About Last Night: Wicked Strong

In case you were busy trying to prevent the refrain from Close Encounters of the Third Kind from morphing into the theme from The Sting in your mind, here’s what you missed in sports on Monday:

  • The Bruins overcame a 4-1 third-period deficit before completing the comeback with a Patrice Bergeron overtime winner as Boston eliminated the Toronto Maple Leafs from the NHL playoffs in a heartbreaking Game 7. While congratulations are in order for Boston, it should also be noted that the devastating loss was taken well by the people of Toronto, who, luckily, are fairly agnostic toward the game of hockey and have a very limited history of suffering with the town’s most popular team.
  • LeBron James and the Miami Heat dominated the Chicago Bulls on both ends of the court en route to an 88-65 win at United Center. Diminutive Bulls guard Nate Robinson, who had starred earlier in the series, was held without a field goal in the defeat, which he attributed after the game to being, “Yeah, shorter than everyone else. That’s why. Guess after all these years that finally caught up to me. It wasn’t at all because of Miami’s defense combined with a little bit of fatigue. It’s my genes. Thanks, Randy Newman.”
  • The Memphis Grizzlies dug themselves an early 17-point hole, but they came back, eventually beating the Oklahoma City Thunder, 103-97, in overtime to take a commanding 3-1 series lead. Though the loss was disheartening for the Thunder, who are playing without much of the nucleus that brought them to last season’s NBA Finals, it was perhaps worse for former Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay, who received a series of rude text messages from former Thunder guard James Harden including, “one of us is actually missed,” “who knew Tayshaun still could ball?,” “I think Tony Allen is just straight up better than you,” “happy Mother’s Day,” “whoops, belated,” “whoops, wrong number,” and “eh, screw it, right number, right time, happy Mother’s Day.”
  • Justin Upton hit his MLB-leading 13th home run of the season in his return to Arizona as the Atlanta Braves pounded the Diamondbacks, 10-1. “He fell right into our trap,” said Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers, who orchestrated Upton’s departure from Arizona. “Unlucky 13! We have him right where we want him. Playing against us, with 13 home runs!”
  • Henrik Lundqvist secured his second consecutive shutout as the New York Rangers completed their series comeback, eliminating the Washington Capitals with a 5-0 win in Game 7. Lundqvist credited his success in the series to a respect for the socialist economic system of his home country of Sweden that makes Capital his natural enemy. “There has been too much oppression for too long under the skate heel of those who would hold the owners of the Capital up as the ideal.” When told that the capital referred to in the name Capitals was a location, not an economic concept, Lundqvist added, “Wow, I’m glad I learned that after we won. Don’t know if I would have had that extra gear otherwise.”
  • One year removed from a Premier League title, Roberto Mancini has been fired by Manchester City, with Manuel Pellegrini cited as the leading candidate to replace the Italian. “Though losing Mancini is tough, I respect the team’s decision to bringing in Manuel,” said Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger of Manchester’s decision. “This is very unlike Liverpool’s unwillingness last season to interview Teddy Livershank or Steve Liverwink, which doomed them to another season without Champions League football. Brendan Rodgers? I’m sorry, it’s not Rodgerpool. That’s a terrible name for a club.”
  • The New York Yankees got dominant pitching from unexpected sources, but were forced to settle for a split in their doubleheader with the Cleveland Indians, losing 1-0 and winning 7-0, as Indians starter Justin Masterson threw a complete game shutout in the opener. Vernon Wells continued his hot start to the season going 2-for-4 with two RBIs in the second game without any regard for the feelings of those who lambasted his acquisition. “Guy is second among all AL outfielders in fWAR? Are you kidding me?,” said a current writer of About Last Night who would prefer to remain anonymous. “That is unbelievable. Next you’ll tell me the Yankees are already 10 games over .500 despite having half their damn roster on the DL.”
  • San Diego Chargers rookie linebacker Manti Te’o got his first crack against NFL talent as he trained with the team’s veterans at their first minicamp. “It was great to go up against my idol Junior Seau,” Te’o said after the session. When asked if he was sure that was what happened, Te’o responded, “Yeah, uh, he was there, and it was great. He’s like my mentor now. I have a feeling my Chargers career is going to start far better than my time at Notre Dame ended.”

Filed Under: About Last Night, Arizona Diamondbacks, Atlanta Braves, Boston Bruins, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Indians, Henrik Lundqvist, Lebron James, Manchester City, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, NBA Playoffs, New York Rangers, New York Yankees, NHL Playoffs, Oklahoma City Thunder, Premier League, San Diego Chargers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Washington Capitals

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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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