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Ginobili wins one for the ages
From Elias: Manu Ginobili's three-point field goal with 1.2 seconds remaining in the second overtime period boosted the Spurs to a 129-127 victory over the Warriors, after the Spurs had trailed by 16 points in the fourth quarter and by five points in the first overtime period. It was only the second time in his NBA career that Ginobili had hit the game-winning shot in a playoff game with less than 24 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter or in an overtime period. On April 19, 2008, his field goal with 1.8 remaining - also in a second overtime period - snapped a 115-115 tie and gave the Spurs a 117-115 victory over the Suns. To complete the symmetry, San Antonio, in that game against Phoenix, had also trailed by five points in the first overtime session.
Curry's memorable game
From Elias: Stephen Curry played all but four seconds of the Warriors' double-overtime game at San Antonio, scoring 44 points and adding 11 assists. The only other player in NBA history with as many points and as many assists in a playoff game was Michael Jordan, who had 45 and 11 in a game at Philadelphia in 1990, before any of his NBA champioships.
Curry scored 22 points in the third quarter, the third time this postseason that a player had 20 or more points in a quarter. Curry also had 22 points in the third quarter in Game 4 of Golden State's first round series against Denver and Nate Robinson had 23 in the fourth quarter for Chicago in their Game 4 triple overtime thriller against the Nets. Curry is the first player with two 20-point quarters in a single postseason since Dwyane Wade had two in the 2005 playoffs for Miami.
Robinson and Butler cool off the Heat
From Elias: Nate Robinson and Jimmy Butler were whirlwinds as the Bulls, looking for all the world like Washington's army at Valley Forge, shocked the well-rested Heat, 93-86, in Game One of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series in Miami. The Bulls trailed, 62-58, entering the fourth quarter, but outscored King James and Co., 35-24, over the final 12 minutes. Only once before had the Heat allowed as many points in the fourth-quarter of a playoff loss: the Jordan-and-Pippen version of the Bulls produced 40 fourth-quarter points as they closed out the Heat in the first round of the 1992 playoffs.
Robinson contributed 11 points and six assists to Chicago's fourth-quarter flurry. That was only the second 10-and-5 (points-and-assists) quarter in this year's playoffs (Deron Williams had 13 points and six assists in the second quarter of that triple-overtime first-round game at Chicago), and it was the first 10-and-5 fourth quarter in a playoff game since Steve Nash turned the trick for Phoenix at San Antonio in 2010. And Robinson scored the game's last seven points, turning an 86-86 deadlock into a 93-86 victory; the last NBA player to score the final seven points of a playoff game was LeBron James, who put in the last 10 points of Miami's 97-87 win over Boston in the close-out game of the second round, two years ago.
Butler played all 48 minutes for the third game in a row, becoming the first player to do that in the playoffs since Allen Iverson had three straight end-to-end performances in the 2005 playoffs. Before that you go back to Nick Van Exel in 1995, and then Moses Malone in 1981!
Simon: six batters, six strikeouts
From Elias: Reds reliever Alfredo Simon struck out all six Atlanta batters he faced on Monday night. Simon is the first Reds pitcher to strike out every batter he faced in an appearance of at least two innings since Scott Williamson went "six for six" against the Dodgers on May 27, 1999. The only major-leaguers besides Simon to pull off that feat over the last ten seasons all did so while pitching for the Washington Nationals: Chris Schroder (Sept. 17, 2006; six batters), Tyler Clippard (May 6, 2011; six batters) and Craig Stammen (Oct. 1, 2012; six batters).
Arencibia's two-strike homer completes Toronto's seven-run comeback
From Elias: The Blue Jays had whittled the Rays' 7-0 lead at the end of three innings down to 7-6, but they were one strike away from a one-run loss when J.P. Arencibia put Toronto ahead to stay with a two-run homer against Fernando Rodney in the top of the ninth inning. Arencibia has hit nine home runs this season and six of them have come with two strikes in the count. The only major-leaguer with more two-strike homers this year than Arencibia is the Braves' Justin Upton (7). Only five of Arencibia's 18 home runs last season were hit when he had two strikes in the count.
