😈 Mad Maxey

76ers-Knicks OT-thriller, NBA & Stanley Cup playoffs, MLB, UCL, and more...

It’s May! April showers bring May flowers, and there was plenty of rain at the Garden last night. In an overtime thriller between the Sixers and Knicks, Tyrese Maxey put on a show, providing the latest cliff-BANG!-er in a hit series that appeared to be in its finale. Then, Cleveland and Orlando went down to the wire, and the Bucks avoided becoming roadkill. Meanwhile, the Stanley Cup playoffs boasted a quadruplet of Game 5s, and surprise, surprise — it was nails. The Islanders failed to evacuate the Hurricanes’ elimination eye. The Avs grounded the Jets for good. The B’s blew a golden opportunity. And the Preds are still on the prowl. Finally, all 30 MLB teams took the field, and the Champions League semifinals got underway. Let’s go!

WTF Stat: For the first time since 2005, the second round of the NBA playoffs will not feature LeBron James, Kevin Durant, or Stephen Curry.

Written By: Ian Dardani

A beekeeper saved the Diamondbacks-Dodgers game yesterday and then got to throw out the first pitch.

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⚾️ Angels star OF Mike Trout will undergo surgery after suffering a torn meniscus in his left knee during Monday’s win against the Phillies but is expected to return sometime this season - Trout, a three-time AL MVP, got emotional while talking to the media yesterday, and there’s no definitive timetable for his return

🏀 Celtics C Kristaps Porzingis is expected to miss “several games” after MRI results confirmed he suffered a right calf strain in Boston’s Game 4 win against the Heat on Monday - Porzingis averaged 20.1 points and 7.2 rebounds during the regular season

Photo: Mad Maxey | Source: NBA

NBA Playoffs - First Round (East, Game 5s)

  • #7 Philadelphia 76ers 112, #2 New York Knicks 106 / OT (NYK lead series 3-2): Another night, another instant classic! Tyrese Maxey (46 PTS, 7-12 3PT, 9 AST) and Jalen Brunson (40 PTS, 15-32 FG, 6 AST) went tit for tat in a scoring clinic, and with Philadelphia trailing by six with 28 seconds to play, Maxey drilled two outrageous triples, capped by an audacious game-tying three from the logo with eight seconds left to force overtime, where he got help from a banged-up Joel Embiid (19 PTS, 16 REB, 10 AST, 9 TO) to stun the Knicks, keeping the Sixers’ season alive with a gutsy win at the Garden - the series will return to Philly for Game 6 on Thursday

  • #4 Cleveland Cavaliers 104, #5 Orlando Magic 103 (CLE leads series 3-2): In a pivotal Game 5, Paolo Banchero (39 PTS, 14-24 FG, 8 REB, 4 AST) exchanged blows with Donovan Mitchell (28 PTS, 6 REB) and Darius Garland (23 PTS, 5 REB, 5 AST) to keep the Magic afloat, but with Cleveland clinging to a 102-100 lead and just 13 seconds remaining, it was Franz Wagner (14 PTS, 3-11 FG, 6 AST) who had the ball for Orlando, and Wagner was denied at the rim by Evan Mobley (14 PTS, 13 REB) to give the Cavs a massive victory at home - Banchero hit a meaningless three at the buzzer after Mitchell secured the win with a pair of free throws

  • #3 Milwaukee Bucks 115, #6 Indiana Pacers 92 (IND leads series 3-2): With their season on the line and both Giannis Antetokounmpo (calf) and Damian Lillard (Achilles) in street clothes, Bobby Portis (29 PTS, 10 REB) and Khris Middleton (29 PTS, 12 REB, 5 AST) fueled a decisive 3rd-quarter run for the Deer that ballooned a 53-48 halftime lead into a 23-point rout, as Milwaukee blew out Tyrese Haliburton (16 PTS, 4-10 3PT, 6 AST) and the Pacers at home to extend the series - the series heads back to Indiana for Game 6 on Thursday

See the full box scores here.

