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LAst Night's Action: Lakers Sweep out the Nuggets

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LA Lakers over Denver Nuggets 107-101. The Nuggets played some D. Well they didn't play D like the Detroit Pistons and they benefited from some very shaky Laker offense. But they played with enough desperation to put a scare in the Lakers. In the end, though, it was to be won by the Lakers who won their first playoff series since the 2004 Western Conference Final against the Minnesota Timberwolves and their first sweep since the 2002 NBA Finals against the New Jersey Nets. The Lakers will await the winner of the Utah Jazz-Houston Rockets series with the Jazz leading the series 3-1.

Oakland A's (17-10) over LA Angels (16-11) 14-2. After traveling late last night from Detroit to make it back to their verminy confines in Anaheim, I didn't expect the Angels to put up that much of a fight against the A's with whom they shared the lead in the AL West going into the game. All hopes of a comeback ended in the eighth inning when the Angels gave up eight runs. Angel's starter Jon Garland (3-3) gave up seven runs on ten hits in six innings and reliever Chris Bootcheck gave up seven runs in 2/3 innings to bring his ERA up to 37.80. A's starter Chad Gaudin (3-1) meanwhile only gave up two runs on five hits in six innings pitched.

Notable Notes

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Weird things are going on in the playoffs. Never mind the fact that the second-seeded Detroit Pistons are surprisingly tied 2-2 with the seventh-seeded Philadelphia 76ers, the top seed Boston Celtics lost both games on the road against the eight seed Atlanta Hawks to drop down to a 2-2 tie in the series. This 1-8 matchup is nothing like the 1-8 matchup with the 57-win Lakers and 50-win Nuggets. This is a 66-win Celtic team against a 37-win Hawk team. A 29-win differential. Amazing, ain't it?

Staying on the basketball front, former Laker's coach Pat Riley has resigned as the head coach of the Miami Heat. After winning the NBA Championship in 2006, the Heat completely disintegrated reaching the nadir of a 15-67 season. While Riley will stay on as President he has elevated current assistant and 37-year old Erik Spoelstra.

Tonight's Action

LA Dodgers (12-13) at Florida Marlins (15-10). Derek Lowe (2-1) will head to the mound for the Dodgers against Andrew Miller (1-2) and the surprising NL East leading Marlins. 4:10 pm KCAL 9, AM 790 KABC.

Oakland A's (17-10) at LA Angels (16-11). In a game of the undefeated, Greg Smith (2-0) will go to the mound for the A's against Joe Saunders (4-0). 7:05 pm FSN West, AM 830 KLAA.

AP Photo by Jack Dempsey