In case you were busy giving it just one more try in Lep's World 2, seriously, just one more, GODDAMNIT, here's what you missed in sports last weekend:
Overcoming a fearsome Merion course, Justin Rose secured his first major win, finishing the U.S. Open at 1-over and relegating Phil Mickelson to yet another second-place finish at the country's most challenging golf tournament. Mickelson, visibly disappointed by his finish, found himself alone at the driving range hours after the tournament, well after the sun had set. He was hitting ball after ball, trying to find the swing he would need to finally vanquish the tournament that had haunted him throughout his otherwise storied career. Suddenly, an ethereal figure emerged from the darkness, walking toward Mickelson's tee box. Mickelson shouted down the range, "Who's that? I coulda killed you out there." The ethereal figure calmly replied, "No sir. I set myself directly in front of you. Judging by how's you was hitting them balls I figured that's how I'd be out of harm's way." Mickelson then replied, "I was hitting fades," and ripped a drive right into the ethereal man's forehead, instantly knocking him unconscious, before saying under his breath, "Coulda used you on the putting green, motherfucker."
Behind another big game from Danny Green, the San Antonio Spurs grabbed a critical NBA Finals win over the Miami Heat, 114-104, and will head back to Miami for the final two games with a 3-2 series advantage. Noted Frenchman Boris Diaw, another key cog in the Spurs' win by effectively neutralizing LeBron James in limited minutes, said after the game, "To me, defense is not a denial, so much as it is an affirmation. There are baskets that have not yet been made, and never shall be, and my artistry comes about in their non-manifestation. Right now, I make art. As no one is making a basket. Also now. And now. And now. But not now, for on the streets of Roanoke, in the moment I said the word now, a young boy made his very first basket. And my artistry was denied as I was unable to stop it. But right now. Then, that now? That was art." Diaw then smiled smugly, before pulling a lit Gauloise out of Kawhi Leonard's nostril.
In case you were busy accidentally watching a performance art piece in which the notion of sports was approached from many perspectives without any sports actually happening, here's what you missed in sports last weekend:
The Miami Heat bounced back from their Game 1 defeat to even the NBA Finals with a 103-84 win over the San Antonio Spurs. Despite the win, questions must be asked of LeBron James, who was held to only 17 points, and I'm not afraid to be the one to take it right to James and throw it down, to split this whole issue wide open, so
OH ARE THERE QUESTIONS? LOOK AT THE RING ON MY FINGER AND ASK ME A QUESTION. HUH? WHAT QUESTION DO YOU HAVE TO ASK THE KING? IS IT "WHO BROKE INTO YOUR HOUSE AND ANSWERED ALL YOUR QUESTIONS?" BECAUSE I THINK THAT'S THE QUESTION YOU SHOULD BE ASKING.
Holy crap guys. I'm not positive, but based on the welt on my forehead and the above text, I think LeBron James just came out of nowhere, broke into my house, knocked me out, and typed up a vicious and unexpected rejection to my question. Well, um, asked and answered. I'm going to go lock my door. Moving on.
In case you were busy WATCHING GAME OF THRONES OH MY GOD YOU GUYS, here's what you missed in sports last weekend:
The Chicago Blackhawks took a 2-0 series lead on the Los Angeles Kings with a 4-2 win at United Center. The loss was as bad for the Kings as oh no. I want to spoil Game of Thrones’ most recent episode so badly with this punch line. Not going to. This is a safe place. OK here is a spoiler-free Kings/Game of Thrones punch line to that setup: I CAN'T DO IT OH MY GOD GUYS. GUYS. GUYS. YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN? DO YOU SEE THE PARALLELS? OK. OK. Just, um, OK, I'll set it up again, and do something else: The loss was as bad for the Kings as oh this is hopeless. As hopeless as the oh man, that was close to being a spoiler again. As close as Arya was to ah! It's impossible! As impossible as no! This has to stop. As much as Joffrey has to stop OK I owe it to you all to walk away. And much as the Lannisters do, I always pay my debts, even if they end in — AHHH!
