In case you were out dressed up as Grimace to serve as a decoy for a hamburger-related heist, here’s what you missed in sports on Thursday.
- The Denver Nuggets stayed hot, winning their 12th straight at home, 107-92, over the Los Angeles Clippers. Denver pulled away late, despite the mind games of Blake Griffin. Nuggets forward Andre Iguodala said after the game, “Blake kept calling me the Iguanodon, which I get, but he also kept calling [Nuggets center] Kosta Koufos the Koufosaurus. I don’t even think that’s a real dinosaur.” When asked what he was up to, Griffin responded, “I just think dinosaurs are cool,” before jutting out his mouthguard and winking.
- The Pittsburgh Penguins stormed back from a three-goal deficit to beat the Flyers in Philadelphia, 5-4. I’m sorry, I mean the city formerly known as Philadelphia, which is now officially Philahellphia, as the local government has been seized by enraged Flyers fans. Martial law currently reigns in the city, with sober rationality the only official crime on the books. Fortunately, this has caused nothing to change for the citizens of Philahellphia in the aftermath of this rare American coup d’etat.
- Marian Gaborik scored a game-winning power-play goal as the New York Rangers beat the New York Islanders in overtime, 2-1. “That’ll show the help at my beach house,” said obscenely wealthy New York real estate magnate T. Chelson Whitherford. “Just kidding,” he said, with a chuckle. “I don’t allow them to watch hockey. Far too violent. Just dressage highlights playing on a loop for them while we’re in the city.”
- Oklahoma City won their interconference showdown with the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden, 95-94. J.R. Smith had a season-high 36 points for New York, although he missed a buzzer-beater that would’ve given the Knicks the win. Smith said after the game, “Man, if that had gone in, it would have been Smithsteria, or Psychosmith, or Hallusmithations, or Obsmithstion, or Crazismith. I should probably spend less time thinking of sweet nicknames for myself, huh? Wait for it JRlienation.”
- The Michigan State Spartans routed the Wisconsin Badgers in East Lansing, 58-43, remaining in contention for a share of the Big Ten regular season title. Badgers head coach Bo Ryan said of the loss, “We did everything we wanted on offense, but we just let the pace of the game get away from us defensively in the second half.” Ryan planned to slow down the tempo of the Gregorian chants he plays during practices to reinforce his team’s unique “Glacier offense” philosophy.
- Colorado kept things interesting in the Pac-12, locking down an NCAA tournament bid with a 76-53 win over Oregon, despite the absence of the nation’s top rebounder, Andre Roberson. The Ducks were done in by a particularly poor shooting night. Oregon head coach Dana Altman admitted after the game, “I might have overcoached the situation, telling my team to miss all those outside shots. And inside shots. And free throws.”
- League sources told ESPN that the Big East is planning to rename itself the “America 12 Conference,” after its break with the so-called Catholic 7 schools, who will retain the Big East name. What was unreported is that those “league sources” were actually Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany, who wanted to get in on the ground floor of making fun of another conference’s name. “I’ve heard every joke imaginable about Leaders and Legends and the fact that we have more than 10 schools while our name is the Big Ten. So let me just say, America 12? More like oh, no. I’ve got nothing. No wait America 12? More like no, that doesn’t work. Damn it, damn it. One more try. America 12? More like ‘Leaders and Legends’ 12, am I right?” ESPN sources told me that no one laughed at Delany, and the entire situation was “as awkward as the name America 12,” which Delany has reportedly tried to use as his own joke.
- Tottenham Hotspur dominated Inter Milan in Europa League play, winning 3-0, at White Hart Lane. Once again, Gareth Bale starred for Spurs, scoring his 14th goal in 14 matches. However, Tottenham will have to make do without Bale’s services in the return leg, as he was booked for diving. When asked about the booking in his postmatch interview, Bale called it “persecution for how I stand,” before falling over, getting up, falling over again, getting up again, briefly regaining his balance, smiling, and then falling over again.
- The Chicago White Sox and pitcher Chris Sale agreed to a five-year, $32.5 million deal. “We think the deal looks great for us and Chris,” said White Sox general manager Rick Hahn. “Although I got a weird call from [Oakland A’s general manager] Billy Beane, who said, ‘You fool! You promised me that if I secured the Crystal of Argozyne, I would get Sale. You betrayed me for the last time, Kenny.’ I told him that Kenny Williams had been fired, and he quickly hung up. It was weird. Does anyone know what the Crystal of Argozyne is?” Meanwhile in Oakland, Beane was seen entering his office with A’s Director of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi. A horrifying, otherworldly howl then emanated from behind his door, before Beane emerged minutes later wearing a dark purple cloak. Zaidi has not been seen since.