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Warriors storm back to take Game 2
The Trail Blazers entered the fourth quarter of Game 2 with a double-digit lead over the Warriors, needing to tread water for just 12 minutes more to tie the series. The Warriors had different plans, outscoring the Blazers 34 to 12 in the fourth quarter to turn an 11-point deficit into an 11-point margin of victory. Only two other teams in league history won a playoff game by more than 10 points after entering the fourth quarter trailing by 11 or more. The Spurs had such a comeback to finish the Western Conference Finals in 2003, climbing out of a 13-point hole in Dallas to win Game 6 by 12 points. Last year, the Rockets defeated the Clippers by 12 in Game 6 of their semifinals matchup after entering the fourth quarter with a 13-point deficit.
It's not easy playing Green
Draymond Green led all players with 14 rebounds and seven assists in the Warriors' Game 2 win, giving him 40 points, 27 rebounds, and 18 assists in the first two games of this series. Only two other players in the last 10 years equaled or bettered all of those totals over a two-game span in the playoffs. Both LeBron James and Blake Griffin did so in last year's playoffs. No other Warriors player has ever totaled that many points, rebounds, and assists over a two-game span in the playoffs.
Heat shrug off buzzer-beater to win Game 1
Kyle Lowry sent Raptors fans into delirium after swishing a midcourter at the buzzer to force overtime in Game 1, but the Heat fought on, outscoring Toronto 12 to 6 in the overtime period to win the series opener, 102-96. The Heat are now 9-1 all-time in playoff overtime games. Its .900 winning percentage is the highest among the 27 NBA teams that have played in at least three overtime playoff games. For the Raptors, Tuesday marked their seventh consecutive loss in Game 1 of a playoff series, which is tied with the Bucks for the longest active streak of that kind. Toronto's 1-9 (.100) lifetime record in series-opening games is tied with that of the Timberwolves for the worst in the league.
No assists, no problem for Miami
The Heat had only 12 assists on 40 field goals in the overtime win. In the last 20 years, there have been three overtime playoff games in which the winning team had 12 or fewer assists, and Miami was the winning team in all three games. The Heat had two overtime wins of that kind in the 2011 playoffs - one against the Celtics (10 assists on May 9) and one versus the Bulls (12 assists on May 24).
Wade wakes up late for Miami
Dwyane Wade scored 24 points in the game, despite finishing the first half with just four points. Tuesday's win marked the second time that Wade finished a playoff game with at least 24 points after being held to four or fewer points in the first half. On May 10, 2004, Wade finished with 25 points in a win over the Pacers after scoring just four points in the first two quarters.
Boyle lights lamp in OT for Lightning
Brian Boyle scored the first overtime goal of his NHL career, regular-season or playoffs, to earn the Lightning a 5-4 win in Game 3 of its series against the Islanders. Boyle has scored only 12 goals in his 91-game Stanley Cup playoff career but the goals he's scored have usually come at key times, with 10 of the 12 either tying the score or giving his team a lead (83%). Among all NHL players, past or present, who have scored at least ten goals in postseason play, only Bobby Bauer (10 of 11, 91%) and Wade Redden (11 of 13, 85%) have a higher percentage of tying and go-ahead goals than Boyle.
Kucherov nets late goal to tie score
Boyle got the chance to be the overtime hero thanks to his teammate, Nikita Kucherov, whose goals with 38.4 seconds remaining in the third period tied the score at 4-4. This was only the second time in team history that the Lightning scored a tying goal in the final minute of the third period in a playoff game. The only other such goal for Tampa Bay was scored by Vincent Lecavalier in Game 3 of a second-round series against the Canadiens in 2004. Lecavalier's goal tied the score at 3-3 at the 19:43 mark of the third period and Brad Richards won that game for the Lightning with a goal 65 seconds into overtime.
Weber tied franchise record with game-winner
Shea Weber scored the winning goal for the Predators when they recorded their first victory in their series against the Sharks with a 4-1 win in Game 3. It was the 13th playoff goal of Weber's career, which ties David Legwand for the Nashville franchise record. There are six other active NHL players who hold or share the career record for playoff goals for their current clubs: Patrick Marleau (Sharks), Patrik Elias (Devils), Alex Ovechkin (Capitals), Boone Jenner and Jack Johnson (Blue Jackets), and Bryan Little (Jets).
Tarasenko's three-pointer lifts Blues
Vladimir Tarasenko scored one goal and assisted on two as the Blues recorded a 6-1 win in Game 3 of their series against the Stars. It was his second three-point game in this year's playoffs, having previously done it with two goals and one assist in Game 4 of the Blues' first-round series versus the Blackhawks. Tarasenko is the first St. Louis player to score three points in a playoff game twice in one year since Doug Weight had a pair of three-point games against Vancouver in the 2003 playoffs. Four NHL players besides Tarasenko have tallied three points or more in a game twice in the 2016 playoffs: Jamie Benn, Nikita Kucherov, Reilly Smith, and Tyler Johnson.