Feldman's third straight win continues his turnaround
From Elias: The Cubs' Scott Feldman pitched seven innings and did not allow a run in a victory over his former team, the Texas Rangers, at Wrigley Field. Feldman lost his first three starts this year, allowing a total of 14 runs and 27 baserunners in 14 innings, but he's won his three starts since then, having allowed only four runs and 16 baserunners in 22¿ innings.
Danks is a late-inning specialist of a different kind
From Elias: Jordan Danks broke a 1-1 tie with two outs in the top of the 11th inning with a solo home run that provided the White Sox the winning margin in their 2-1 victory at Kansas City. Danks' only other home run in his brief major-league career was a walkoff shot in the ninth inning for Chicago against the Athletics last year. Danks has a modest .225 batting average in the majors, with only 18 hits in 80 at-bats, but he's been a much better hitter very late in games. He's recorded six hits in 14 at-bats from the ninth inning on (a .429 average), compared to 12 hits in 66 at-bats in innings one through eight (a .182 average).
Asdrubal Cabrera's two-homer game
From Elias: Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera slugged a pair of home runs in Cleveland's 7-3 win over the Athletics. It was the third multiple-homer game of Cabrera's major-league career - he had two for the Indians in 2011 - and the second multi-homer game by a major-league shortstop this season. Reds shortstop Zack Cozart hit two homers against Washington on April 5.
Drew: four hits and a walkoff hit from the ninth slot
From Elias: Stephen Drew, batting ninth for the Red Sox on Monday, recorded four hits in five at-bats and three runs batted in, including a game-ending RBI double in the bottom of the 11th inning. Over the last 30 years the only other Boston ninth-slot batters to register four or more hits and a game-winning RBI in one game were Jason Varitek (July 4, 2003, second game) and Pedro Ciriaco (July 7, 2012).
Goals in three straight games to begin the playoffs for Nathan Horton
From Elias: Nathan Horton has scored a goal for the Bruins in all three games of their first-round series against the Maple Leafs and he's been credited with the game-winning goal in both of Boston's victories: Game 1 last Wednesday and Game 3 on Monday night in Toronto. Horton is only the second player in the last 20 years to score goals in each of the Bruins' first three games of a playoff year. The other Bruin to do that since 1993 was Bill Guerin, who scored goals in each of Boston's first four playoff games in 2002.
Rask makes 45 saves in Boston's Game 3 win
From Elias: Tuukka Rask stopped 45 of the 47 shots on goal he faced in leading the Bruins to a 5-2 win in Game 3 of their series against the Maple Leafs in Toronto. Rask's 45 saves were the most by a Bruins goaltender in a non-overtime playoff game since April 13, 1974, when Gilles Gilbert stopped an identical number of shots in a 6-3 Boston win at Maple Leaf Gardens.
Brassard's three-point night for the Rangers
From Elias: Derick Brassard, a late-season acquisition from Columbus, scored one goal and assisted on two others for the Rangers in their 4-3 win over the Capitals. Brassard never appeared in a playoff game in the six seasons he played for the Blue Jackets, and he scored as many as three points in only two of the 309 regular-season games he played for Columbus. But he's done that twice in 16 games (13 regular-season, 3 playoff) since he was traded to New York a little over a month ago: a four-point game in his Rangers debut (April 3 vs. Pittsburgh: one goal, three assists) and Monday's first-round playoff game against Washington.
Second overtime point for Red Wings rookie Nyquist
From Elias: The Red Wings evened their series against the Ducks at two wins each with a 3-2 overtime victory on Monday night. Rookie Gustav Nyquist, who scored the overtime goal in Detroit's Game 2 win, assisted on Damien Brunner's OT goal in Game 4. Nyquist is the first rookie in Red Wings history to register two overtime points in one playoff year. Since 2000, the only other NHL rookie with two overtime points in one postseason was Adam Henrique, who scored a pair of OT goals for the Devils last year.