And just like that we have a series. The Miami Heat used a big run to destory the San Antonio Spurs last night in game two of the NBA Finals, but that wasn't the only big event that happened this week. The Stack is here to talk about it all so let's get right to it and see what made "the stack" for today, Monday, June 10:
Heat even up NBA Finals
Despite LeBron James not looking like himself for more than a half, the Miami Heat have tied the NBA Finals up 1-1 with the San Antonio Spurs following their 103-84 win. It was close into the third quarter. In fact, the Spurs were up by three in the third quarter. And then the Heat turned on a switch and just like that we had a blowout on our hands. Miami went on a 33-5 run to put the game away for good. It was during that run that James also came to life scoring eight of his 17 points. But James was doing more than just scoring. He drove in the lane and passed it to wide open players who knocked down threes. James also had one of the best blocks you'll ever see when Tiago Splitter went in for a dunk and James stuffed him. It energized the crowd to another level the likes of which you rarely see in Miami. James had two other blocks as well, but none as good as that one.
Still though, James was unusually quiet for much of the game. He wasn't too involved in the early going and his shot was off. But James' teammates picked him up. Mario Chalmers in particular played magnificent scoring 19 points. Chris Bosh played well, recording a double-double. Dwyane Wade was agressive as well. The Heat's defense was stifling and it looked at times as though San Antonio was content just taking one game in Miami before heading back to San Antonio for games three, four and five. The home crowd will re-energize the Spurs, but if they can't figure out a way to generate better looks at the basket and if Miami's defense plays that way the entire game, the Spurs could be in trouble. Amazing how quick a series can change after one game.
Stanley Cup Finals set
The Stanley Cup Finals matchup has been determined and there will be no repeat champion. Unfortunately for the NHL, the conference finals were short and lacked the drama they should have though each series did have one game that went to double overtime. Boston took care of Pittsburgh Friday night with a 1-0 victory in game four to sweep the Penguins out of the playoffs while Chicago ousted the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings in a thrilling double overtime 4-3 win. So the matchup to determine who wins Lord Stanley's Cup will be the Chicago Blackhawks out of the western conference against the Boston Bruins out of the eastern conference. The Stack will have a full Stanley Cup Finals preview Wednesday before game one. Should be a great series. Hope to see it go at least six games.
Serena, Nadal win French Open titles
The French Open is over and the finales saw two dominating performances. Serena Williams was brilliant right from the opening set of the first round of the tournament and beat Maria Sharapova in straight sets 6-4, 6-4 to win her first French Open since 2002 and just her second overall. Williams is dominating women's tennis right now. Just when nyou think she's approaching the end, she comes back with a scintillating performance. She has to be considered the favorite when Wimbledon starts next month.
Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal won his eighth career French Open with a straight set 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 win over fellow Spaniard David Ferrer. The eight French Open championships are the most ever by one player in a grand slam event. No tennis player has ever done that before. Nadal's dominance is stunning. Perhaps more impressive than the win Sunday was Nadal's win over Novak Djokovic on Friday. He won in five sets, and fifth set was the best winning 9-7. Nadal destroys the competition on clay and he may soon overtake Djokovic as the number one player in the world again. Fantastic French Open overall.
Marlins-Mets go 20 innings
Nothing like an unexpected doubleheader when you go to the ballpark for a game. That's what New York Mets fans got Saturday when they saw their Mets and the Miami Marlins go twenty innings to decide who won. The Marlins did, winning 2-1. Starting pitchers Jose Fernandez (Marlins) and Matt Harvey (Mets) dueled in this one. They also dueled when the two teams met in Miami a week before. That game went fifteen innings. With Saturday's game going twenty innings, the Marlins-Mets game was the first game featuring the same two starting pitchers that pitched in two games that went fifteen plus innings in the same season since 1884. 1884! That is astounding. And Sunday, the two teams went to extras to decide who won. The Marlins won 8-4 and it only took them ten innings to finish this one. What a wild weekend series in New York.
Fantastic pairing at the U.S. Open
The U.S. Open starts Thursday at Merion Gulf Club near Philadelphia and one of the pairings will feature perhaps the best paring we've ever seen in a major. Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott will play together for each the first and second rounds. All have won majors. They're ranked one-two-three in the world. And it's also the first time Woods and McIlroy will be paired together in a major championship. I'm guessing there will be just a few in the gallery following this group.
Coming up Tuesday: Reaction to top sports stories and headlines from Monday