Arrieta on another level
There are two tiers of pitchers in today's game - there's Jake Arrieta, and then there's everyone else. The Cubs ace surrendered just two hits over seven scoreless innings against the Pirates on Tuesday, marking his 17th consecutive winning decision since August of last year. Arrieta has allowed just 20 hits and four runs over 43 innings this season, winning all six of his starts for Chicago. Since 1893, when the mound was moved back to its present distance of 60 feet 6 inches from home plate, no other pitcher had at least 40 innings in his first six starts of a season while allowing fewer than five runs and no more than 20 hits. Arrieta also joined Randy Johnson on the short list of pitchers to win their first six starts of a season the year after winning the Cy Young Award. Johnson did so twice for the Diamondbacks, winning his first seven starts in 2000 and his first six starts in 2002.
How long has it been since the last time a Cubs pitcher won his first six starts of a season? Let's put it this way - the last time it happened, the Cubbies were the defending World Series champion! After starting and winning the World Series clincher for Chicago in 1907, Mordecai Brown began the 1908 season for Chicago by earning wins in each of his first 11 starts of the season. The Hall-of-Fame hurler finished the 1908 season with 29 wins, then proceeded to win two more games in the ensuing World Series against the Tigers, helping the Cubs capture their second consecutive championship. And that World Series, nearly 108 years ago, is the last time the Cubs have finished a season as champions of baseball.
Smoak delivers for Blue Jays
Justin Smoak greeted Rangers closer Shawn Tolleson with a game-tying solo homer in the bottom of the ninth inning, then, on the first pitch of his next at-bat in the 10th inning, he cracked a game-ending two-run homer for the Blue Jays in a walkoff win at Rogers Centre. Smoak is the first player in Blue Jays history to hit a walkoff home run in extra innings after hitting a game-tying homer in the ninth inning. The last player on any team to achieve that feat is Tyler Flowers, who had solo shots in the bottom of the ninth and 12th innings for the White Sox on September 8, 2014 in their walkoff win over the A's.
Joe Crede is the last major-leaguer prior to Smoak to swat a walkoff homer in the 10th inning after tying the game with a home run in the bottom of the ninth. Crede did that for the White Sox on August 27, 2002 against the Blue Jays.
Lindor's threes help Indians tame Tigers
Francisco Lindor totaled three hits, three runs, and three RBIs to help the Indians down the Tigers, 7-3. The 22-year-old shortstop is the fourth player in franchise history age 22 or younger to record at least three hits, three runs, and three RBIs in a game while batting as a shortstop. Among those three players are two residents of Cooperstown - Joe Sewell had two such games for Cleveland in 1921 and Lou Boudreau did so once in 1940. The other shortstop with a game of that kind for the Indians is Bill Knickerbocker (1934). All three of those players were 22 years old at the time of their 3-3-3 games.
Verlander just can't beat Cleveland
Including Tuesday's loss, Justin Verlander has failed to earn a win in any of his last nine starts against the Indians, dating back to May 2014. That's his longest streak without a W against any opponent. The only other active pitcher who has compiled a streak of nine or more winless starts versus Cleveland is Ervin Santana, who failed to win any of his first 10 starts against the Indians. With the loss, Verlander's lifetime record against Cleveland stands at 18-20. The only other active pitcher with at least 20 losses against a particular opponent is Felix Hernandez, who is 17-22 in 48 starts against the Rangers.
Royals walk off with win against Papelbon
The Royals scored three runs off Jonathan Papelbon in the ninth inning to clinch a come-from-behind walkoff victory at Kauffman Stadium. Kansas City had five singles in the inning, including a score-tying two-run single by Mike Moustakas and a game-winning RBI-single by Lorenzo Cain. Prior to Tuesday, Papelbon had allowed as many as five hits in a relief outing only once in his major-league career. On September 21, 2010, in a non-save situation, he allowed five hits at Fenway Park in the ninth inning against the Orioles.
Wisler shuts down Mets
Matt Wisler allowed just one hit over eight scoreless innings to lead the Braves to a 3-0 victory over the Mets at Citi Field. In the last 20 seasons (1997 to date), only one other Braves pitcher threw at least eight shutout innings in a road game with no more than one hit allowed. On September 4, 2006, Chuck James pitched eight shutout innings with one hit allowed in a win over the Mets at Shea Stadium.
