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The Warriors Win A Thrilling Game 5, However Still Trail (3-2) In The NBA Final

The Golden State Warriors, bet from a three plus point(s) underdog, to a 1 point favorite, first playing with Kevin Durant, then not, as he was injured, won (106-105) at Toronto (Raptors) in game 5, however still trail the Raptors three games to two in the NBA final. Game 6 is in Oakland on Thursday night.

Klay Thompson hit two, as he and Steph Curry combined to hit three, three point shots as “G.S.” scored 9 straight points, to take a 3 point lead with 57 seconds remaining, after trailing by 6 points and Toronto having possession with about three and a half minutes remaining.

Kawhi Leonard, who finished with 26 points, had scored the Raptors last 10 points as they went on a (10-2) run and seemed ready to win their first title when they built the above referenced “up 6 with the ball” lead.

Curry led the scoring with 31 points while Klay, the son of two time NBA title winning player, Mychal Thompson, added 26. It should be noted that Dray Green appeared to get a piece of the ball on Kyle Lowry’s last second shot and that Durant had played well before being injured.

Toronto teams, which remember have won 6 straight final round entities, have now gone up (3-1), winning #’s 3 and 4, but then losing #5, in 3 straight final rounds.

The baseball Blue Jays did so, in both ’92 and ’93, each time winning the title in game 6.

In ’92, Toronto faced another Oakland team, the Athletics in a baseball “semi”/ALCS and leading 3 games to 1, lost a  game 5 on a Monday, as is what manifested yesterday. The Blue Jays won that series in six games.

 

The Boston Bruins Force A Decisive 7th Game

The Boston Bruins won (5-1) at St. Louis (Blues) last night to force a decisive seventh game for the Stanley Cup title on Wednesday night in Boston.

Tuukka Rask was brilliant in goal, as the Bruins staved off elimination for the third time in these ‘offs, and will host a seventh game of the final, for the first time in their history.

Brad Marchand opened the scoring for the Bruins, who had a 2 man advantage power play. The team scoring first has won 4 of the 6 games, thus far in this final.

Rask led the way, Brandon Carlo made it (2-0) in the third period, the Bruins stymied all four Blues’ power plays and Ryan O’Reilly, so clutch in #’s 4 and 5, failed to score on opportunities when it mattered, and then scored with his team down (3-0) well into the third period.

 

Tuukka Rask, pictured above.

 

 

 

The Bruins were in 14 best of 7, NHL final round entities, including the first one in 1939, a Bruins’ 5 game, series victory, by the way, without playing in a seventh game. Now they are in their second in their last 3 final rounds, having played in and won #7, at Vancouver in 2011.

They narrowly missed being in a seventh game in ’13 when the Bruins dissipated/Chicago (Blackhawks) rallied to both tie and win #6 at Boston, in the last minutes of play.

Should the Bruins prevail on Wednesday night, Boston will join Detroit in 1935-1936, as the only cities to win baseball, football and either hockey (which was the case in ’35-’36, no NBA until ’47) or basketball crowns in that order (baseball then football then either hockey or basketball) and consecutively.

1935 fits in, no matter Wednesday’s outcome, as if the Blues prevail, they will be the first team since and likely joining the (1934-1935), Montreal Maroons, as the only teams to win the Stanley Cup, with a losing playoffs record at home.

We will take Mike Emrick’s word for it on that matter. He also cited the Bruins, now (25-1) record in games in which Mr. Marchand scored a goal. He wondered regarding the one loss, joked about it, but did not cite it.

I am not like that and offer the failure of the Blues to win the title with a chance to do so, is only the second time after 1946, that a team with a chance to do so on a Sunday, failed in that endeavor. Nine teams succeeded in that span, including the Bruins vs the Blues in 1970.

The other time was in 1971 when Montreal won #6 on a Sunday afternoon vs “Chi” and then won #7, with Henri Richard scoring two third period goals in a (3-2) Habs win. Oh in ’46, it was the Bruins, down (3-0) who staved off elimination for one game, winning on Sunday April 7, 1946. Montreal then “titled” at home.

