Fun Fact of the Day: This weekend Barcelona won Spain’s La Liga title for the 24th time, narrowly beating out Real Madrid, which has won the title a record 32 times.
Oh, Canada! The Toronto Raptors steamrolled the Miami Heat (116-89) thanks to Kyle Lowry who got his shooting groove back, scoring a game-high 35 points. The Raptors have vanquished the ghosts of playoffs past, when they exited in the 1st round for the last 2 years. Now, they will advance to the Eastern Conference finals for the first time in franchise history! While the Raptors have been scratching and clawing their way through two 7-game series to get here, the reigning Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers have been getting some R&R after sweeping both their opponents in the first 2 rounds.
The Conference finals begin! Last night, the St. Louis Blues beat the San Jose Sharks (2-1) to take the lead in the series 1-0. The Sharks outshot the Blues 32-23, but they couldn’t get past Blues goalie Brian Elliott. Meanwhile in the East… The Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Pittsburgh Penguins (3-1), to lead the series 1-0. Lightning goalie Ben Bishop gave fans a fright, when he exited the game on a stretcher. Fortunately, X-ray results were clear of any structural damage. No word yet on whether he’ll be back for Game 2 tonight.
It’s a beautiful Day. After leading the scoreboard for all 4 rounds, Aussie Jason Day won the Players Championship (aka “THE PLAYERS”—psst, it is the most prestigious golf tournament after the 4 majors). Day is the 1st golfer to have multiple wire-to-wire wins in 1 season since Tiger Woods! Who didn’t fare so well on the fairway? Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson, and last year’s defending champ Rickie Fowler all didn’t make the cut after the 2nd round.
Base-brawlers. Yesterday’s game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Texas Rangers broke out into an all-out fistfight. To understand the feuding, you have to look back to last year’s AL Division Series, when Blue Jays RF Jose Bautista disrespected the Rangers by flipping his bat after hitting a 3-run homer. It was the talk of the town for months and the Rangers clearly wanted their revenge. They got their chance when Rangers P Matt Bush (who just returned from serving a 3 year prison sentence for drunk-driving and injuring a 72-year old man) hit Bautista with a baseball in the 8th inning. Bautista was peeved and slid hard into Rangers 2B Rougned Odor. Odor punched Bautista in the face and the rest of the team rushed the field to join in, leading to 6 ejections from the game. Ultimately, the Rangers got their revenge on the field, winning 7-6.
Out for now … and maybe forever? Colorado Rockies SS Jose Reyes has been suspended for 51-games under their MLB’s new domestic violence policy. What happened? Last Halloween, Reyes had a domestic dispute with his wife while vacationing in Hawaii. According to local newspapers, Reyes grabbed his wife by the throat and shoved her into a sliding glass door in their hotel room. He was scheduled to go to trial last month, but the charges were dropped with his wife stopped cooperating with police. I kept your seat warm for you… Technically, Reyes’ suspension ends in June, but who knows if he’ll still have a gig to go back to?! While he's been gone, the Rockies starting SS job was given to rookie Trevor Story, who has been absolutely killing it on the field.
Ciao slump. This weekend, Serena Williams ended a 9-month title drought by winning the Italian Open! Despite a nasty dog food incident earlier in the week, Williams managed to take home the victory over fellow American Madison Keys. This is Williams’s 4th win in Rome and her 70th title! On the men’s court… Andy Murray celebrated his 29th birthday right by defeating top-ranked Novak Djokovic and collecting his 1st win on a clay court. Next up! All your favorite tennis stars will be playing in the French Open, which begins next week.
The Western Conference finals begin! Oklahoma City Thunder @ Golden State Warriors, 9pm ET TNT.
The Eastern Conference finals of the Stanley Cup Playoffs continue! Tampa Bay Lightning @ Pittsburgh Penguins—the Lightning lead the series 1-0, 8pm ET on NBCSN