Tonight’s Schedule - First Round (Game 5s)

  • East | #8 Miami Heat @ #1 Boston Celtics 7:30pm ET, TNT - (BOS leads series 3-1)

  • West | #5 Dallas Mavericks @ #4 LA Clippers 10:00pm ET, TNT - (Series tied 2-2)

See the entire NBA playoffs bracket here.

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs - First Round (Game 5s)

  • East | Toronto Maple Leafs 2, Boston Bruins 1 / OT (BOS leads series 3-2): No Auston Matthews? No problem! After Toronto’s Jake McCabe (1 G) and Boston’s Trent Frederic (1 G) traded goals in the 1st period, both Joseph Woll (27 SV) and Jeremy Swayman (31 SV) locked in and each made some spectacular saves to force extra hockey, where Matthew Knies (1 G) netted the OT-winner to give the Leafs a valiant victory at TD Garden despite being without Auston Matthews due to illness - the series will return to Toronto for Game 6 on Thursday

  • East | Carolina Hurricanes 6, New York Islanders 3 (CAR Wins series 4-1): With their backs against the wall, Brock Nelson (1 G, 1 A) and the Isles erased a 3-1 deficit with a pair of scores in the 2nd period, but then Jack Drury (1 G) and Stefan Noesen (1 G) regained control for Carolina in the 3rd with back-to-back goals in the span of eight seconds, and Seth Jarvis (1 G) added an empty-netter to sink the Islanders in five games - the Hurricanes will meet the top-seeded Rangers in the second round

  • West | Colorado Avalanche 6, Winnipeg Jets 3 (COL Wins series 4-1): The Jets came out in desperation mode and hung tough for two-and-a-half periods, but after Tyler Toffoli (1 G) tied the game at three early in the 3rd, Mikko Rantanen (2 G, 1 A) decided he’d seen enough and buried two straight bingos to give Colorado a comfortable lead that they never relinquished, as the Avs ousted Winnipeg on their home ice for a gentleman’s sweep - Colorado will face the winner of Dallas and Vegas in the second round

  • West | Nashville Predators 2, Vancouver Canucks 1 (VAN leads series 3-2): Smashville ain’t done yet! After a scoreless two periods, Vancouver’s Nikita Zadorov (1 G) broke the ice to push the Predators to the brink, but Roman Josi (1 G) quickly retaliated for Nashville, and then Alexandre Carrier (1 G) blasted home the game-winner to stave off elimination - the series will return to Nashville for Game 6 on Friday

See the full box scores here.

Tonight’s Schedule - First Round (West, Game 5s)

  • (WC2) Vegas Golden Knights @ (C1) Dallas Stars 7:30pm ET, ESPN - (Series tied 2-2)

  • (P3) Los Angeles Kings @ (P2) Edmonton Oilers 10:00pm ET, ESPN - (EDM leads series 3-1)

See the entire Stanley Cup playoffs bracket here.

MLB - Top Games

  • Miami Marlins 7, Colorado Rockies 6 (F/10): In the game of the day, the Fish overcame a five-run deficit in the bottom of the 9th to force extras, where Dane Myers (2-2, 3 RBIs) drove in Bryan De La Cruz (2-4, 1 RBI), who ran over Rockies catcher Elias Diaz (0-3) to avoid the tag for a wild walk-off win in Miami - the Rockies (7-22) are the first team since 1900 to trail in each of its first 29 games

  • Houston Astros 10, Cleveland Guardians 9 (F/10): The Astros are the second-worst team in the American League right now, but they got a potential season-swinging win last night as pinch-hitter Victor Caratini (1-1, 1 HR, 2 RBIs) clubbed a two-run walk-off homer with two outs in the bottom of the 10th to give the ‘Stros a dramatic dub against the surging Guardians - Houston is now 10-19, while Cleveland is 19-10