Bankers Life Fieldhouse again proved an uncrackable vault for a Pacers opponent as Indiana forced a deciding Game 7 in the Eastern Conference finals with a 91-77 win over the Miami Heat. Dwyane Wade was again ineffective in the loss, scoring 10 points on 3-of-11 shooting despite 34 minutes on the floor. "It doesn't make any sense," Wade said in the locker room after the game. "Why would I be breaking down?" Just then, Chris Bosh yelled, "does anyone have any lip balm?" and Wade sprang into action, running past three journalists and a towel boy, drawing contact from all four before falling violently to the ground, and retrieving an extra tube of lip balm from a duffel bag he had stashed by the showers. Wade then got up limping and staggered over to Bosh, who high-fived Wade hard enough to send him flying into Mario Chalmers's locker. Wade then got up again, grimaced, and doubled over in pain, before dragging himself back to his own locker. "Again, it doesn't make any sense. A guy like me should be able to play forever."
In case you were busy ironing all of your white pants, here's what you missed in sports last weekend:
LeBron James set up shop in the post as the Miami Heat had a 70-point first half en route to a comfortable 114-96 win over the Indiana Pacers as they took a 2-1 Eastern Conference finals lead. Chris "Birdman" Andersen, who continued his stellar play in the series, going 4-for-4 from the field while scoring nine points and hauling in nine rebounds in limited minutes, said after the game, "I feel like no one takes me seriously. Sure I have a lot of tattoos, and a Mohawk, and crazy eyes, and by 'no one takes me seriously' I mean no one wants to join me after the season at the cliffs of Dover to see if the Birdman can fly, but caw! Caw caw!" When asked why he was cawing, Andersen replied, "I'm sorry, I couldn't hear you, I was too busy caw cawing."
Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs are one game away from the NBA Finals after beating the Memphis Grizzlies, 104-93, in overtime. Duncan chalked the win up to "playing slightly better basketball than our opponent." When asked to elaborate, Duncan added, "Over the course of the game we scored more points, which is how wins and losses are decided in basketball. Additionally, winning feels good, so we pursue that through playing the game well." When asked if there was anything he wanted to add on a personal level, Duncan said, "Well, I am a person, if that's what you mean. I suppose I could add that I am alive, I went to college, and I have a job as a basketball man." When asked if he had had any interesting thought in the past 15 years, Duncan said, "I saw a cloud once, and a friend I was with said it looked like a lion, but I corrected him explaining it was an altocumulus … hey where are you going? I also know things about stamps and actuarial tables."
In case you were out welcoming summer by busting out the old double Dutch (and failing, because double-Dutching is really hard, guys, stop laughing) here's what you missed in sports last weekend:
The New York Knicks were eliminated in six games by the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference semifinals. The defeat proves their season, in which they won their first division championship since 1994 and 50 games for the first time since 2000, was an utter and abysmal failure. Their capitulation to a comparably good team that was able to steal an early game at Madison Square Garden and then hold serve at its home arena, which was among the hardest places to get a win in the NBA all season, further proves that the team needs to be torn down, because the guys on the Knicks just don't care enough. Sure, they were a magnificent block from one of the few true centers left in the game away from forcing a Game 7 at home, but I think it's clear, based on this series, that the New York Chokes (clever nickname, eh?) are the lousiest bunch of basketball players the NBA has ever seen, and they should return their salaries to team owner James Dolan before turning themselves into the NYPD for crimes against the state.
Oxbow upset Kentucky Derby winner Orb to win the Preakness Stakes after going out as a 15-1 longshot. The win was a boon for the small population of semi-literate foodies, who misread the horse's name and have little understanding of how horse racing works, as they placed large amounts of money banking on the resurgent popularity of the ingredient oxtail to carry the day. In somewhat related news, someone in Florida just won $600 million playing Powerball.
