Weekend Recap: Underdogs Bite Back, Coyotes Howl Seven, And Timothy Toone Becomes Irrelevant


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The Phoenix Coyotes are 60 minutes away from their first-ever series victory.

With a week of playoff basketball in the books, one thing's for certain: LeBron James is really good. But that's not really news to anyone, is it? What is noteworthy is the fact that Western Conference underdogs pack a mean bite. The top-seeded Lakers held home-court in L.A., but the "Baby Thunder," led by NBA scoring champ Kevin Durant, showed age ain't nothin' but a number, winning Game Four by a decisive 21 points and evened the series at two games a piece. The Suns ran into similar trouble. After winning Games Two and Three by an average margin of 24 points, Brandon Roy returned to the Blazers lineup and ignited Portland to a 96-87 Game Four win, also tying the series at two.

And a couple of these underdogs are one game away from moving onto the next round. Over in Texas, the Spurs keep finding new ways to beat the Mavericks. Last night, George Hill dropped 29 points of knowledge on Cuban's Boys, becoming the first Spurs not named "Manu," "Tony" or "Tim" to lead San Antonio in scoring since the first round of 2007. And in Utah, Deron Williams continued his insanity, piling up 24 points and 13 assists, to leave the Nuggets scratching their heads. With Sunday's performance, Williams joined Oscar Robertson, Kevin Johnson and Magic Johnson, as the only players in NBA history to tally at least 20 points and 10 assists in the first four games of a playoff series.

In some colder news, the defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins advanced passed the Senators in six games after Pascal Dupuis scored the game-winner in overtime. Sidney Crosby leads the NHL with 14 playoff points. His play has been so impressive that he's even getting awarded points on days off. For those of you looking for a hockey feel-good story, the Coyotes have forced a Game Seven against the Red Wings which will be played Tuesday night. Detroit has won 11 Stanley Cups while the Coyotes have never won a playoff series since moving to Phoenix from Winnipeg in 1996.

Here's something you don't hear often: the division-leading Padres had their eight-game win streak snapped by the Reds on Sunday. It must be the water in California because the A's are also leading their division with a 12-8 record. And if it is the water, the Red Sox should fly some over to the East Coast. Boston is 8-11 and just 5-8 at home. In 2009, the Red Sox were 56-25 at Fenway. Only the Yanks had a better home record.

And then of course there was Saturday's NFL Draft finale. First off, we'd like to congratulate Weber State wideout Timothy Toone. The Lions selected him with the final pick in the 2010 NFL draft making him "Mr. Irrelevant." But Detroit wasn't the only perennial cellar dweller to get in on the action this weekend; Oakland traded for Redskins QB Jason Campbell. The Raiders added a year to his existing contract, the quarterback told ESPN.com's Matt Mosley. Somewhere in Raiderville JaMarcus Russell is waving a white flag. And being the new guy in town, Pete Carroll figured he throw his hat in the mix. Seattle's first-year coach acquired Leon Washington from the Jets and former Trojan LenDale White from the Titans. As the Bayside Tigers always say, "Friends Forever."