WATERCOOLER CHAT: THUNDER MOVES ON, BULLS TAKE GAME ONE, YANKEES & RED SOX BRAWL

BASKETBALL

Sunday was a big day for NBA playoffs.

First up, it was the much anticipated Game 7 between the #8 underdog Memphis Grizzlies and the #4 Oklahoma City Thunder.  The prize?  A trip to the Western Conference Finals against the Dallas Mavericks.  These two teams have been at each other’s throats the past 2 weeks.  We’ve seen huge leads disappear, stars emerge (e.g. Zach Randolph for Memphis and James Harden for OKC), and even a nail-biting triple-overtime in a pivotal Game 4.  So it all came down to this.  Oklahoma City was favored given that they’re playing before their raucous home crowd, but the Grizzlies know how to win on the road.  The game stayed close at the beginning, but then the Thunder started to slowly build a lead.  In the second half, unfortunately for the Grizzlies, the Thunder caught fire from 3-point land and Memphis couldn’t buy a bucket.  Russell Westbrook had a triple-double for the Thunder, and Kevin Durant led all scorers with a whopping 39 points.  This game — the Thunder made a statement that they think they could win it all, not just the series, and they advanced to the NBA semifinals.  And anybody who thinks the Mavericks are destined to win this series will get a wake-up call watching old-man Jason Kidd trying to guard the blazing fast Russell Westbrook.  OKC 105, Memphis 90.

Next up, it was Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.  We’ve been used to seeing the Celtics in this series, but this year it was two newcomers:  The Chicago Bulls and the Miami Heat.  The Bulls showed that they are a well-rounded team that plays solid defense.  In a shocker, LeBron and Wade weren’t even the leading scorers for the Heat, it was Chris Bosh with 30 points.  And for the Bulls — they got big step-up nights from both Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng.  Many people think this is just the D-Rose show, but they’re wrong — the Bulls can beat you in many ways, and they crushed the Heat in the 4th quarter.  The Bulls take Game 1, and if you haven’t watched the NBA post-season yet, you will be absolutely dazzled watching Derrick Rose play.  Chicago 103, Miami 82.

BASEBALL

And in baseball, after a brawl between the Yankees and Red Sox, Boston was going for a series sweep last night against the Yanks.  The Yankees led 4-1 in the second inning, but in the 3rd, the Red Sox Kevin Youklis hit a 3-run blast to left-field to tie things up.  And then, there was no looking back for the Red Sox.  They got another insurance run off a David Ortiz homer, and then Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit one more smash in the 9th inning to make it 7-5, and that was all she wrote for the Yankees.  The Yankees have now lost 5 straight at home in the ultra-competitive AL East.  Boston 7, NY Yankees 5.

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