The Viral Roundup – Ladies Love King James Edition
Hello! Welcome to another special TGIF go-around (shout-out to The Hughleys!) of The Viral Roundup. We’re your one-stop shop for all the big news, big buzz and big developments headlining the world of sports. In today’s edition: King James and the Cavs conquer the Windy City, the Clippers can’t stop a Rockets comeback and the Twins get mauled in Detroit.
Did You Hear?
King James and some stellar play from Cleveland’s reserves have the Cavs in the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2009. Chicago was absolutely crushed at home in Game 6 going out on the ugly end of a 94-73 beatdown. LeBron was one rebound away from a triple-double and Matthew Dellavedova came off the bench to provide a team-high 19 points. The troubling news for Cavs fans? Guard Kyrie Irving left the game in the first half with knee trouble. The L bounces the Bulls out of the postseason and it continues a troubling trend of being unable overthrow King James. Chicago have now been eliminated by a LeBron-led team for the fourth time in six years. Cleveland now waits for the winner of the Atlanta-Washington series to see who’s up next.
Did You See?
Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder has a well-deserved reputation as a die-hard Cubs fan and this week Vedder once again tackled the honour of leading the Wrigley Field faithful in a rendition of “Take Me Out To The Ball Game.” As always, his song captaining is done with that unmistakable voice and the feeling that it’s a touch more genuine than the bulk of celebs that take on the 7th inning stretch staple. Speaking of the Cubs, scroll a little further down and you’ll see how they did against the Mets.
Did You Know?
- The Rockets would not be denied on Thursday night. Heading into halftime with a 19 point deficit hanging over their heads, Houston battled back with a vengence in quarters 3 and 4 to beat the Clippers 119-107 and force a Game 7. Rockets big man Dwight Howard collected 20 points and 21 rebounds while Corey Brewer played big off the bench in the 4th quarter where he scored 15 of his 19 points. The Clippers were outmatched 60-41 when it came to nabbing boards and they’ll need to improve that margin on Sunday if they want to advance to the Eastern Conference Final. The Clippers have never advanced to Round 3 of the NBA Playoffs at any point in their franchise’s history.
- John Wall appears ready to go for the Wizards must-win Game 6 showdown in D.C. tomorrow night. Coach Randy Wittman says the club’s superstar guard is currently experiencing zero swelling in his injured left hand and wrist. Wall returned to the lineup for Washington’s Game 5 heartbreaker after missing time to recover from the multiple fractures he suffered in Round 2′s opener. The Wizards are listed as a two and a half point home favourite to come out the winner over Atlanta.
- The Cardinals recovered from being victimized for 18 Ks on Wednesday to put up enough offense to push past the Indians in interleague play. Mark Carpenter’s two-run bomb in the 8th was key to St. Louis emerging with a 2-1 victory in Cleveland. Indians starter Trevor Bauer still managed to rack up an impressive strikeout total in defeat, exiting the game with a noteworthy 10 Ks. Momentum has proven elusiive for Cleveland. The last time they won back-to-back games was back in their season opening series with the Astros.
- The Cubs had the Mets number this week. Chicago pulled off a four game sweep of Mr. Met’s crew thanks to a hard fought 6-5 victory on Thursday. The club crawled back from 5-1 deficit thanks a four run rally in the 5th and Dexter Fowler arriving home for the winning run in the 7th. The crowd at Wrigley Field not only witnessed a victory, but they also saw manager Joe Maddon’s 800th career win.
- The Phillies squeezed out a 4-2 home win on Thursday over the Pirates. Aaron Harang improved to 4-3 on the season with a strong eight inning performance that held Pittsburgh batters to a slim five hits. Ryan Howard was among those providing run support courtesy of a homer to right. Pittsburgh was without Andrew McCutchen as he was given the day off. Philadelphia now moves on to start a set versus the Diamondbacks and Pittsburgh travels to Wrigley Field for a series against the Cubs.
- It was awfully kind of Minnesota to help Detroit out with their batting practice yesterday. The Tigers managed to get 20 hits and four homers in a 13-1 slaughtering of their AL Central rival. Miguel Cabrera had a monster game at the plate going 3-5 with a pair of jacks and five ribbies. Detroit’s offensive onslaught was more than enough to chase Twins starter Mike Pelfey off the mound in the 5th and hand the 31-year-old his first losing decision of 2015.
- Ross Detwiler is still on the hunt for his first win of 2015. The Rangers starter dips to 0-5 after a 6-3 loss to the AL Central leading Royals. Kansas City shortstop Alcides Escobar went 3-5 with 2 RBI and Eric Hosmer cranked his seventh home run of the season in the win. KC begins a home stand tomorrow versus the Yankees and Texas hosts a set of their own against Cleveland.
- Round 3 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs gets underway on Saturday afternoon. Tomorrow’s matinee features the Tampa Bay Lightning travelling to Madison Square Garden to face former Bolts star Martin St. Louis and the New York Rangers. The Lightning are currently listed as a +130 moneyline underdog in the series and the Blueshirts got the nod as the favourites at -150. It’s unclear when or even if Rangers forward Mats Zuccarello will return to the lineup during the Eastern Conference Finals. The 24-year-old has been out of the lineup with a head injury suffered in the opening round of the postseason.
- The IIHF World Hockey Championship has trimmed down to its final four. Thursday’s marquee matchup featured Russia and Sweden going toe-to-toe with the promise of Alex Ovechkin joining his national club if Russia advanced. Russia held up their end of the bargain by thumping the Swedish side 5-3. The win places Russia in a semifinal showdown with the U.S. who knocked off Switzerland 3-1. The addition of Ovechkin means Russia has a roster that boasts Ovi, Evgeni Malkin, Vladimir Tarasenko and Ilya Kovalchuk to give opposing netminders some nightmare fuel. Speaking of scary good rosters, Canada obliterated Belarus 9-0 to continue their title quest. Tyler Seguin notched a hat trick and both Brent Burns and Ryan O’Reily scored a pair. The Canadians will do battle with a Czech Republic squad that dispatched Finland 5-3. Ageless wonder Jaromir Jagr scored twice to power his team to victory.
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