Most Dramatic Moments of the Week
It's hard to come up with a much more dramatic week than that of the past seven days. There have been so many events around the world of sports worth discussing.
The NBA playoffs have been absolutely incredible, and the Donald Sterling fiasco put a whole extra layer on things. The NHL playoffs have been just as—if not more—exciting, as they stormed into the second round a few days ago.
This is a heck of a time for sports. Let's take a look back on the most dramatic moments from this past week.
Donald Sterling Firestorm
Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons recently, after TMZ and then Deadspin acquired recordings of his conversation with his girlfriend, in which he made some appalling and racist remarks.
Deadspin has been tracking all of the responses to Sterling, and I tried to include a lot of the important stuff here.
The Clippers players themselves protested by taking off their shooting shirts to reveal inside-out warm-ups. Matt Kemp, whose name was brought up in Sterling's conversation, used Michael Jackson's "Black or White" as his walk-up music.
Former NBA player and current Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson said that it is "a defining moment in the history of the NBA." Magic Johnson, who was also mentioned in the tape, said Sterling, "shouldn't own a team anymore." Michael Jordan expressed his outrage.
President Barack Obama also got involved, criticizing Sterling and saying he suspected the NBA will have to respond accordingly.
Just hours before the Clippers were going to take the court at home for the first time since tape of Sterling's conversation was released, NBA commissioner Adam Silver held a press conference.
Per ESPN, Silver came down hard on Sterling, handing him a lifetime ban from the NBA, fining him $2.5 million and saying that he would try to have the Clippers' Board of Directors force a sale of the team.
Then, the Clippers took to the court that night in an emotionally-charged Staples Center. But they stayed relatively composed and played solid ball, en route to a 113-103 win that put them up 3-2 in the series.
A 'Wild' Game 7 Finish
The Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche played their most intense game of a frantic series on Wednesday night. It was truly a riveting Game 7.
The Wild were clearly the better team all night (as they were for most of the series), but the Avs were pesky as ever. Colorado led an incredible four times in the game, and squandered every single lead.
Four total goals were scored in the third period, with the Avs scoring and setting the home crowd on fire only to have Minnesota respond swiftly.
Then, with just over five minutes gone in the overtime period, Nino Niederreiter sniped a shot that snuck in under the crossbar and gave Minnesota its first postseason series victory in 11 years.
Carter Hits Buzzer-beater for the Win
With the Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs tied up at one game apiece, Game 3 in Dallas was extremely important for both teams.
Only one point separated the two teams heading into the fourth quarter, and the two teams traded baskets as the clock neared zero.
Vince Carter, who had an otherwise subpar game, turned out to be the hero on this night. The 16-year veteran took the ball in the corner with roughly one second remaining, pumped and then put up a three pointer while falling backwards that hit nothing but net and sent the Dallas crowd into an absolute frenzy.
Ducks Clinch Series in Crazy Comeback OT Win
In what may have been the most intense game of the NHL playoffs to date (and that's saying something), the Dallas Stars faced elimination against the Anaheim Ducks.
The Stars were winning by scores of 2-0 and 3-1 in the first period and 4-2 in the third, but they just could not hang on to their leads.
It seemed like they had the game wrapped up with a two-goal lead and a little under 2:20 remaining in the third period. But with the goalie pulled, Nick Bonino scored to make it a one-goal game, and then Devante Smith-Pelly scored his second of the night to tie it up with only 22 seconds left, after a mad scramble in front.
With all the momentum on their side, the Ducks would press early and Bonino rifled home the game-winner less than three minutes into overtime to send his team into the second round.
Pacers and Warriors Force Game 7s on Same Night
The Indiana Pacers have not been playing like themselves over the past couple of months and in their first-round series with the Atlanta Hawks, but it seems like something woke them up on Thursday night, as they came back late to force Game 7.
George Hill and Mike Scott got into a scuffle late in the second quarter that personified the intensity of this game. Indiana was actually down by three heading into the fourth quarter, but finished the game with a furious 16-4 run that finally showed some urgency and reminded everyone how good they can be.
Meanwhile out on the West Coast, the Los Angeles Clippers were trying to put away the Golden State Warriors, who needed a win at home to force a Game 7 of their own.
Draymond Green and Stephen Curry led the way for Golden State, as Green played shutdown defense all night and Curry scored 24 points to go along with nine assists. The two teams traded baskets all night, and the Clippers staged a furious late comeback that the Warriors barely escaped from.
One can only imagine how exciting both Game 7s will be.
Canadiens Take Game 1 in Double-OT
The Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins sure got the second round of the NHL playoffs off to a real good start.
Montreal jumped all over Boston and controlled the game through the first two periods. They started the third up 2-0, but the Bruins came back to tie the game at two apiece. Montreal would take the lead again before Johnny Boychuk slammed home the game-tying goal with only 1:58 left on the clock.
The first overtime featured a number of great chances, but neither team could get the puck past the goalie and a second overtime was needed.
Then, just a few minutes into the second frame, P.K. Subban took advantage of a power play and leaned into a slap shot that beat Tuukka Rask and stunned the Boston crowd.
Rockets, Blazers Do Third OT in Four Games
What's going on in these NBA playoffs? The Houston Rockets and Portland Blazers faced off in Game 4 on Sunday night, which would end up being the third game of the series that went into overtime.
Both teams battled back and forth throughout game, as they have done all series, with the drama building each and every minute.
This game featured a bit of everything. The Blazers had to come back from being down 10 at halftime, LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard were dominant yet again, there was some incredible defense and the end of regulation was downright nuts.
The Blazers would end up sealing the game in overtime, winning 117-110. This series has been drama personified.
Montero Walk-off Homer in 10th
On Wednesday night, the Colorado Rockies were up 4-0 in the sixth inning, but the second half of the game belonged to the Arizona Diamondbacks. They clawed their way back, and then Martin Prado hit a game-tying, two-run single in the bottom of the ninth to send the game into extras.
The Diamondbacks, who have been struggling of late (9-22 overall and 3-8 heading into Wednesday's matchup), desperately needed some heroics to get things back on track.
Miguel Montero seemed more than up to the challenge. The veteran stepped up as the leadoff hitter in the bottom of the 10th and sent one soaring over the fence to give the D-Backs a big victory.
Grizzlies, Thunder Play 4th Straight OT Game
The series between the Memphis Grizzlies and Oklahoma City Thunder has been absolutely outrageous. Nothing could separate these two teams, and Tuesday night marked the fourth straight game that went into overtime in the series.
The Grizzlies took a commanding 12-point lead at halftime—but no lead has been safe in this series, and this game was no different. The end of the game was nuts: Russell Westbrook had a steal and dunk to tie it with about seven seconds remaining, and Zach Randolph's potential game-winner was ruled to have been shot after the buzzer.
Then, in overtime, the Grizzlies again seemed like they had a win sealed when Kevin Durant missed a jumper with under three seconds remaining, but Serge Ibaka tipped the ball in on the rebound and sent the crowd into a frenzy.
But a review of the play showed that Ibaka had gotten the shot off just a split-second too late, giving Memphis an incredible one-point victory and 3-2 series lead.