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LAst Night's Action: Lakers Silence Thunder

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LA Lakers defeat Oklahoma City Thunder 111-87. Let them eat tacos! This was the Lakers’ team that everybody was expecting for the last two months. After the embarrassment on Saturday night in Oklahoma City, the Lakers made the Thunder pay in Game 5 at the Staples Center. Kobe Bryant wound up guarding Russell Westbrook and Pau Gasol moved closer to the perimeter unclogging the paint. The Lakers started off the game on a 14-1 run through the first half of the first quarter and held the Thunder to 26% shooting in the first frame. The Lakers never let up eventually leading by as many as 32 points with seconds left in the third quarter. Pau Gasol led all scorers with 25 points and 11 rebounds while Andrew Bynum also had a double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Kobe operated like a point guard controlling the flow of the offense scoring 13 points with seven assists. If NBA assists were tabulated like NHL assists, Kobe no doubt would have had a double-double also. While Derek Fisher was the lone starter not to score in double digits with six points, those six points he scored established the tone of the game in the first quarter.

NY Mets defeat LA Dodgers 4-0 Game 1. For the second consecutive game, the Dodgers were shut out of a game. This time Johan Santana while not the Cy Young master in this outing did enough to baffle the Dodgers. The Dodgers had a prime scoring chance in the second inning when they had the bases loaded, however pitcher Hiroki Kuroda came up and despite nine-pitch at-bat struck out swinging to end the threat. Meanwhile Kuroda made two mistakes - a wild pitch with the bases loaded in the second inning to plate a run and a fastball down the heart of the plate to Jason Bay in the fourth inning for his first homer of the season. The Mets scored two more runs in the seventh inning charged to Jon Link in his second outing for the Dodgers thanks to a Luis Castillo single off of Ramon Troncoso.

NY Mets defeat LA Dodgers 10-5 Game 2. The good: the Dodgers scored a run. In fact they scored three in the fourth inning to tie the game. The bad: Charlie Haeger and his now 7.45 ERA giving up five runs in four innings. The worse: Jon Link was not able to rebound after his bad outing in the first game allowing three of the four batters he faced to reach base. All of them scored tattooing him with three runs. The worst: Let’s face it. The Dodgers are not looking good right now. They now have to get back out there in Queens in an early afternoon matinee (translated to breakfast baseball for us out here in the West Coast.)

Cleveland Indians defeat LA Angels 9-2. Indians’ starter Mitch Talbot confused the Angels throughout his 6 1/3 innings giving up only one run on a Bobby Abreu RBI single in the third inning. While Joe Saunders wasn’t catastrophic for the Angels yielding three runs in five innings pitched, Matt Palmer gave up five runs in his 2 1/3 innings to make any Angels’ comeback hope futile.

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Notable Notes

  • J’mison Morgan, the 6-foot-10 center for UCLA has transferred to Baylor University and will sit out the 2010-11 season due to the NCAA rules on transferring schools. He will have two years of eligibility remaining after sitting out. “Bobo” Morgan was expected to be Bruins’ head coach Ben Howland’s answer to the departing Kevin Love but has been a complete disappointment playing limited minutes off the bench averaging 2.1 points and 1.1 rebounds in two seasons. Morgan was suspended a game in March for missing a meeting and didn’t play in the two Pac-10 Tournament games for UCLA.
  • Despite his team being ousted by Vancouver in the first round of the playoffs, Kings’ captain Dustin Brown was named a finalist for the NHL Foundation Award along with Buffalo Sabres’ Ryan Miller and Washington Capitals’ Mike Green. The award recognizes an NHL player who applies the core values of hockey - commitment, perseverance and teamwork - to enrich the lives of people in his community, and it’s the second year in a row that the 25-year old Brown has been nominated. Among the initiatives he has been involved in:

    • He encouraged the entire Kings’ roster to become active in the “Kings Community Corner” where donors and fans can purchase tickets to send underprivileged children to attend games. Every Kings’ player contributed a total in excess of $40,000.
    • After the Haiti earthquake in January, he started an initiative in which every Kings’ player contributed $200 for every victory in February which raised $40,000 to the American Red Cross.

  • And finally at the Bradley Center Monday night in the Bucks’ playoff game against the Atlanta Hawks, the Bucks’ mascot Bango during a timeout performed an insane stunt. Watch it.
    I don’t know what is more impressive - that he executed it perfectly a la Mary Lou Retton, or that he actually performed it. I guess it’s not deer hunting season.

Tonight’s Action

LA Dodgers (8-12) at NY Mets (12-9). John Ely (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. John Maine (0-1, 8.64 ERA). 10:10 am FS Prime Ticket, AM 790 KABC.

Cleveland Indians (9-11) at LA Angels (11-11). Jake Westbrook (0-2, 5.82 ERA) vs. Ervin Santana (1-2, 4.73 ERA). 4:05 pm FSWest, AM 830 KLAA.