Monday, June 14, 2010

Sports Chowdah Recap for June 12-14- Stubborn Celtic Pride; Rue Brittania; Sox Rookie Nava Has Grand Debut

(Canadian Press)

NBA FINALS: *WHEW!* Well, Kobe Bryant's 38 points made Game 5 a little closer than I would've liked, but I'm not going to complain about the final outcome from Sunday night. The C's, shored up by a 27-point effort from Paul Pierce got out to the early lead, but at times even the biggest lead wasn't safe. Kobe had 23 straight points for the Lakers from the 4:23 mark of the 2nd to the 2 minute mark of the 3rd.

With 90 seconds left in regulation, the C's were held scoreless and their lead eroding to 87-82. Boston got a break when a video review showed Ray Allen's 3 point attempt nicked the rim, giving the C's a fresh 24 seconds on the shot clock with 1:05 remaining. Rasheed Wallace missed a 3-pointer for the C's, but Derek Fisher and Kevin Garnett. Garnett won the jump ball and managed to tip the ball to Ron Artest for a breakaway. Pierce fouled Artest instead of letting him try for the easy layup, and Artest rewarded that by missing his two free throws for LA. Although Kobe got the rebound, it was immediately taken away by Pierce before Kobe could even attempt a shot. Pierce then dribbled off to the sidelines and called for a time-out. That set up a desperation pass to Rajon Rondo with 36 seconds left to make it 89-82 on his layup. That finally put LA in a hole too big to climb out of and the Celtics took Game 5 by a final of 92-86. Boston leads the NBA Finals 3 games to 2.

While Kobe's performance singlehandedly kept LA in the game the rest of the Lakers fizzled, however, with Pau Gasol leading all non-Kobe Lakers with a whopping 12 points. Derek Fisher, who burned the C's badly in the 4th quarter of Game 3, was held to 9 points.

Kevin Garnett had 18 points and 10 rebounds Sunday night while Rajon Rondo had 18 points and 8 assists. Game 6 will take place tomorrow night at LA's Staples Center at 9 PM Eastern time, 6 Pacific.

(Boston Herald)
Saturday's game was one to remember for Red Sox call-up Daniel Nava as he became the first rookie since Kevin Kouzmanoff to hit a grand-slam in his first career at-bat in the bottom of the second inning against the Phillies. The 27 year old undrafted outfielder had been batting .294 with 8 homers and 38 RBIs in AAA Pawtucket this season. Nava's contract was purchased from the Chico Outlaws of the Independent Golden League in 2007 by the Red Sox, where he was ranked Baseball America's #1 independent prospect.

The striking first impression left by Nava overshadowed some bad news regarding Daisuke Matsuzaka, who was a late scratch before the game and went on the 15-day DL with a forearm strain. The Sox stared with Scott Atchison, who would give up 2 runs in the top of the second. Despite a starter going on the DL and the early, 2-0 lead, that would be it for the Phils offense as Boston would win by a final of 10-2 and win two out of three against the Phils over the weekend at Fenway including Friday's 12-2 blowout.

The Red Sox will host the Diamondbacks for the next for a 3-game series against. Clay Buccholz (8-4) will get the start against the D'backs Ian Kennedy (3-3) on Tuesday night.

WORLD CUP: You know- I gotta confess something. It's actually been a dream of mine to travel to South Africa at some point. Safari, the colonial-era mining towns, cities like Cape Town and Durban- not to mention The Blue Train and Rovos Rail. However, 2010 is not the year to do it, since accommodations will be at a premium and South Africa's Rand is actually gaining in value against most major currencies.

But I guess it should be worth mentioning that Team USA tying heavily favored England 1-1 on Saturday [In your face former colonial masters!! -NANESB!]. However, even that earth-shattering development has taken a backseat to the ascendancy of the vuvuzelas, which apparently are cheap plastic horns that sound kind of like a swarm of bees when you have a whole stadium blowing into them simultaneously (click on the link at your own peril). Apparently if there's one thing the many different nations of the world participating in the World Cup can agree on, it's the desire to see these vuvuzela's banned from the stadiums hosting matches for the rest of tournament.

And speaking of stadiums, apparently the ushers and security guards in South Africa feel they aren't getting paid enough, since they walked off the job and called a strike in Cape Town and Durban yesterday. Trainee and auxiliary police were reportedly brought in to handle security at the stadiums where the guards walked off.

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