  • Minnesota Twins 6, Chicago White Sox 5: The Twins are the hottest team in baseball, and the White Sox are the worst. Chicago’s Andrew Benintendi (1-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI) tied the game in the bottom of the 8th with a solo dong, but Trevor Larnarch (2-4, 1 RBI) responded a half-inning later with a go-ahead RBI single, and Minnesota hung on for their ninth straight win - the White Sox (6-24) trail the Twins (16-13) by 10.5 games for fourth place in the AL Central

  • Boston Red Sox 4, San Francisco Giants 0: The Sox are getting hot! Cooper Criswell (5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 4 Ks) helped Boston notch their major league-leading sixth shutout of the season, and rookie Wilyer Abrea (3-4, 1 R, 1 RBI) had a single, double, and his first career triple to lead the Red Sox to their third straight win at Fenway - Boston (17-13) is 7-3 in their past 10 games, and San Francisco (14-16) has lost five in a row

See the full MLB scoreboard here and the current standings here.

UEFA Champions League - Semifinals (First Leg)

  • Bayern Munich 2, Real Madrid 2: In an eventful first leg in Munich, Leroy Sane (53’) and Harry Kane (57' PK) gave the home side a 2-1 lead with subsequent strikes following intermission, but after opening the scoring in the first half, Real’s Vinicius Junior (24’, 83’ PK) finished it in the second, as the 23-year-old forward netted the equalizer on a late penalty to salvage a draw for the LaLiga side - the winner of the second leg will face either Dortmund or PSG, who begin their first leg this afternoon

See the full international scoreboard here and the UCL bracket here.

How many times has LeBron James been eliminated in the first round of the NBA playoffs?

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Photo: Messi’s first goal | Source: AFP Photo

On May 1, 2005, 17-year-old Lionel Messi scored his first official goal for FC Barcelona in a 2-1 win against Albacete Balompie at Camp Nou. After garnering the attention of scouts across the globe as a young boy in Argentina, Messi and his family relocated to Spain when he was 13 years old, and he began playing for FC Barcelona's U14 team. In November 2004, he made his professional debut at the age of 16, and in his eighth official appearance with Barca’s senior squad, he scored his first goal, receiving a brilliant assist from another legend, Ronaldinho, before lofting an exquisite lob into the back of the net. Messi would go on to play a club-record 778 games for Barcelona’s first team, netting 672 goals and tallying 266 assists. To put that in perspective, nobody has scored more goals for any one club in the history game! His ridiculous numbers earned him the Ballon d'Or six times, and he led Barca to 34 team trophies, including four Champions League titles. Exactly 19 years since his first professional goal, many consider Messi the greatest soccer player to ever live.

NBA Playoffs - First Round (Game 5s)

  • Miami Heat @ Boston Celtics 7:30pm ET, TNT

  • Dallas Mavericks @ LA Clippers 10:00pm ET, TNT

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs - First Round (Game 5s)

  • Vegas Golden Knights @ Dallas Stars 7:30pm ET, ESPN

  • Los Angeles Kings @ Edmonton Oilers 10:00pm ET, ESPN


  • Kansas City Royals @ Toronto Blue Jays 3:10pm ET, ESPN+

  • San Francisco Giants @ Boston Red Sox 7:10pm ET, Local

  • Los Angeles Dodgers @ Arizona Diamondbacks 9:40pm ET, Local

  • Full Schedule

UEFA Champions League - Semifinals (First Leg)

  • Paris Saint-Germain @ Borussia Dortmund 3:00pm ET, Paramount+

Trivia Time Answer

B. Twice. In his 17 playoff appearances, LeBron James has only lost twice in the first round: First in 2021 against the Suns and then this year against the Nuggets. James has never been swept in the first round, and for eight straight seasons (2010-18), his teams reached the NBA Finals. Now, I know what you’re wondering, so for what it’s worth, Michael Jordan was eliminated in the first round three times, two of which were sweeps at the hands of the Celtics (1986, 1987).

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  • Mavericks @ Clippers: Luka Doncic Over 32.5 PTS (-110)

Tomorrow will be my last time writing the Blitz. But more on that later!