|04.26.13 at 1:16 pm ET|
The Thunder’s NBA title hopes took a hit Friday when the team announced that All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook has a torn meniscus in his right knee and will have surgery “in the coming days.” He is out indefinitely.
Westbrook, 24, averaged 23.2 points, 7.4 assists and 5.4 rebounds in the regular season. In Oklahoma City’s two playoff victories over the Rockets this week, he averaged 24 points, seven assists and 6.5 rebounds. Game 3 is Saturday in Houston.
“Our players’ health is our first and foremost concern. The Thunder’s medical team and several specialists we consulted with determined that Russell undergo a procedure to address the issue,” Thunder executive vice president and general manager Sam Presti said in a statement. “We have thoroughly discussed this with Russell. Despite being the competitor and teammate that he is, he respects and understands the decision and is committed to come back even stronger. Certainly Russell is a leader and core player for this team, but we are in the midst of the playoffs and I know other players are determined to step up and contribute. We have a resilient group of players who have always taken pride in playing as a team and that approach will continue.”
Midway through the second quarter of Wednesday night’s Game 2, Rockets guard Patrick Beverley attempted a steal as a timeout was being called and collided with Westbrook, knocking him to the ground. Westbrook was in obvious pain and angrily pounded the scorer’s table with his fist and then limped off the court. However, Westbrook returned to the game immediately after the timeout and finished the night with 29 points, five rebounds, four assists and four steals.
|04.26.13 at 12:39 pm ET|
The first Maple Leafs playoff ticket sale since 2004 should have been cause for celebration among weary Toronto fans. But when seats went on sale Thursday, the Leafs and Ticketmaster sent out an incorrect link, preventing tens of thousands of fans from purchasing the tickets they wanted.
The error was fixed after about 30 minutes, but by that point, all the tickets available had been bought. And Leafs fans who hoped to go through StubHub.com instead may have been surprised to see that seats in the lower bowl of the arena were listed for as much as $88,000 for Game 1.
While those exorbitant offers may or may not be legitimate, the Leafs have hiked the cost of their playoff tickets 75 percent over their regular-season tickets. By comparison, the Canadiens, a potential first-round opponent for the Leafs, have raised their playoff ticket costs between 55 and 59 percent, according to the Toronto Sun.
Toronto’s tickets already were the most expensive in the NHL, so while they may not have to pay $88,000, Leafs fans who want to see live playoff action will have to dig deep into their bank accounts.
|04.26.13 at 10:10 am ET|
Ray Allen broke Reggie Miller‘s record for most career playoff 3-pointers on Thursday, knocking down the 321st of his career in the fourth quarter of the Heat’s Game 3 victory over the Bucks.
Allen tied the record in the second quarter of Thursday’s game. Then, with 8:37 left in the fourth, he took a pass from Norris Cole and made the shot from near the baseline on the right side to move ahead of Miller’s mark.
Allen already is the all-time record holder for 3-pointers made in a career and owned the record for the most in a single season (269 in 2005-06) until Stephen Curry broke it last week.
Thursday’s game was the 131st of Allen’s postseason career, so it took him 13 games fewer than Miller’s 144 to reach that mark. He made five of his eight shots from beyond the arc on Thursday as the Heat won, 104-91, to take a 3-0 lead in the series.
|04.26.13 at 10:01 am ET|
Despite a recent setback in his recovery from a fractured ankle, Derek Jeter said Thursday he has “no doubt” that he’ll return this season.
Jeter was diagnosed last week with a small crack in his left ankle and now is wearing a walking boot to protect the ankle. The Yankees have said they expect him back after the All-Star break, but Jeter declined to say when he thinks he might return.
“I’m not getting into timelines. The last timeline I set, I didn’t make,” Jeter said. “Whenever it heals, I’ll be back.”
Jeter originally fractured the ankle Oct. 13 and had surgery for a dislocated ankle. In the offseason, the Yankees had hoped to have him back by Opening Day, but when issues arose in spring training, he had to be shut down.
Last week, because the ankle was not improving, Jeter had surgery done by Dr. Robert Anderson, and Anderson found the small crack in the bone.
Anderson told Yankees general manager Brian Cashman that 95 percent of players return from Jeter’s condition.
“I’ve been told this bone will heal,” Jeter said. “When it heals, I’ll be ready to go. It is frustrating that I can’t magically make it heal sooner than it is taking. But there is no doubt. I have no doubt.”
|04.26.13 at 9:59 am ET|
Yankees top prospect Mason Williams was arrested for DUI early on Thursday morning in Tampa, despite the fact that his blood-alcohol content was below the legal limit.