Trumbo hits pair of homers in O's win
Mark Trumbo homered twice off Luis Severino to drive in three runs for the Orioles in their 4-1 win over the Yankees. Trumbo is off to a fast start with Baltimore, having totaled 33 hits in his first 25 games with the team while driving in 22 runs over that stretch. Since the franchise relocated to Baltimore in 1954, no other player has compiled that many hits and RBIs in his first 25 games with the Orioles. Five other active players had at least 33 hits and 22 RBIs in their first 25 games with their current teams - Yoenis Cespedes (Mets), Nelson Cruz (Mariners), Jeff Francoeur (Braves), Matt Holliday (Cardinals), and Kennys Vargas (Twins).
Yankees look lost in early going
The loss on Tuesday dropped the Yankees' record to 8-16, marking the fifth time in the last 100 seasons that the Yanks, at any point, have had twice as many losses as wins this far into a season. That also happened in 1925 (8-16), 1966 (9-18), 1984 (8-17), and 1991 (8-16).
Dodgers outfielders all go deep at the Trop
Each of the Dodgers' starting outfielders hit home runs in their 10-5 victory over the Rays at Tropicana Field. Center fielder Joc Pederson and left fielder Trayce Thompson went deep in the second inning, and right fielder Yasiel Puig capped the scoring for Los Angeles with a three-run homer in the ninth. Only one other team this season had a game in which all three starting outfielders hit home runs - the Mets did that at Philadelphia on April 19. The last game of that kind for the Dodgers was on April 13, 2010 - the starting outfield for L.A. in that contest was Manny Ramirez, Matt Kemp, and Andre Ethier.
Howard's homer accounts for lone run
Ryan Howard's solo homer in the sixth inning was all the offense the Phillies needed in their 1-0 victory over the Cardinals. This is the third time in Howard's major-league career that he homered in a 1-0 game. He also did that in April 2006 at Coors Field and earlier this season on April 9 against the Mets at Citi Field. Howard is the first player in Phillies history to homer in multiple 1-0 games within a single season. The only player with multiple games of that kind last season is Jay Bruce, who also did so twice.
Reds pen gives up another one
Kelby Tomlinson and Gregor Blanco had RBI singles in the eighth inning off Reds reliever Caleb Cotham to give the Giants their margin of victory in Cincinnati. The bullpen has been a sore spot for the Reds all season, allowing 77 runs over 27 games this season, including at least one run in each of Cincinnati's last 21 games. Only one other team in the last 75 seasons had a streak of more than 20 games in which the bullpen was scored upon (excluding games in which the team's starter pitched a complete game). The Indians had a streak of 30 consecutive games in 2004 in which at least one relief pitcher took the mound and proceeded to give up at least one run.
Back-to-back homers key comeback for Brewers
Immediately after Jonathan Lucroy tied the score with a two-run homer off Angels starter Nick Tropeano in the fifth inning, Chris Carter followed suit with a solo shot, putting the Brewers ahead for good in their 5-4 victory over the Angels. Lucroy and Carter are the third pair of teammates this season to hit back-to-back home runs in which the first tied the score and the second gave their team the lead. Jonathan Schoop and Nolan Reimold did that for the Orioles in a road game against the Rangers on April 15, and Yoenis Cespedes and Lucas Duda did so for the Mets at Philadelphia on April 20. In the last five seasons (2012-2016), the only other time a pair of Brewers teammates did that in a game was on May 10, 2015. Martin Maldonado and Elian Herrera did the deed against Cubs reliever Zac Rosscup in the seventh inning.
Clutch hitting by Ichiro lifts Marlins to victory
Ichiro Suzuki drove in two runs with a pinch-hit single, putting the Marlins ahead to stay versus the Diamondbacks. Suzuki now has 50 hits in his major-league career in which he drove in the go-ahead run in the fifth inning or later, but Tuesday's game marked his first such hit as a pinch-hitter.
Quintana's ERA officially microscopic
Jose Quintana allowed one run over eight brilliant innings to earn his fourth win of the season as the White Sox defeated the Red Sox, 4-1. Quintana lowered his earned run average to 1.40 on the season, marking the best ERA for a White Sox pitcher through his first six starts of a season in 36 years. Britt Burns allowed seven earned runs over 48.1 innings in his first six starts for the ChiSox in 1980, good for a 1.30 ERA.
Cashner shakes off early runs
The Padres overcame an early three-run deficit to defeat the Rockies at Petco Park by a score of 6-3. Andrew Cashner was the beneficiary of the comeback, earning his second win of the season despite allowing three runs in the first two innings. Prior to Tuesday, Cashner had never won a start in which the Padres fell behind by at least three runs. Cashner had a 0-20 record in those 24 starts with four no-decisions.