The Wizards are going back to DC with a 2-0 lead over the 3rd seeded Bulls. I think the story of this series will be how the Wizards came back twice in Chicago to win and how they outplayed Chicago on the defensive end. For the rest of this series, I will say, if a game reaches the "100 point" mark, chances are the Wizards will win. And what a performance down the straight by Bradley Beal, scoring 10 points in the final 5 minutes of the 4th quarter, helping take the game into OT. It's always great to see young players grow and mature in the playoffs. The other night we seen Damian Lillard guide his team to a victory and tonight, it was Beal's turn. Both are in their 1st postseason.
I will be honest and say that I turned this game off at halftime, just because I didn't want to continue to witness the implosion of the Pacers. The Pacers came out a completely different team in the second half, outscoring the Hawks 53-33. I guess they finally decided to play as a team and play some defense. What didn't change though was Roy Hibbert ineffectiveness. It is truly amazing and depressing to see him go from league's best to league's worst in a month. Only 6 points and 4 rebounds for the 7'2 Hibbert, which just make me so disappointed, knowing Roy is much better than that. To get back on track Pacers still need to win a game in ATL because the Hawks are still in the driver seat.
This is definitely becoming one of the better series in the playoffs. Like the Pacers and Bulls, the Raptors desperately needed to win on their home court. Paul Pierce couldn't come through with a clutch 4th quarter and instead finished with 7 points, 2-11 for the field. DeMar DeRozan on the other hand, went for 30, also playing in first postseason. The story of the game though was the battle on the boards. The Raptors out-rebounded the Nets 52-33, with 19 offensive rebounds. Even though the Nets had 14 steals and the Raptors had 20 turnovers, the rebound differential was just too much. Heading back to Brooklyn, the Nets are still in the driver seat.
Albert Pujols became the 26th player to hit 500 HRs with a 2 run bomb against the Nationals Tuesday night. Pujols also became the first player to hit homers 499 and 500 in the same game. I see this as a win for the MLB because Pujols is definitely one of the good guys in the league, never once being connected to any kind PEDs investigations. He joins A-Rod as the only active players with 500 HRs but I'm sure the league will celebrate Pujols a lot more than A-Rod. Pujols is the first player since 2009 to join the Homer Club, Gary Sheffield being the last player before Pujols. Only 34, Pujols still has an opportunity to reach 600 homers, but Hank Aaron's record is a sure longshot. Potential Players to join the club are Adam Dunn (443), Jason Giambi (438), Paul Konerko (434), and David Ortiz (434).
The Montreal Canadiens are the first team to advance to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, sweeping the Lightning, thanks to a late game winning goal by Max Pacioretty. The Canadiens built a 3-1 lead going into the 3rd period but the Lightning scored two goals in the first 7 minutes of the period. With 43 seconds remaining, Pacioretty hit the game winner, sealing the series. This is the Canadiens first playoff win since 2010 when they lost to the Flyers in the Conference Finals, 4-1. They will now wait for the winner of the Bruins-Red Wings series, Bruins leading the series 2-1. Canadiens will get a nice break until their next game, which can be a gift and a curse. It's a gift because players like Pacioretty and P.K. Subban who played in the Olympics get some much needed rest time. But on the other hand, they could come out flat from not playing in awhile.