- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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PRO BASKETBALL—Los Angeles opened its best-of-seven Western Conference semifinals against Golden State with a 125-116 victory and an NBA playoff-record 49-point third quarter. The Lakers then all but wrapped up the series with wins of 116-101 and 133-108 before the Warriors prevented a sweep with a 129-121 Game 4 victory. Sleepy Floyd scored 51 points, including a single-period playoff-record 29 points in the fourth quarter to break the record of 27 set two nights before by Isiah Thomas of Detroit. Floyd's 39 second-half points broke the playoff record set in 1962 by Elgin Baylor. In the other Western series, Seattle went up two games to none after edging Houston 99-97. This extended the Sonics' win streak to five games, their longest of the season. In Game 3, Akeem Olajuwon had 33 points and 11 rebounds to help Houston triumph 102-84, but Seattle regained its form in Game 4 to win 117-102 and take a 3-1 lead in the series. Boston also got off to a two-victory start in its Eastern Conference semifinal series, defeating the Bucks 111-98 and 126-124. Larry Bird poured in 40 points in Game 1, while the Game 2 win extended the Celtics' home-game streak to 33 and their playoff home-game streak to 14. The Bucks ended Boston's overall nine-game win streak with a 126-121 victory in Game 3, as Ricky Pierce scored 29 points and the game-clinching basket. The Celtics ended the week with a 138-137 double-OT victory, to go up 3-1. Detroit also took a 3-1 lead in its Eastern semifinal series with Atlanta. The Hawks' only victory came in Game 2, 115-102, before the Pistons took control with wins of 108-99 and 89-88. Isiah Thomas's layup with one second left in Game 4 put the Hawks within one game of elimination (page 30).
BOWLING—RICK STEELSMITH of Wichita, Kans., defeated Brad Snell of Des Plaines, Ill., 258-219 to win the American Bowling Congress Masters tournament, in Niagara Falls, N.Y. Steel-smith is the first amateur to win the title.
CREW—At the Dad Vail Regatta in Philadelphia, TEMPLE edged runner-up Wesleyan to win the Tom Conville Cup for varsity eights for the fifth straight year. In the women's varsity eights GEORGETOWN beat Minnesota to win the Evelyn Bergman Cup.
GOLF—FRED COUPLES parred the third hole of sudden death to defeat Mark Calcavecchia and win $108,000 and the Byron Nelson Classic in Irving, Texas. The players finished regulation play tied at 14-under-par 266.
HOCKEY—After losing its previous 13 games against Edmonton, Detroit opened the Campbell Conference championship series with a 3-1 victory. Joey Kocur put in the game-winner to give the Red Wings their first win over the Oilers since 1983. In Game 2, Mark Messier notched two goals: The first, his 50th playoff-career goal, came 52 seconds after the opening face-off, and the second came with 1:22 remaining to help Edmonton even the series with a 4-1 win. In Game 3, Marty McSorley, who scored just twice during the regular season, broke a 1-1 tie with 36 seconds remaining to lift the Oilers to a 2-1 win. Philadelphia, playing without leading scorer Tim Kerr, who was out with a bruised left shoulder, and captain Dave Poulin, who had a broken rib, took the Wales Conference opener from Montreal, 4-3 in overtime, on a controversial goal by Illka Sinisalo. The defending Stanley Cup champion Canadiens then evened the series with their first win over the Flyers this season, 5-2. Trailing 2-0 after the first period of Game 3, Philadelphia recovered to edge the Canadiens 4-3 behind Ron Hextall's 36 saves. Pelle Eklund scored twice, and Brian Propp had the game-winner with 3:09 remaining. The Flyers took a 3-1 lead with a 6-3 Game 4 victory as Eklund, who is tied for third among playoff scorers with 19 points, had his first NHL hat trick (page 42).
HORSE RACING—SELDOM SEEN SUE ($7), with Chris McCarron in the irons, defeated Clabber Girl by four lengths to win the Hawthorne Handicap at Hollywood Park. The 4-year-old filly, who won $59,900, ran the mile in a stakes-record 1:33[3/5].
INDOOR SOCCER—Tacoma won the first two of its best-of-five Western semifinal games with Wichita, 9-7 and 9-1, before Wichita came alive with a 10-3 Game 3 victory to avoid elimination. Tacoma scored nine consecutive goals in Game 2 to tie a league playoff record. The Wings' Erik Rasmussen had four goals and four assists in Wichita's sole win. In the other Western series, two-time defending champion San Diego edged Kansas City 5-4 in overtime behind Waad Hirmez's hat trick. The Comets then evened the series by winning their first playoff game ever against the Sockers, 5-1. Baltimore won its Eastern semifinal opener 3-2 against Dallas and lost Game 2 7-6. Minnesota edged Cleveland 5-4 in OT in Game 1 of their series before the Force overcame a four-goal deficit in Game 2 to defeat the Strikers 7-6.
MARATHON—HIROMI TANIGUCHI of Japan won the London Marathon in 2:09:50. 19 seconds ahead of runner-up Nechadi el Mostafa of Morocco. INGRID KRISTIANSEN of Norway led the women with a time of 2:22:48, 4:03 better than Priscilla Welch of Britain.