In case you were busy asking, "yeah, but when is Spoiled Only-Child Day?" here's what you missed in sports last weekend:
Tiger Woods won his second career Players Championship and his fourth PGA Tour event this year, finishing the tournament at 13-under. Woods benefited from Sergio Garcia's quadruple-bogey on TPC's iconic 17th hole. "I can't believe it," Tiger said after the tournament, "I thought for sure I was in trouble. You don't just stare down Sergio Garcia and live to tell the tale. I'm shocked that he made it easy for me. Shoooooocked." When told of Woods's comments, Garcia said, "Why? What's his problem, man? Guy has everything. He has a boat that holds other boats in it. He has a trophy case that is just all of the trophies he doesn't like melted down and turned into a trophy case. Why's he gotta come after me? What's he compensating for? What trouble has Tiger f-ing Woods ever had to deal with? Can we talk about that for a second? Can we talk about Tiger Woods's hypothetical personal troubles?" When told of Garcia's questions, Woods asked, "Wasn't he married to Greg Norman's daughter?" before winking provocatively at the press corps. When told of Tiger's wink, Sergio let out a frustrated scream. When told of Sergio's scream, Tiger let out a sarcastic chuckle. When told of Tiger's sarcastic chuckle, Sergio sighed. When told of Sergio's sigh, Tiger fist-pumped. When told of Tiger's fist pump, Sergio's lip began to quiver. When told of Sergio's lip quiver, Tiger didn't look up from his dinner of truffles and lobsters. When told of Tiger's feast, Sergio let one tear trickle down his cheek. When told of Sergio's tear, Tiger turned his laptop toward the reporter talking to him; the laptop had a really smug animated GIF playing on loop. When told of Tiger's GIF burn, Sergio asked, "Isn't that pronounced with a hard 'G,' like Garcia?" But it isn't, and when a reporter went to tell Tiger of Sergio's foolishness, he was too busy watching someone polishing his trophy case made of trophies to acknowledge the reporter's existence.
Even with Stephen Curry at less than full strength, the Golden State Warriors evened up their series with the San Antonio Spurs with a 97-87 overtime win. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was concerned after the game, saying, "Now that Curry is banged up, Mark Jackson discovered he's allowed to rest him. That sprained ankle cost us a massive competitive advantage in this series."
In case you were busy stirring up debate, here's what you missed in sports last weekend.
LeBron James was a near unanimous choice for the NBA's Most Valuable Player award, securing 120 of the 121 available votes. About Last Night is all about starting debate, not shying away from controversy, and being real with the audience, so we salute the brave soul who decided that Carmelo Anthony had a better season than LeBron James. Unfortunately, that voter, who remains anonymous as of press time, didn't go far enough, placing James second on his ballot. That's no way to start a real debate about value in the NBA! For those interested in engaging in the debate, the official ALN MVP ballot (which was submitted to the NBA in the hopes that they would include it, though ALN is, despite much public pressure, still denied a vote) will be revealed at the end of this column.
The Chicago Bulls, again playing without Luol Deng, who was suffering the aftereffects of a spinal-tap procedure gone awry, still managed to close out the Brooklyn Nets, 99-93, to set up a second-round matchup with the Miami Heat. Now I know a lot of people in Chicago are up in arms about whether Deng and Derrick Rose should be playing at less than 100 percent. Here's my thing: I don't think any Chicago Bulls should be playing. Carlos Boozer's steadfast refusal to sit out games is an affront to sports, and he should not be allowed to continue any longer.
In case you were busy on eBay trying to unload your Tim Tebow Jets jersey, here's what you missed in sports last weekend:
The San Antonio Spurs dispatched the Los Angeles Lakers, 103-82, to advance to the Western Conference semifinals. Lakers center Dwight Howard, who was ejected from the game after getting two technical fouls, said after the game, "Gotcha! Oh, man, that was hilarious! Classic Howard. I was all like, 'T me up! I totally want to never play basketball in a Lakers uniform again,' and they totally did! Joke's on them! I'm pranking people left and right! L.A. is Prank City!" When asked if this meant he was going to re-sign with L.A., Howard's demeanor quickly shifted. "Absolutely not," he said. "This has been the worst year of my life."
Stephen Curry drained six 3-pointers as the Golden State Warriors beat the Denver Nuggets 115-101 in a pivotal Game 4. "Do I feel threatened by Curry? Absolutely not; my legacy is intact," said TNT analyst Reggie Miller after the game. Miller then wiped the steam off his bathroom mirror and examined his temples. Were they grayer than the day prior? "Perhaps," Miller said to himself, "but that just means you're getting wiser. More mature. And some punk kid in Oakland can't take that away from you."
In case you were busy devising an elaborate fake game show so you could injure otherwise forgotten celebrities, here's what you missed in sports last weekend:
LeBron James flirted with, but fell two assists shy of, a triple-double as his Miami Heat throttled the Milwaukee Bucks, 110-87, to begin their NBA title defense. "Yeah, I saw her across the court," James said of the triple-double. "And you know I was interested, so I said, 'What's up,' bought her a vodka soda, asked the triple-double about her interests. Stuff like that. I mean, there was some chemistry. We had some stuff in common: She's associated with three statistics; I have three MVPs. Stuff like that, you know? But some nights it's not about the triple-double. You aren't generous enough to get her, and that's OK. You learn from that. Triple-doubles aren't objects. Triple-doubles are unique snowflakes, and sometimes, they aren't yours to possess. I mean, we aren't all Oscar Robertson. He once said he had 10,000 triple-doubles. That number's probably too high, but we all know the guy was a player."
