AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
Leave it to Kobe to make the duck face intimidating.
On the court, on the diamond or at the track, it was Déjà vu all over again this weekend. We saw familiar foes win the rights to face each other in the NBA Finals, another pitcher achieve perfection on the mound, and Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals go back-and-forth and back again. Intrigued?
Boston, meet LA. LA, meet Boston. Oh, you’ve met before?
Two of the NBA’s most historic franchises, the Celtics and the Lakers, played their way into the NBA Finals this weekend. This sets up the 12th meeting between the Celtics and the Lakers in the finals, the last time being in 2008 when the Celtics won in six games. Good news for Boston fans, the Celtics are 9-2 all-time against the Lakers in the finals. Good news for Lakers fans, Kobe Bryant’s still on your team.
The Cs earned the trip thanks to a 96-84 win over the Magic in Game 6 Friday night. With the victory, Boston not only avoided the biggest playoff collapse in NBA history, it earned a chance to win an unprecedented 18th NBA title. But we’ll see what the Lakers have to say about that. They earned their own trip to the Promised Land courtesy of a 111-103 win over the Suns Saturday in their own Game 6. This is the third straight year the Lakers have advanced to the finals (they lead the NBA with 31 trips overall). Fair warning: when the Finals start Thursday (enough rest for you, boys?!?) brace yourselves for plenty of Magic-Bird references.
All these outs in a row look strangely familiar
Seriously? Only 20 perfect games in the history of major league baseball and two of the happen in the same month? This latest bout of perfection came courtesy of Roy Halladay, who tossed a gem Saturday in Philadelphia’s 1-0 win over the Marlins. Ready to be wowed with statistics? This is only the second time there have been two perfect games in a season, and the first was in 1880, when the first two perfect games in major league history were thrown. Does that even count?! Throw in Ubaldo Jimenez’s no-no from earlier this year, and that makes this season only the third season in major league history in which there were three no-hitters before June 1. We guess chicks now dig the fastball.
If Halladay was the high on the diamond this weekend, Kendry Morales was certainly the low. Or, he was the high, then the low — he hit a walkoff grand slam to launch the Angels over the Mariners, 5-1, on Sunday, then broke his leg in a celebration at home plate. Morales had to be carted off the field, and is now on the DL. It was a freak accident, for sure. Though we can’t say we haven’t seen this sort of thing before.
You take the lead. Oh, no, you take it. After you, good sir. No, no, after you …
The Blackhawks defeated the Flyers, 6-5, in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals Saturday, but it was not without a lot of back-and-forth. We saw five different instances when the game was tied (not counting 0-0): 1-1, 2-2, 3-3, 4-4, and 5-5. Oddly enough, this was familiar territory for the Blackhawks. The only other time in Stanley Cup Finals history where the score was tied five times was Chicago’s 8-7 win over Montreal in Game 5 of the 1973 Finals.
After defeating Philly 2-1 last night, the Blackhawks now hold a 2-0 series lead over the Flyers. A Game 3 loss at home may be exactly the type of Déjà vu the Flyers are looking for. Being down 0-3 worked out really well for them against the Bruins.
Landon dishes out second helpings
The U.S. men's soccer team needed one in the win column, and the team got it in the form of a comeback 2-1 victory over Turkey Saturday in the team’s last exhibition game before leaving for South Africa. The Americans trailed, 1-0, after a goal in the 27th minute by Turkey's Arda Turan, but Landon Donovan set up second-half goals by Jozy Altidore (58th minute) and Clint Dempsey (75th minute) to give Team USA the W. If only Landon had the same wherewithal back at the office.
Chip could get used to this whole Victory Lane thing
It’s been oh-so-long since we’ve seen Ashley Judd in the stands at a Kentucky basketball game, but fear not! Her husband, Dario Franchitti, won his second Indy 500 (he also won at the Brickyard in 2007) so she's regained her status as American's Favorite Fan. More importantly, however, Franchitti's win made team owner Chip Ganassi the first owner to win Indy and NASCAR’s Daytona 500 in the same year, as Ganassi driver Jamie McMurray won the Great American Race back in February. As far as we know, McMurray is not married to a member of the Judd family, though. So, advantage, Franchitti.