 

Thank goodness, David Ortiz, who in my opinion did more to positively turn around Boston sports’ fortunes, is in stable condition and not worse, after being shot while in his native Dominican Republic.

 

 

 

Remembering Don Drysdale Breaking The Scoreless Innings Streak Record

Yesterday was the 51st anniversary of pitcher, Don Drysdale breaking the consecutive scoreless innings streak of the legendary Walter Johnson.

“Big D,” as Drysdale was known had accomplished the most difficult part, hurling 6 straight shutouts to amass 56 consecutive innings pitched without allowing a run.

Johnson’s record was 56 scoreless innings. Drysdale reached 58 and two thirds, doing so on another Saturday (night–alas it may be “all right for fighting,” but ….) June 8th, made even more memorable, as Robert F. Kennedy was laid to rest that day.

Senator Kennedy had congratulated Drysdale on his 6th straight shutout in his “victory” speech, after winning the California primary 4 days earlier. Soon after doing so, he was shot and killed.

 

Don Drysdale, pictured on the cover of Life, September 28, 1962

 

The Toronto Raptors Take A (3-1) NBA Final Series Lead Vs The Two Time (3 Of The Last 4) Champion, But Injured Golden State Warriors

The Toronto Raptors are on the precipice of their first NBA crown, after winning game 4 at the Golden State Warriors, to take a (3-1) NBA final series lead.

Kawhi Leonard led Toronto with 36 points, 17 in the third quarter when Toronto outscored “G.S.” (37-21) to take a 12 point lead into the 4th quarter. Meanwhile Serge Ibaka, came off the bench and scored 20 points, shooting a superb 9 of 12 from the floor. Game 1 hero Pascal Siakim (32 points, on incredible 14 of 17 shooting on field goal attempts in that tilt) added 19 for the Raptors, who can clinch their first title with a win, Monday night at home.

While Klay Thompson, as expected (he had 28 points) returned and Kevon Looney unexpectedly returned, the Warriors were without Kevin Durant for the 9th straight game. They won the first 5, but now trail (3-1) sans home advantage, to the Raptors, who have won and covered 7 of 8 games since falling down (2-0) to the Milwaukee Bucks in the semi-final round.

Remember the city of Toronto is on a 6 game final round win skein (the last word for the benefit of that superb and appreciated proofreader, “Cheese”) dating back to 1960. The city is (13-8) in previous major North American sports league final round entities. (Baseball Blue Jays (2-0), hockey Maple Leafs (11-8)— (by the way the same final round record as a team from a city also one win away from a title for one of its teams, but in a less advantageous situation, namely St. Louis, whose Blues play game 6 at home tomorrow night vs the Boston Bruins, in a bid for their first title. The St. Louis team that is (11-8) in final round play/World Series being the Cardinals.)

This is the third straight time a Toronto team has won games 3 and 4 to go up (3-1) in a final round series, the baseball Blue Jays having done so in both ’92 and ’93, each time winning the crown in 6 games.

The Blue Jays clinched the ’93 title when Joe Carter joined Bill Mazeroski as the only players to hit a World Series ending home run. That Toronto title was the most recent for a team based in Canada.

 

Kawhi Leonard, pictured above, likely, but far from definitely, on his way to a second final round most valuable player award.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The St. Louis Blues Are One Win Away From Their First NHL Title

The St.Louis Blues, in their 51st season (’68-2019, no NHL season in ’05) are on the precipice of their first NHL title after a (2-1) win, at Boston (Bruins) in game 5 of their NHL final series.

For the second straight game, Ryan O’Reilly, who played a brilliant all around game, “opened” in the first minute of a period, this time the second, giving the Blues the lead.

In the third period, he assisted on David Peron’s controversial goal (there appeared to be a penalty on the Blues’ Tyler Bozak and why did NBCer, Ed Olczck say nothing was called because the Blues were in the offensive zone?) which made it (2-0) and rookie Jordan Binnington stopped all but one shot, (a goal by Jake DeBrusk) among 39 he faced, manifesting in a chance for the Blues to title in game 6, Sunday night in St. Louis.