The San Antonio Spurs took care of business with a 91-79 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday. The Spurs overcame the Lakers' perceived advantage inside, which exists because people forget how good Tim Duncan is. "Dwight should be dominating this game. What's going on?" asked self-described medium-core NBA fan Paul Witten of Dallas. "Wait, Tim Duncan's PER was over 24? That's like, really good, yeah? Does everyone know that Tim Duncan is still Tim Duncan? Oh, man, this is what I get for tuning out the regular season when the Mavs went in the tank."
In case you were out busting people's chops and bringing them down a peg or two, here's what you missed in sports last weekend:
The Masters has a new champion: Adam Scott defeated Angel Cabrera in a tense two-hole playoff to win his first major at Augusta National. But don't get too comfortable, Mr. Scott. You still have a generic moniker that you share with both an actor and (for the most part) a cartoonist. This means that many people will still picture another man's face when they hear your name, despite your mastery of hitting tiny balls into faraway holes. Hi-yo! Yes! Adam Scott's chops: busted.
The Atlanta Braves improved to an NL best 11-1, as they completed a sweep of the Washington Nationals with a 9-0 road win. But don't get too cocky, Atlanta Braves. Of the last three teams to start 11-1, only one made the playoffs. Therefore, your odds of making the playoffs, 1-3, are the same as they were when you started the season, 10-30. Small sample sized! Ka-pow! You thought you were on the top peg, Braves of Atlanta. Now what peg are you on? I bet it's the second or third one down!
Kobe Bryant suffered a devastating Achilles injury that will keep the future Hall of Famer out for the remainder of this season, as well as the beginning of the next campaign. But don't get too all up on your high horse, people who don't like the Los Angeles Lakers. Not only did the Lakers win both of their games this weekend to increase their odds of qualifying for the postseason, but also, Kobe Bryant has still won five championships, become a legend in the second-biggest city in America, and amassed a personal fortune from playing a child's game that will be used to purchase medical care that will ensure that, despite his Achilles tear, he will live a healthier, longer, and more comfortable life than yours. Buh-zing! Sing, oh muses, of the fortunes of Kobe's haters: "Not so great!" Homer'd!
In case you were busy writing a sports recap column in which you carefully embedded subtle Game of Thrones spoilers, here's what you missed in sports this weekend:
It wasn't easy, but the top-seeded Louisville Cardinals will be playing for the NCAA Championship after beating the Wichita State Shockers, 72-68. "This is my favorite time of the year; Cinderella is dead," Louisville coach Rick Pitino declared as he smashed a glass slipper at his postgame press conference. When asked what he does with the glass slipper when his team fails to defeat an underdog, Pitino replied, "What do you mean? These are my slippers. It's not like I get these specially made for this occasion. That would be weird."
The Michigan Wolverines stormed out early and held on late, topping Syracuse, 61-56, to book a spot in the NCAA Championship game. "It's devastating," said Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim after the game. "Is there a 2-3 defense for the heart? Is there a rotating big man who can stop the tears?" When asked if perhaps he should develop an offensive plan to attack his emotions, Boeheim responded, "Why would you do something like that?"
In case you were busy planning the ultimate prank (hint: you need Krazy Glue, a dozen Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, and three rubber snakes), here's what you missed in sports last weekend.
Despite a gruesome leg injury to reserve forward Kevin Ware, Louisville knocked off Duke, 85-63, to book a spot in the Final Four. "Man, that's the worst thing that I've ever seen on a basketball court," said Louisville coach Rick Pitino at his postgame press conference, "and I'm not talking about the refereeing. Zing. But seriously, I'm just gutted by what I saw today. Really soul-shaking stuff out there. And not just the refereeing — I'm sorry, I just can't stop zinging those guys. I know this isn't the time. Much as it wasn't the time for them to call a foul on every play right after Kevin hurt his leg. Damn it! Must. Stop. Zinging. Refs."
