Los Angeles Lakers v Memphis Grizzlies - Game One
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Good morning to everyone but especially to...


Three months ago, Austin Reaves was sidelined with a hamstring injury and Rui Hachimura was stuck on a Wizards team going nowhere. Sunday, they played starring roles as the Lakers beat the Grizzlies, 128-111, to take Game 1 in Memphis.

  • Reaves scored 14 points in the fourth quarter -- including nine straight and an emphatic "I'm him" scream -- and finished with 23 points. Hachimura had 29 points in his playoff debut, tying the Lakers playoff record for a bench player.
  • Add in 22 points from Anthony Davis and 21 from LeBron James, and it was the first time the Lakers had four 20-point scorers in a playoff game since 1988. The names then: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Byron Scott and James Worthy.
  • The Lakers closed the game on a 15-0 run and outscored Memphis 30-11 over the final 8:40.
  • The Lakers have won 24 straight best-of-seven series after winning Game 1.

The Lakers turned a major weakness into a strength in Game 1, writes our Sam Quinn.


The Clippers may not have had Paul George (and may not have him at all this series), but they have exactly what Russell Westbrook pointed to after making a game-sealing block: heart.

Behind a 38-point Kawhi Leonard masterclass and clutch plays on both ends down the stretch, the Clippers shocked the Suns, 115-110, in Game 1 in Phoenix.

  • Leonard scored 13 points in the fourth quarter, and Westbrook had a huge impact throughout: Despite shooting just 3-19, he had 10 rebounds (five offensive), eight assists, two steals and three blocks.
  • The Clippers won second-chance points, 12-7, and points off turnovers, 15-5.
  • This is the first time the Suns have lost with Kevin Durant in the lineup (they are now 8-1).

Here's our Brad Botkin on Westbrook, who didn't let shooting struggles stop him from making winning plays.

Honorable mentions

And not such a good morning for...

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The injury bug rears its ugly head seemingly every postseason, but through just two days of playoffs, this is a bit excessive. Shortly after the George injury news, three more big names suffered significant injuries while playing.

It doesn't get any bigger than Giannis Antetokounmpo, of course, and the Bucks superstar played just 11 minutes before being ruled out with a lower back contusion.

  • The two-time MVP landed hard after colliding with Kevin Love on a drive late in the first quarter. He went to the locker room, returned briefly, left again and then was ruled out for good.
  • Mike Budenholzer said X-rays came back clean and Antetokounmpo is day-to-day. Game 2 is Wednesday. 
  • Antetokounmpo, unsurprisingly, was sorely missed in the Heat's 130-117 Game 1 upset of the No. 1 seed. Jimmy Butler had 35 points and 11 assists for the visitors, who shot 60% (15-25) from 3 after going just 34.4% (fourth-worst in the NBA) from deep in the regular season.
  • Kevin Love nailed four 3-pointers and had 18 points. Here's our Jack Maloney on the surprise standout performance.

Miami didn't emerge unscathed, though: Tyler Herro broke multiple fingers on his right hand diving for a loose ball late in the first half and will be out several weeks.

Earlier in the day, Ja Morant suffered a right hand injury of his own after landing awkwardly in the fourth quarter. Morant immediately motioned for a sub and was in clear pain even well after the game, when he said his Game 2 status is "in jeopardy." X-rays came back negative and Game 2 is Wednesday.

Not so honorable mentions

Stanley Cup Playoffs begin tonight: Best series, burning questions and more 🏒

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I hope you have lots of televisions, because the Stanley Cup Playoffs begin tonight, joining the NBA playoffs, the NFL Draft, the Champions League and much more in a busy, busy spring sports window. Here's how to watch all the action on the ice go down.

There's obviously a long way to go until someone lifts Lord Stanley's Cup, and our Austin Nivison has ranked all of the first-round series. Coming in first is...

  • Nivison: "1. New Jersey Devils vs. New York Rangers -- This series has it all. Both teams have stars up and down the lineup. Both teams have legitimate Stanley Cup aspirations. Both teams spent big to make splashes at the trade deadline. Both teams have rabid fan bases, and they do not like each other."

As Austin says, you should be rooting for seven games between those teams. As for what else you should be rooting for, here's Chris Bengel's rooting guide. We also have...

MLB Power Rankings, weekend recap: Cole carries Yankees ⚾

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While it's still early (and, yes, I'll keep saying that until the summer), it's not so early that we can't start having some takeaways. And one of the biggest ones? Gerrit Cole is absolutely dominating.

The Yankees star ripped through the Twins, throwing a complete game that included 10 strikeouts, just two hits and one walk as the Yankees won, 2-0. Cole is a perfect 4-0 in four starts with 0.95 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 28 1/3 inningsHe's laying the foundation for a potential Cy Young run, writes our Mike Axisa.

Cole's strong start has the Yankees fourth in Matt Snyder's latest MLB Power Rankings. Here's the top five:

  • 1. Rays
  • 2. Braves
  • 3. Brewers
  • 4. Yankees
  • 5. Blue Jays

In case you missed it, Sunday was Jackie Robinson Day, and Dayn Perry has a fantastic feature on how Robinson's time in the Negro Leagues is a key part of his path and his legacy.

Here are other top storylines around MLB right now:

Quinn Ewers named Texas starter, more spring game takeaways 🏈


Arch Manning may have the legendary last name, but Quinn Ewers is Texas' starting quarterback after an impressive spring game.

  • The two former ballyhooed recruits -- both No. 1 in their respective classes -- had been battling for the top spot throughout the spring.
  • But Ewers, the incumbent starter, completed 16 of 23 passes for 195 yards and a touchdown in the spring game.
  • Ewers had 15 touchdown passes and six interceptions in 10 games last year as a redshirt freshman after transferring from Ohio State.
  • Manning, a freshman, went just 5 of 13 passes for 30 yards. Either he or fellow freshman Maalik Murphy will back up Ewers.

The Longhorns weren't the only team to get some quarterback clarity over the weekend. Two-time defending champion Georgia must replace Stetson Bennett, and that battle is a big one, writes our Ben Kercheval.

  • Kercheval: "Heading into summer months, this appears to be a two-man race between Carson Beck and Brock Vandagriff; Gunner Stockton is a clear No. 3. Beck had the better performance on Saturday, starting 6 of 6 and ending with 231 yards and a score. Still, the competition to replace Stetson Bennett likely won't be over until preseason camp."

Here are all of our spring game takeaways.

What we're watching Monday 📺

Angels at Red Sox, 11:10 a.m. on MLB Network
🏒 The Stanley Cup Playoffs start tonight. Here's how to watch.
🏀 Nets at 76ers, 7:30 p.m. on TNT
🏀 Warriors at Kings, 10 p.m. on TNT