The 21-year-old outfielder was pulled over after officers saw him driving his Range Rover erratically and going 50 mph in a 40 mph zone around 2:45 a.m. Williams’ BAC was measured around .06, and the legal limit is .08, but he failed a field sobriety test and showed “clues of impairment,” according to the Tampa Bay Times.
The Yankees drafted Williams in the fourth round in 2010, and he presently is playing with the Single-A Tampa Yankees. He was ranked No. 32 on Baseball America’s top prospects list before this season.
|04.26.13 at 9:18 am ET|
Boston Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman joined Dennis & Callahan on Friday morning to talk about his harrowing experience and the aftermath.
Bauman, who lost both his legs and suffered hearing damage when the first bomb exploded near the finish line while he was waiting for his girlfriend to run by, said the recovery process is “going fast, but it hurts every day.”
Bauman is credited with having helped investigators by identifying one of the suspects shortly after the attack, despite his condition. The 27-year-old Costco employee described what he saw and helped a sketch artist put together a drawing of Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
“I was still conscious when I was being transported from the blast site to the hospital,” Bauman said. “The whole time when I was in the hospital I was giving descriptions of the guy — the first guy, the guy with the hat and the glasses, the Aviators, and the 5 o’clock shadow [Tamerlan Tsarnaev]. I was just real adamant about it. When I did come through out of the first operation, I guess, the FBI was all around my room.”
Bauman said Tsarnaev stood out to him because he seemed out of place.
“I was with my girlfriend’s roommates and we were having a great time. We were watching the runners, everyone was having a great time,” Bauman said. “And just that one guy, he didn’t look like he was having a good time. He was right next to me at that point and he had a bag and he had his glasses. He had kind of like a leather-like sweatshirt type of deal, and it was warm out. He was just an odd guy, he struck me as odd. That’s what I remember of him. Next thing you know I hear fireworks and I’m on the ground. … He was there, and then he was gone, and then boom.”
Added Bauman: “He just didn’t seem right. You know how you size somebody up. I just looked at him. I was like, what’s this guy’s problem?”
After the explosion, Carlos Arredondo — the man in the cowboy hat — rushed over to aid victims. Arredondo helped get Bauman into a wheelchair and to an ambulance.
“I saw him, he was running around helping everybody,” said Bauman, who has been visited in the hospital by Arredondo and texts frequently with him. “And then when it came to helping me, he helped me. He was crazy. He was going nuts helping everybody. … His adrenaline was definitely, definitely kicking.”
Asked if he thought he would survive, Bauman said: “Not really. Actually, when Carlos picked me up and threw me into the wheelchair, then I was like, ‘All right, maybe I am going to make it.’ But before that, no way. I thought I was done.”
After realizing the damage done to his body, Bauman explained that he went through a range of emotions and tried to focus on getting through the agony.
Said Bauman: “I just toughed it up at that point. … I was definitely hurting, but I was sad that someone would actually do that.”
Bauman said he’s followed some of the television coverage of the suspects, but not as much as most people. When he learned that Tamerlan Tsarnaev had been killed after being run over by his brother, Dzhokhar, during a shootout with police last week, Bauman recalled, “What I thought was, he’s dead and I’m still here.”
Added Bauman of his feelings about the terrorists: “I’m pissed, obviously, but, I mean, it’s in the past, you know? You only look forward.”
Bauman said he plans to be somewhere along the Boston Marathon route next year, as his girlfriend plans to run again, but he’s not sure if he would go back to the finish line. In the meantime, he’s grateful just to have survived this ordeal.
Said Bauman: “I had a lot to live for before, and I’ve got a lot to live for now.”
|04.26.13 at 8:03 am ET|
FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NFL: Draft, Rounds 2-3, 6:30 p.m. (ESPN, NFL Network)
NBA playoffs: Knicks at Celtics, 8 p.m. (CSNNE, ESPN; WEEI-FM)
NBA playoffs: Spurs at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA playoffs: Nuggets at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
NHL: Flames at Blackhawks, 8:30 p.m. (NHL Network)
MLB: Astros at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-AM)
MLB: Blue Jays at Yankees, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Cubs at Marlins, 7:10 p.m. (WGN)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was transferred from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to the Federal Medical Center Devens, the U.S. Marshals Service said Friday.
Tsarnaev’s new facility, at the former Fort Devens U.S. Army base, is for federal prisoners and detainees who require specialized long-term medical or medal health care. Tsarnaev is recovering from a gunshot wound to the throat and other injuries he suffered during last week’s shootout and manhunt in Watertown.