Brittney Griner and the Baylor Lady Bears were shocked by the Louisville Cardinals in the regional semifinals of the Women's NCAA Tournament, 82-81. "Can you dunk away the tears?" Griner asked her teammates after the game, before a horrifying wave of loneliness washed over her as she realized she was the only person in the room who could answer that question. Griner was later seen, alone in the deserted Chesapeake Energy Arena, yelling, "I feel nothing!" as she dunked ball after ball through the unguarded nets.
In case you were busy soothing your aching joints with an old-fashioned Epsom salt soak, here's what you missed in sports last weekend.
The NCAA tournament Sweet 16 is set, and the biggest story thus far has been the run of Florida Gulf Coast University, who find themselves among college basketball's elite after an 81-71 win over San Diego State. Based on all my knowledge of the school from before the tournament started, "FGCU," which has probably been around for over a decade, has amassed a number of victories on their way to becoming a true school where NCAA basketball is played. The team features players, of which five play on the court at the same time, barring truly unusual circumstances, who shoot basketballs toward baskets, which is a thing those players do to get basketball points. They employ strategies regarding where they should run so that they can shoot basketballs from preferable positions, implemented by a coach with a unique backstory that I remember hearing about once but mostly forget. He might have been a baron of some sort? So mark it down in your personalized line drawing of college names: Florida Gulf Coast University is a school from Florida, probably located along the gulf coast, that plays basketball and is eligible for advancement in the NCAA basketball tournament. Up next for Florida Gulf Coast University is the University of Florida, a school that is also run by the state of Florida. Expect basketball shots, two strategic men telling basketball players what to do, and collusion.
Louisville, the tournament's no. 1 seed, advanced to the Round of 16 after dismantling Colorado State, 82-56, at the University of Kentucky's home court, Rupp Arena. Louisville head coach Rick Pitino said after the game, "Man, it's nice to be back at the old stomping ground, playing out of the home locker room. Hey, has anyone heard how the Wildcats are doing? No? Yeah, no, me neither. That's really unusual. But hey, tell John, old friend of mine, 'Thanks for the hospitality.' Also, we used all of the condiments that were in the fridge here. Hope that's not a problem."
In case you were murdered on the steps of some forum or another Friday, here's what you missed in sports this weekend:
The NCAA tournament field is set with Kansas, Indiana, Louisville, and Gonzaga your four top seeds for March Madness. Expect upsets this year, as Louisville, despite being named the top overall seed, was drawn into the presumptive "group of death," featuring such dangerous teams as Duke, St. Louis, and Michigan State. Also, Gonzaga faces a potentially tough early round game against Pittsburgh oh, god, I'm talking myself into it who, based on advanced statistics, could actually be a slight favorite over the Zags DON'T DO IT; DON'T PICK PITTSBURGH making Pittsburgh my upset special of the tournament NOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
Surprisingly omitted from the top line of the NCAA Tournament were the Miami Heat, who won their 22nd consecutive game Sunday, beating the Toronto Raptors, 108-91. "Who needs this NCAA crap," Miami forward LeBron James said after the game, before teammate Shane Battier handed him an economic study on the long-term earning effects of college educations that he had co-authored during the offseason with Duke economics professor Arnaud Maurel.
In case you were busy trying to remember Della Reese's name (it's Della Reese), here's what you missed in sports last weekend.
Despite an off night from LeBron James, his Miami Heat got their 18th consecutive win, 105-91, over the Indiana Pacers. After the game, diminutive Heat point guard Mario Chalmers, who led his team with 26 points, said, "Finally, it's my Miami Heat." Chalmers beamed and pointed at himself with both thumbs until Heat forward Chris Bosh patronizingly patted him on the head, saying, "Sure it is, little buddy." Chalmers sulked away as both Bosh and Dwyane Wade laughed at his expense. "Why won't they let me have this?" Chalmers asked himself while crouched inside of his locker.
Indiana won a thriller in Ann Arbor to take home the Big Ten championship, beating the Michigan Wolverines, 72-71. Michigan point guard Trey Burke's potential game-winning layup hung on the rim, bouncing three times before falling out, costing him and his team a share of the Big Ten title in what might be his last regular season game as a member of the Wolverines. So in case you find yourself talking to Trey Burke at some point in the next 20 years, now you'll know exactly what he's replaying in his mind while he stares off into the distance with a glazed-over look in his eye.