In case you were out living a life of leisure, here’s what you missed in sports over the weekend.
- The Clippers finished with a 28-3 run to stun the Grizzlies 99-98 in Memphis and take a 1-0 lead in the first round of the NBA playoffs. It didn’t help matters that a fatigued Zach Randolph spent the final eight minutes in a laundry bin, rowing himself up and down the court with a broom he stole from the custodial closet.
- Rajon Rondo was ejected after bumping a referee, and the Celtics fell to Josh Smith (22 points, 18 boards) and the Hawks 83-74 in Atlanta. After the game, Rondo tried to claim that the bump was a “sign of affection,” and was then forced to sell his story by finding the ref and giving him a really long hug. Sources report that during the embrace, Rondo’s terrifying, bulging eyes never once blinked.
- The Bulls took Game 1 against the 76ers, but point guard Derrick Rose went down with a torn ACL late in the fourth quarter that will keep him out of the playoffs and off the U.S. Olympic team. “What is this, Christmas morning?” said Oklahoma City and Spanish national team star Serge Ibaka, taking no steps to hide his total joy. “I am so happy!”
- In other first-round action, San Antonio took a 1-0 lead on Utah, the Lakers did the same to Denver, the Heat demolished the Knicks, the Thunder squeaked by the Mavs, and the Magic rallied past the Pacers. “Great day to have no ‘s’ in your team nickname,” said NBA trend watcher Jules Oleander, in his brief gossip segment “The Jules Rules” on the E! Network. “It’s all the buzz!”
- The second round is underway in the NHL playoffs, with Philadelphia claiming a 1-0 lead on New Jersey, the Rangers starting strong against Washington, Phoenix winning the first two over Nashville, and the L.A. Kings taking Game 1 on the road in St. Louis. In related news, my longstanding dream of St. Louis moving to Utah so the whitest state in the country can have teams called the “Jazz” and the “Blues” seems less likely all the time.
- Chris Capuano allowed three hits and no earned runs in 6⅓ innings as the Dodgers completed a sweep of the Nationals in a battle of division leaders. The L.A. wins spoiled the debut of Nationals phenom Bryce Harper, who learned quickly that despite his optimism, nothing ever changes in D.C.
- Gavin Floyd took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning in a 4-1 White Sox win over the Red Sox. Whites are also dominating reds in the actual sock world, except in the weird candy cane hobbit house where Dustin Pedroia lives.
- Rafael Nadal beat David Ferrer 7-6 (1), 7-5 at the Barcelona Open to become the first player in the Open Era to win two different tournaments (Barcelona, Monte Carlo) seven times. Speaking with reporters, Nadal credited his recent hot streak to the fact that he now saves energy by rigging a giant speaker near the chair umpire to play his voice shouting “Vamos!” whenever he wins a point.
- Jason Dufner, saddled with a reputation as a golfer who couldn’t seal the deal, won his first PGA Tour event on the second playoff hole over Ernie Els at the Zurich Classic. However, when he tried to kiss his wife during the trophy celebration, she leaned away and said, “You’re a nice guy, but it’s getting late and I should go home.”