 

Ryan O’Reilly, pictured above.

 

 

 

 

The Toronto Raptors Lead The NBA Final, Two Games To One

Kawhi Leonard (30 points) and Kyle Lowry (23) led a balanced Raptors’ offense (all 5 starters had at least 17 points and scored 106), as the Toronto Raptors won (123-109) in game 3 at Golden State (Warriors) to take a 2 games to 1 lead in the 2019 NBA final.

Steph Curry scored 47 points for “G.S.” which played without Klay Thompson for the first time in an ‘offs game and also Kevin Durant and John Looney., the latter out for the season, Klay and Durant, I will say probable for #4 in Oakland on Friday night.

The game 3 win was the fourth straight for a Toronto team in a final round entity, all four in (1-1) situations, with the previous three manifesting in 6 game Toronto team titles (both Blue Jays World Series, those in ’92 and ’93 and the Maple Leafs’ last title in ’67).

Golden State, which has scored 109 points in all 3 final round games, (I would think that is the first time a team has scored the same number of points in 3 straight final round games in the NBA), is now (7-4) in game 3 of an NBA final. They are (1-3) in (1-1) situations, losing in ’48, ’15 and ’19 winning in ’56.

After the Warriors (’64, ’67 and ’75 the latter the last time “G.S.” hosted #3/NBA final) and also Oakland, Athletics, (’74 and ’88) combined for a (5-0) mark in the first 5 Oakland/San Francisco basketball and Oakland baseball home #3/final games, the area has lost the last two, the Reds beating the A’s en route to a very surprising 4 game sweep in the ’90 World Series and last night.

I gave you mucho notes, (likely much, too much) now a fairly obvious opinion: The Warriors need Klay Thompson and probably Durant, to win this series. They really missed Thompson’s defense in #3 as Toronto scored 123 points, the same number L.A. (Lakers) scored in winning the ’80 title in game 6, without Kareem Abdul Jabbar.

In that tilt, in sharp contrast to last night (Curry had 47 points in a loss, with little help from anyone else),  Earvin “Magic” Johnson had 42 points and Jamaal “Silk” Wilkes, also a member of the ’75 Warriors title team, added 37.

 

Danny Green, pictured above had a very good game 3 for the Toronto Raptors.

NHL Update And Notes

The St. Louis Blues’ series squaring win in game 4 (Ryan O’Reilly both “opened” in the game’s first minute and snapped a (2-2) game tie, manifesting in a (2-2) series tie, with a third period goal) means among other things, the Boston Bruins will host game 5 of a (2-2) NHL final, for the first time in their history.

While playing in and being denied in 4 road, game 5/(2-2) series, NHL final tilts, never before, in 16 previous best of 7, NHL final series, have the Bruins hosted such an entity.

In winning their last title in 2011, Boston recovered from the game 5 loss at Vancouver, to win #6 at home and ease in #7 at “VAN” to win the title. The other three times that the Bruins played a road 5th game of a (2-2) NHL final, they lost in 6 games and were eliminated at home.

Though this is the third straight Bruins’ final series to be (2-2), (’11 and ’13 vs “Chi”), it is only the fifth in 17, best of seven Bruins’ final series. Montreal (Canadiens) won a third straight title vs Boston, twenty years apart in ’58 and ’78, winning at home in #5 and at Boston in game 6 to take the crown.

St. Louis Blues’ final round history is exponentially simpler as they lost in 4 straight games in their previous 3 NHL final series (’68-’70).

Game 5 is tomorrow night in Boston, #6 is in St. Louis on Sunday night and game 7, if necessary, would be in Boston a week from tonight.

 

In the above referenced game 5/1958 NHL final Montreal win vs Boston, the legendary Maurice “The Rocket” Richard tallied in overtime, lifting the Canadiens to victory.