In case you were busy getting your NIT bracket in before tipoff, here’s what you missed in sports on Monday:
- The Miami Heat secured their 23rd consecutive victory, overcoming Jeff Green’s 43 points to grab sole possession of the second longest winning streak in NBA history, as they edged the Boston Celtics, 105-103. “That has a nice, non-confrontational ring to it,” said Heat forward LeBron James after the game. “‘Second best of all time.’ Maybe people can just say that about me. And just leave it at that. Really. I don’t care at this point.”
- Not to be outdone, the Denver Nuggets won their 12th consecutive game, overcoming 34 points from Nate Robinson to beat the Chicago Bulls, 119-118, in overtime at the United Center. “That has a nice non-confrontational ring to it,” said Nuggets head coach George Karl. “Second best team in the NBA hold on, I seem to be getting a call.” Karl then looked at his phone before sheepishly muting the ringer. “It was Coach Pop. I’ll call him back How about third best team in the NBA?”
- Also unwilling to be outdone, the Philadelphia 76ers, who got news that center Andrew Bynum will miss the remainder of the season after getting additional surgery on his injured knee, won their second consecutive game, beating the Portland Trail Blazers, 101-100. “Two wins in a row, that has a nice non-confrontational ring to it. Hopefully that will get the fans off of our backs for a second,” said Philadelphia head coach Doug Collins, who didn’t realize that he was being urinated on by Philadelphia superfan Gene Fallows.
- The Los Angeles Lakers, playing without an injured Kobe Bryant, lost to the Phoenix Suns, 99-76. The game was fraught with awkwardness, given the history between all the parties involved. Unfortunately, the Phoenix fans and Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni couldn’t help but snipe at each other, even as they were trying to protect point guard Steve Nash from the awkwardness of the situation. “We just can’t believe that bastard wound up with custody,” said Suns owner Robert Sarver, who had maybe one too many glasses of rosé. “We expected weekends and every other Wednesday. Steve’s our baby, too! We love him, too. It just, it all just hurts so much.”
- The Chicago Blackhawks got revenge on the Colorado Avalanche, who stopped their 23-game not losing streak earlier this season, with a 5-2 win in Denver. Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane put an emphatic stamp on the win when, late in the game, he told Avalanche center Matt Duchene, “Revenge is a dish best served on ice,” before intentionally drawing an icing infraction. Kane was immediately taken off by Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville, who told his star winger that he expects “at least Batman Forever–level puns” from his team.
- Captain Carlos Bocanegra has been excluded from the U.S. Men’s National Team roster due to his lack of match fitness, as manager Jurgen Klinsmann named an inexperienced defensive corps for this week’s round of World Cup–qualifying matches. This won’t be a problem, as the U.S. has a relatively easy home match against Costa Rica, for which they’ll still be favored, and a road match against Mexico, for which an inexperienced back line will provide Klinsmann with a ready-made excuse for what promises to be a gruesome defeat.
- The Baylor Lady Bears were named the no. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament, with the rest of the top line filled out with the Notre Dame Lady Irish, the Connecticut Lady Huskies, and the Stanford “we’re not going to put a vaguely pejorative ‘lady’ in front of our mascot name just because it’s the women’s basketball team, I mean, come on, we’re Stanford” Cardinal.
- The Tennessee Titans released veteran quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and quickly replaced him with former Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. “It was a good move for the team,” said Titans head coach Mike Munchak. “When you have the chance to upgrade from Matt to Ryan, and you have Jake Locker and Rusty Smith already on board … oh, man, I can’t keep this up. I’m so getting fired, aren’t I? Just be honest with me. Someone please, for once, be honest with me.”
- The Dominican Republic rallied against the Netherlands to win, 4-1, and qualify for the World Baseball Classic Final against Puerto Rico. Although the Netherlands’ Cinderella story was cut short, they hope to retain their Korfball world championship, when the competition is held in Belgium in 2015. “If you guys think I’m good at baseball, you should see me play Korfball,” said Netherlands slugger Wladimir Balentien. “But you guys do think I’m good at baseball, right? Just be honest with me. Someone please, for once, be honest with me.”