Tsarnaev reportedly has been quiet since being read his Miranda warning, which was given after he provided federal officials with information about the attack he indicated was orchestrated by his brother, Tamerlan, who was killed in last week’s shootout. Dzhokhar also revealed that the brothers planned to go to Times Square in New York City to detonate their remaining bombs before being thwarted.
Dzhokhar’s mother, Zubeidat, said Thursday she was told by U.S. officials “they will not let us see Dzhokhar.” Zubeidat, who is wanted on 2012 felony charges of shoplifting and property damage in Massachusetts, appears unlikely to visit the United States, although the boys’ father, Anzor, has indicated he wants to fly in.
♦ The Lakers are down 2-0 to the Spurs in their first-round playoff series and their backcourt is riddled with injuries. Steve Blake is out indefinitely with a strained right hamstring, Jodie Meeks has a sprained left ankle and is doubtful for Friday night’s Game 3, and Steve Nash‘s prospects do not look good after he received two epidural injections in his back and a cortisone shot in his right hip Thursday.
“I’m not too bad,” Nash said. “Obviously I wish I felt a lot better, but I got the procedure done [Thursday] morning, and fingers crossed it will help. I have been called a doctor of chemistry by some people in the media, but I couldn’t make a prediction.”
Things look so bleak for Los Angeles that even Lakers legend Magic Johnson has given up.
Laker Nation: With Steve Nash & Steve Blake down with injuries there’s no way the @lakers have a chance to win.
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) April 25, 2013
♦ The latest feel-good moment from sports comes from Fairfax, Va. Drew Bonner, a high school senior with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, has served as manager of the Fairfax High School baseball team the past four years. On Monday night, Bonner went up to the plate in his wheelchair for a ceremonial first at-bat against Madison and received a four-pitch walk.
“It was a lot of fun and brought back some good memories from when I used to play,” Bonner told The Washington Post. “I wasn’t nervous, but I was pretty excited. I can remember playing baseball all my life and it’s just one of the things that I really love to do.”
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On April 26, 1988, the Bruins beat the Canadiens, 4-1, in Montreal to win the Adams Division finals series in five games and post their first postseason series victory over the Habs since 1943. Which two Bruins — both of whom went on to work for the team in management — had two goals each in the win?
|04.25.13 at 7:55 am ET|
THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NFL: Draft, Round 1, 8 p.m. (ESPN, NFL Network; WEEI-AM)
MLB: Astros at Red Sox, 6:35 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Blue Jays at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
NHL: Lightning at Bruins, 7:30 p.m. (NESN Plus)
NHL: Penguins at Devils, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Ducks at Canucks, 10 p.m. (NHL Network)
NBA playoffs: Heat at Bucks, 7 p.m. (TNT)
NBA playoffs: Nets at Bulls, 8:30 p.m. (NBATV)
NBA playoffs: Clippers at Grizzlies, 9:30 p.m. (TNT)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ The Lakers are down 2-0 in their playoff series against the Spurs after dropping Wednesday night’s Game 2, 102-91, and they’re limping back to Los Angeles for Friday’s Game 3.
Already without Kobe Bryant (torn Achilles tendon) for the rest of the season, the Lakers saw guards Steve Nash (hip/hamstring), Steve Blake (hamstring) and Jodie Meeks (ankle) come up lame Wednesday night.
“This has been far and away the worst season for injuries I have ever been a part of personally and collectively,” Nash said.
WIth the backcourt issues, the Lakers are looking for the frontcourt to provide a spark. Center Dwight Howard had 16 points and nine rebounds Wednesday, but he picked up a technical and was in foul trouble after getting two fouls on the offensive end early in the third quarter. He also got into an exchange with Spurs center Tim Duncan, jawing at him as the two walked down the court after getting tangled up in the second quarter.
“It is frustrating,” Howard said of the defensive pressure he’s been facing. “I just have to trust my teammates to make shots. On whatever they do defensively, I have to be aware of my arms and try not to get tangled up.”
♦ The inaugural College Football Championship Game will be held Jan. 12, 2015, at Cowboys Stadium, as the Cotton Bowl home was chosen over Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., to be the host.
“The stadium itself was the biggest determiner,” BCS executive director Bill Hancock said Wednesday of the facility that can seat more than 100,000 fans. “It’s still THE stadium with a capital ‘T.’ ”
Said Cowboys owner Jerry Jones in a statement: “We couldn’t be more excited about bringing college football’s biggest game to Cowboys Stadium. Rest assured, we all pledge to do everything we can to make sure this game exceeds everyone’s highest expectations.”
