13) Boston 92, Toronto 87 (Celtics win 4-3)
— Celtics held Toronto to 16 points in 4th quarter.
— Teams combined to make 17-66 on the arc.
— Jayson Tatum led Boston with 29 points.
— Celtics advance to the Eastern Conference final.
12) Nuggets 111, LA Clippers 105 (LA leads 3-2)
— Denver outscored LA 38-25 in 4th quarter to stay alive.
— Michael Porter scored Denver’s last 7 points, his only points of the game.
11) Tampa Bay 11, Red Sox 1— Rays are first team since at least 1900 to start nine lefty hitters in a game, with none of them switch-hitters.
10) Two more random facts from Thursday’s NFL games:
— There were only five plays of 20+ yards in Thursday’s game; Chiefs had two of them. Last year, Kansas City averaged 4.25 plays/game of 20+ yards
— Chiefs had a 15-yard advantage in average field position, which is unusually big.
9) Happy birthday to the great NBA player Bob Lanier, who turned 72 this week; to show how great Lanier was in college, he led St Bonaventure to the 1971 Final Four. Think about that; St Bonaventure is located in the middle of freakin’ nowhere, in the southern tier of central New York; for them to make the Final Four was amazing.
He was a great college player, but tore his knee up in the regional final, when Villanova’s Chris Ford rolled up on his knee. Ironically, Lanier/Ford later wound up as NBA teammates with the Pistons.
8) I was at an AAU tournament in Las Vegas a few years ago, at Bishop Gorman HS, two games going on at once. I’m sitting in the bleachers by myself, behind one couple.
Being AAU ball, when the coach’s cellphone buzzes that he got a text while the game is going on, the guy takes the phone out and reads the text. Why?
He turns around, looks at the couple in front of me and snaps, “If you text me again, he’ll never get in!!!”
The couple wanted their kid to play more; I couldn’t laugh in their faces, so I went to the concession stand. Good stuff.
7) Unsolicited opinions: best-ever play-by-play announcers by sport:
— MLB— Vin Scully
— NFL— Al Michaels
— NBA— Mike Breen
— NHL— Mike Emrick/Dan Kelly
— College hoop— Dick Enberg
— College football— Keith Jackson
6) Phillies’ pitcher Zach Wheeler makes $22M this year; he is now on the IL after tearing the fingernail on the middle finger of his pitching hand while he was putting his pants on.
Wheeler is 4-0, 2,47 in 8 starts; he is really good, but he got hurt putting his pants on.
5) Giant-Padre games for Friday/Saturday were postponed after a Giants’ player tested positive for COVID.
4) Dr Fauci was on TV today telling the truth, because someone needs to; the moderator said they were glad he was speaking, but they were also afraid he would get fired soon.
They can’t fire him; every TV network in the country (except FOX) would be throwing lucrative offers at him, to get his commentary on their station. He’d definitely get his own show, if he wanted one.
3) Sounds like November will be a very quiet month TV-wise, with only football going on until maybe college hoop starts around Thanksgiving. Good news, then, that the NBA now plans to hold their draft November 18, so that’ll provide one night of entertainment.
2) September 11, 1985— Pete Rose set the all-time hits record, getting a hit off of Eric Show of the Padres. Sadly, September 11 is now an infamous date in American history, because of the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers and Pentagon.
1) If the baseball playoffs started today (they do not):
AL East- Tampa Bay, Toronto
AL Central- Chicago, Minnesota
AL West- Oakland, Houston
AL Wild Cards- Cleveland, New York
NL East- Atlanta, Philadelphia
NL Central- Chicago, St Louis
NL West- Los Angeles, San Diego
NL Wild Cards- Miami, San Francisco