting his name. “Baxter, Baxter!” Harvey’s face grew red with envy, his hands clenched into fists so tight they could crush walnuts. Why couldn’t he enjoy anything anymore? Not the soft touch of a woman, not the smooth taste of a Diet Coke. Well, maybe? Maybe. “Baxter, Baxter!” The chants echoed in his mind as he went to the fridge and cracked open an ice-cold can of Diet Coke. He drank deeply, the tart, refreshing flavor filling him from top to bottom. He let himself remember the joy of playing baseball; when he was a kid, he dreamed of days like today. Not just the pitching, but being a part of a team. “Baxter, Baxter!” But now it was Harvey chanting, his voice joining the others, perhaps the loudest of all. Indulging in the true joy that only brotherhood and Diet Coke can bring.
  • The New York Yankees encountered some unexpected resistance at Coors Field as Colorado Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa tossed six scoreless innings in a 2-0 win. “I’m calm,” said Yankees general manager Brian Cashman after the game as he nursed a Diet Mountain Dew. “I just don’t see why my team couldn’t score.” Cashman then calmly placed a T-ball tee in the center of the room before striking balls at the gathered press, yelling, “Anyone can hit! Even Cash can hit! It’s the Diet Mountain Dew!” Cashman then laughed a maniacal laugh while driving everyone out of his office by swinging the tee in a threatening manner.
  • Reports surfaced Tuesday that former Boise State and Detroit Lions wide receiver Titus Young was arrested twice last weekend. “Where did it all go wrong?” Young asked himself, as he sat in an interrogation room Sunday night. “I had it all, and I threw it away for nothing.” Just then an officer, bathed in angelic light, leaned into the room. “Hey, Titus, we’ll chat in a minute, but first, how about a Diet Coke?” Young shook his head, but the officer tossed the shiny, silver can to Young. The throw was high, but Young reached up, tipped it to himself, and pulled it in. As he cracked the can open, he thought to himself, “Man, I still have magic in these ol’ mitts. Maybe I could clean my life up.” And as he drank deeply from that silver can of ice-cold refreshment, he knew that everything was going to be OK.
  • Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson announced he’ll be stepping down after 26 years at the helm. During his tenure, he brought home more than 30 trophies, and 13 league champions as he established his club as the most successful in British football history. Everton’s David Moyes is the front-runner to replace Ferguson at Old Trafford. As for me, I just need one more Diet Coke. Man, I discovered this drink earlier today. It’s really good. It’s like regular Coke but with less sugar and still has the caffeine. I’m obsessed with the stuff. I’ve had like 25 of them. I can’t stop. Hopefully, that hasn’t affected today’s column too much. Should I be able to stop? I feel like I should. Also, is it a problem that I’m shaking uncontrollably? That’s a normal reaction, right? Guys … I think I might have taken this Diet Coke thing too far.

Filed Under: About Last Night, Atlanta Braves, Boise State, Carmelo Anthony, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Colorado Rockies, Detroit Lions, Indiana Pacers, Memphis Grizzlies, NBA Playoffs, New York Knicks, New York Mets, New York Yankees, NHL Playoffs, Oklahoma City Thunder, Ottawa Senators, 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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