The Rose (Pasadena, Calif.) and Sugar (New Orleans) Bowls will host the semifinal games on Jan. 1, 2015. The Cotton, Orange (Miami), Chick-fil-A (Atlanta) and Fiesta (Glendale, Ariz.) Bowls are part of the six-site semifinal rotation. In years they are not hosting a semifinal game, the other bowls in the rotation will host a BCS-type bowl game on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day.
♦ With the NFL draft set to start Thursday night, Real Clear Sports has a list of the top 10 undrafted free agents in NFL history.
Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon is No. 1, followed by Hall of Fame defensive back Dick “Night Train” Lane, tight end Antonio Gates and quarterback Kurt Warner. Two Patriots made the list: kicker Adam Vinatieri (8) and wide receiver Wes Welker (9).
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On April 25, 1950, the Celtics became the first NBA team to draft a black player when they selected which Duquesne star in the second round?
|04.24.13 at 8:06 am ET|
WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Athletics at Red Sox, 4:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Cardinals at Nationals, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Indians at White Sox, 2:10 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Dodgers at Mets, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA playoffs: Rockets at Thunder, 7 p.m. (TNT)
NBA playoffs: Hawks at Pacers, 7:30 p.m. (NBATV)
NBA playoffs: Lakers at Spurs, 9:30 p.m. (TNT)
NHL: Kings at Red Wings, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Sharks at Coyotes, 10 p.m. (NBCSN)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Former Middle Tennessee State kicker Alan Gendreau, the leading scorer in the history of the Sun Belt Conference, is aiming to become the first openly gay NFL player. Gendreau, who was not drafted when he graduated a year ago after an inconsistent senior season, reportedly has drawn interest from a couple of NFL teams.
The 23-year-old, who is a devout Christian, came out to family and friends in his hometown of Orlando when he was 16. His homosexuality was known to his teammates at Middle Tennessee.
“Everyone just saw him as a football player,” former teammate Josh Davis told Outsports. “He was just one of the guys. The fact that he proved himself on the field, there was a respect for him. He’s a good guy. He’s a lot of fun to be around. With all the coaches and players, he had a good relationship.”
After a year working on his game, Gendreau is ready to take a shot at the pros. And he’s not afraid to break barriers and send a message to young players in his situation.
“All those kids playing sports in the South or anywhere else, kids who are afraid to be themselves, I just want to put my arm around them and help them,” Gendreau told Outsports. “And if my story can do that, I figure I owe it to them to give it the best ending I can.”
♦ Liverpool soccer star Luis Suarez, who bit Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic in Sunday’s 2-2 draw, accepted a charge of violent conduct from the Football Association but said he does not deserve a suspension of more than three games. His case is due to be heard on Wednesday.
Suarez, who apologized after the game, was suspended seven matches for a similar incident when he played for the Dutch team Ajax in 2010.
Meanwhile, Mike Tyson, who famously bit the ear of Evander Holyfield during their 1997 bout, downplayed this week’s incident.
“[Suarez] bit someone, it happens,” Tyson said during an appearance on the David Glenn radio show. “I am sure he will make amends with this guy. I made amends with Evander and we got on with our lives.”
♦ The commemorative plaque at San Francisco’s AT&T Park that honors Barry Bonds‘ record-setting 756th home run is gone. The plaque hung on the brick facade in right-center field until a few days ago, and the team is investigating.
“We’re in the process of replacing it,” team spokeswoman Staci Slaughter said. “We’re not sure what happened. We’re reviewing video but haven’t found anything yet.”
Bonds broke Hank Aaron‘s career record on Aug. 7, 2007, during the last of his 22 major league seasons. He finished with 762 home runs.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On April 24, 1983, which player scored 1:52 into overtime to give the Bruins a 3-2 victory over the Sabres in Game 7 of their Adams Division finals series at Boston Garden?
|04.23.13 at 1:45 pm ET|
Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was upgraded to fair condition by doctors at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, according to information released by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston, and he reportedly continues to communicate with investigators about the attack.
According to a Washington Post report, Tsarnaev has acknowledged his role in the bombings and said American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were the primary motivation.
The report, citing U.S. officials familiar with the interviews, indicates the 19-year-old revealed he and his brother, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, acted independently, with no direct connection to Islamist militant groups overseas.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed Thursday night in a confrontation with police in Watertown that ended with Dzhokhar driving over his brother and dragging his body down the street, authorities have said.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was charged Monday with using a weapon of mass destruction and malicious destruction of property. He could face the death penalty.
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