In case you were out walking your dog, really walking him, here’s what you missed in sports on Wednesday.
- LeBron James netted his first game-winning shot since coming to Miami, and the Heat ran their winning streak to 16, beating the Orlando Magic, 97-96. “He’s a bad man,” Magic point guard Jameer Nelson said after the game. “That’s gotta be the baddest thing a man has done in Florida since well probably not that long.”
- Miami isn’t the only team in pro sports with an impressive winning streak. The Chicago Blackhawks have now reached the midpoint of the shortened NHL season without a loss in regulation, getting a last-minute, game-winning goal from Daniel Carcillo to beat the Colorado Avalanche, 3-2. The streak has gotten so much attention that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman commented on it publicly, saying, “I really shouldn’t say this, but for the sake of our sport, I hope they run the table all season. Nothing would bring me more pleasure than recognizing that amazing effort by putting an asterisk next to it in the record book.” Bettman then kicked an adorable golden retriever puppy named Scruffles on the way home to his mansion. He then congratulated himself on a day well-spent by pouring a bottle of Opus One Cabernet on a rug before demanding his servants clean it up.
- Villanova scored another Big East upset and likely punched its ticket for the NCAA tournament with a 67-57 win over Georgetown. The game featured a 42-8 disparity in free throw attempts, which is unsurprising, given the game was officiated by well-known Augustinian writer Patrick Kelly, who said after the game, “Oh, did those followers of Ignatius of Loyola want some more fouls called? Well, maybe they should adopt a stricter approach toward their implementation of papal doctrine at their university.” Kelly was immediately terminated for his comments, a firing he blamed on a “vast Jesuit conspiracy that will be unmasked in my original upcoming self-published novel, A Cloaked Painting of Secret Devil Codes.”
- Tim Duncan had a double-double as the San Antonio Spurs beat the Chicago Bulls at home, 101-83. The Spurs won again without Tony Parker, employing Manu Ginobili in what Gregg Popovich called his “white queen strategy,” an homage to Bobby Fischer’s famed 1972 “Game 6” match against Boris Spassky in which Fischer dominated space by drawing consistent focus playing his white queen all over the board. When told of Popovich’s game plan, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau stood up and applauded, his own homage to Spassky’s sportsmanship in the wake of his defeat.
- The Los Angeles Lakers finished their game against the New Orleans Hornets on a 25-2 run, coming back to score a critical victory, 108-102. Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, who had 42 points in the game, credited his efficient shooting and his patented “drive the whole team around the still suffering Ninth Ward of New Orleans before the game to instill a fear of losing everything” motivational technique for the Lakers’ resilience.
- The New York Yankees’ injury woes continued, as first baseman Mark Teixeira has been ruled out for 8-10 weeks with a wrist injury. This is reminiscent of the old Yogi Berra saying, “A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore,” and the new Yogi Berra saying, “You might as well play me, Yogi Berra, because all of your players are injured. Seriously, I could use the cash.”
- Paris Saint-Germain did just enough to advance to the Champions League quarterfinals, drawing Valencia 1-1 (3-2 agg.), despite the absences of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and David Beckham. Zlatan missed the match due to a red card he received in the first leg, and Beckham missed it because someone lent him a mirror at halftime, and he was too lost in his own eyes to come on as a late-game substitute.
- Free-agent NFL quarterback Vince Young, in an attempt to rehabilitate his image, reportedly wrote a letter apologizing to former coach Jeff Fisher. When told of Young’s gesture, Fisher responded, “That explains why I got a pineapple covered in stamps. Well, kind of.”
- Finally, one more streak to talk about, as the Seattle Mariners had their 10-game spring training winning streak snapped by the Milwaukee Brewers, 7-6 in Peoria, Arizona. Relief pitcher Charlie Furbush took the loss. When asked if the ribbing he was taking in the locker room afterward was pretty bad, Furbush responded, “I’ve heard worse. My name is ‘Furbush.’ Kids can be so cruel. So so cruel.”