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NBA Playoffs: Thunder Win Wild One, Cavs Take Opener Over Hawks

Some Tuesday morning notes.

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Last night the Cavaliers beat the Hawks in the opener of their 2nd round playoff series. It looked like the Cavs would cruise after opening up a double digit lead in the first quarter and stretching it to 18 in the 3rd, but a furious run by the Hawks got them back in the game.  The Cavs, however, made the final run over the last few minutes and pulled away for a 104-93 victory in Cleveland.

Meanwhile, the Thunder rebounded from their disastrous game one performance to grab a 98-97 win in San Antonio.  The Thunder opened strong in both halves, only to see the Spurs fight back into the game. It ended on a bizarre sequence that defies description, involving a turnover, several uncalled fouls, and some fan involvement.  Nonetheless, the series heads to Oklahoma City tied at 1 game apiece.

Tonight the other two series are in action, with the Raptors hosting the Heat in their 2nd round opener, and the Warriors home to the Blazers in game two after a fairly easy, Curry-less win in game one.  Both games are on TNT, with the first game scheduled for 7:00 pm CDT.

So I've been doing some research for an article about Ricky Rubio's defense that seems to have very little chance of getting written (you never know though!), so I thought I'd drop bits into other pieces.  For example, Rubio, between his steals and offensive fouls drawn, caused over two turnovers per 100 possessions more than the average point guard. That's a lot.

Congratulations to Leicester City for winning the premier league. It's an incredible accomplishment. As much as it hurts that it was at the expense of Spurs, it's a great, great story.

Things are slow (at least publicly) on the Wolves front. I expect Thibs is waiting for more teams to end their seasons before taking public action on assembling his coaching staff.  Meanwhile, I picture him somewhere watching all 82 Wolves games for the 5th or 6th time, having filled half a dozen spiral notebooks with observations and ideas.

Or, you know, he's at home on his couch watching the playoffs like me.

Look for a scorching hot take on the most important issue of the day coming up at noon from Lucas.  (Did I do that tease right)?

Today in history

1374 BC: Solar eclipse observed in Mesopotamia. 
1558: Ferdinand I named Holy Roman Emperor
1621: Francis Bacon accused of bribery
1662: Royal charter granted to Connecticut
1765: First medical college opens in U.S. in Philadelphia
1802: Washington DC incorporated as city; mosquitoes happy
1851: Fire destroys much of San Francisco
1916: 3 Irish nationalists executed for their actions in the Easter Rising
1926: U.S. Marines land in Nicaragua (again). 
1936: Joe DiMaggio makes Yankees debut
1937: Margaret Mitchell awarded Pulitzer for Gone With the Wind
1945: Allies arrest German physicist Werner Heisenberg 
1971: "All Things Considered" premieres on NPR

Today's musical birthday is the great James Brown, born in 1933 (d. 2006)

Have a great day.