Storm Coming. They shouldn't be this good, this soon. But they are, and the Oklahoma City Thunder's shellacking of the defending NBA champions served notice that they might just be around after the first round of the NBA playoffs, too. The 110-89 final seems closer than it really was: The Thunder trailed for just 65 seconds, and led by double-digits from the second quarter on. And if the enormous disparity at the free throw line -- the Thunder made 42 freebies, while the Lakers shot 28 -- is irreproducible, it should worry the Lakers that this wasn't even a "great" game from the young bucks. The Thunder were just 31-of-76 from the field, and while Kevin Durant led all scorers with 22 points, he hasn't shot better than 50 per cent in a game this postseason. Game 5 is Tuesday in Los Angeles, and it should be seismic.
Hawks Get Bucked. Milwaukee had been one of the feel-good stories of the NBA's season. Then the Bucks looked outclassed in their first two games against the older, wiser Hawks. So seeing the Bucks turn the tables on a lethargic Hawks squad in Milwaukee was fun. Just don't expect it to recur, unless you think Josh Smith, Jamal Crawford, and Joe Johnson combining to shoot 16-of-47 is likely to happen again.
Mauer, Morneau, Span Make Royals Cower, Twins Plateau, AL Central Lead Expand. There will be more on the best team in baseball later in this space, but the Twins have a share of the best record in baseball. That's easier to do when Joe Mauer is available all season. Mauer, who missed time early last year with back pain, went 5-for-6 on Saturday, ending up a homer short of the cycle. He was on base more than he was swinging the game, though: Justin Morneau's two-run homer helped send the game to extra innings, and a 12th-inning RBI single by Denard Span gave the Twins a 9-7 win over the Royals and a sterling 13-5 record. But having Mauer around and hitting is a nice luxury to have, no? (I apologize for the subheadline, but I had to.)
Long National Football League Nightmare Over. The upside of the NFL Draft moving to a three-day format was spreading out the draftnik catnip over three days. The downside was a draft that felt like it lasted three weeks. But Clifton Brown has you covered with a comprehensive set of grades, Dennis Dillon tells you who got better, and we all agree on the Seahawks' winning weekend.â†µ
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