Mitch's Sports Report: James Is King In Game Seven Win Over Cold Shooting Celtics
Tyler Andrews of Concord, Massachusetts won the men's division of the Vermont City Marathon yesterday, and rewrote the history books in the process, finishing with the marathon's second fastest time ever recorded.
Andrews finished with a time of 2 hours, 17 minutes, 44 seconds, 41 seconds off the course record. It's the third first place finish for Andrews, who won the race last year and in 2014.
In the women's division, Bizuwork Kasaye of New York's Bronx borough, took first place with a time of 2:42:24.
The top Vermont finishers were Burlington's Teague O'Connor in the men's division with a time of 2:27:41, the third straight time he's won as the top male Vermont finisher, and 44-year old Tammy Richards of Williamsville took the crown as top Vermonter in the women's division with a time of 2:58:35.
To the NBA eastern conference finals, and a series that going seven games for both the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers must have felt a bit like a basketball version of a marathon. The race to the finals ended with the best player on either team, or any team for that matter, taking over the game with 35 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists in Cleveland's 87-79 win in Boston last night. Do I really need to tell you that player was LeBron James?
James played every minute of last night's contest. He kept getting the ball to his teammates even when they were ice cold in the first half. He kept knocking down big shots every time the Celtics looked like they might make a run and take over the game. He made blocks on defense. And he did that in every elimination game this series.
He did finally get some help last night, though, and it has to sting a bit that former Celtic Jeff Green was so effective as the replacement for Kevin Love, who sat out as a precaution for concussion symptoms after game six. Green scored 19 points and took down eight rebounds in the only game either team won on the road in this series.
On Boston's side of the ball, it's too bad the rest of the team couldn't follow Jayson Tatum's lead. He was electric for Boston, scoring 24 points, including a third quarter dunk over LeBron followed by a three on the Celtics's next possession that sent the crowd into a frenzy, but the Celts went into deep freeze after that, going almost five minutes without a bucket during a 15-2 Cavaliers run that put the game away.
And while Cleveland did a much better job on defense in this game, some blame has to be placed on just poor shooting by by the Celtics, who did have a lot of open looks, especially from beyond the arc, and just could not hit those shots. perhaps this was an indication of the Celtic's inexperience catching up with them, but two young players who were so good in Boston's three wins in the series were snakebit in the biggest game of the year.
Jaylen Brown went 3 for 12 on three point tries, and finished with just 13 points, while Terry Rozier was even colder,going 2 for 14 from the floor and recording a paltry four points on the night.
So the Celtics wonderful and improbable playoff run comes to an end, but while the cliche wait until next year seems little solace, no team has more to look forward to than Boston. It must not be forgotten that the Celts made it this far without two superstar veteran players lost to injury in Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving, and you can just imagine how good Boston will be next year with those two healthy and playing with the likes of the young and only going to get better core that's anchored by Brown and Tatum.
In Major League Baseball the Boston Red Sox had their best pitcher on the mound with a chance to complete a 3-game sweep of the Atlanta Braves, but Chris Sale did not have his best stuff yesterday and got roughed up by the Braves in a 7-1 loss at Fenway Park.
Sale couldn't get through the fifth inning and ended up yielding six runs, including a three-run bomb of a homer to Tyler Flowers. On the other side of the hill you could be excused for thinking Atlanta's Mike Foltynewicz had done a Freaky Friday body switch with Sale, as he took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning and struck out seven while giving up just three hits for the win.
The Sox will try to get back to the win column against the Toronto Bleu Jays at Fenway this afternoon.
In the Bronx the much-anticipated showdown between two players who were stars in their native country of Japan, and continue to be here in the U.S., was won by the veteran. NY Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka faced rookie Shohei Ohtani for the first time yesterday and struck him out twice in a 3-1 Yankee victory over the L.A. Angels.
Ohtani, as you may have heard, does something that's pretty much unheard of in modern baseball. He's a starting pitcher as well as a slugging outfielder, and had been scheduled to pitch against Tanaka yesterday but the Angels pushed back that start and so he faced Tanaka as a hitter instead.
Tanaka wasn't just good against his fellow countryman. He scattered three hits over six strong innings, to get the win, while Angels starter Garrett Richards was sloppy in the third, giving up three runs on three walks, a single, and three wild pitches before he was pulled. With the win the Yankess move to within one game of the Red Sox for first place in the A.L. east.
The struggles of the NY Mets bullpen continued in an 8-7 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers, who used a 4-run seventh inning to pull away for the win. Jesus Aguilar smacked a three-run homer and knocked in four runs overall for the Brew Crew, who trailed 6-4 before rallying against three different Mets relievers in the seventh. Milwaukee has won five in a row, the Mets have dropped thre of their last four.
J.A. Happ was great for the Toronto Blue Jays against his former team the Philadelphia Phillies in a 5-3 Blue Jays win. Happ pitched seven strong innings and Devon Travis and Dwight Smith Jr. each had two-run doubles to help improve Happ's record to 7-3 on the year.
Australia's Will Power won the Indy 500 yesterday. And in what was her final race in a remarkable career, Danica Patrick did not finish quietly. Patrick's car hit the wall in the second turn of the 68th lap yesterday and she was forced out of the race. But she'll be remembered for her pioneering appearances, bursting on to the scene in 2005 as a rookie driver, becoming the first woman ever to lead laps at the Brickyard--19 of them in that historic race--before finishing in fourth place in the '05 Indy.