Epic Game 4 Leaves Fans Cheering for Grizzlies and Thunder

And even though the Grizzlies lost, the fans stood and applauded both teams when it was over. It was Memphis at its best, , defying the flood waters and provincialism to appreciate something no one who was there will forget, . As , this series has become the most entertaining thing going on in sports, even if it would make you crazy trying to figure it out, .

Just will cause multiple double-takes. Consider that three of Oklahoma City’s starters combined to score 15 points, which is possible in a 133-point effort because the other two (Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant) combined for 75. One of Memphis’s starters, guard Sam Young, didn’t score a single point. Three players never got off the bench (Oklahoma City’s Royal Ivey and Nate Robinson and Memphis’s Leon Powe), while Durant and Memphis’s Marc Gasol each played 57 minutes. This was ironman basketball, .

All sense of awe will most likely be lost if you wander over to consider the Heat-Celtics series. What this one lacks in artistry, it makes up for in an overabundance of journalistic clichés. Yes, the Heat’s victory to take a 3-1 lead was all about redemption, write and (Loyal Leading Off readers who join our protest against the overuse and misuse of the word redemption in sports, insert loud sigh here.) If you’re looking for exorcised demons, you’ll find them in . This might all seem a game premature because yes, the Celtics have twice overcome 3-1 deficits in their history, but they will not pull off a third.

LeBron James continues to make it difficult to warm up to the Heat, his latest bit of wisdom was using the word “retarded” to describe the idea that Dwyane Wade is a dirty player. but nonetheless confirmed that he and Kobe Bryant, who famously hurled a similarly grade-schoolish gay slur at a referee, have the combined maturity of an 8-year-old.

Speaking of the recently departed Lakers, wonders why they aren’t being ripped the way James’s Cavaliers were last year for completely giving up in an elimination playoff game. Perhaps because people have become distracted by the bubbling fiasco in Orlando, where for driving him out of the city before he has actually left. He took to to whine after The inspired interactive Web application where you can put any number of jerseys on Howard. Your day will not be complete until you click on the Harlem Globetrotters option.

The N.H.L. playoffs contributed nothing so colorful Tuesday, although they did ensure the Green Men will be around for another round when Vancouver eliminated Nashville. If you were looking for artistic hockey, you did not find it here, with the normally free-skating Canucks adopting the Predators’ lock-down style to close out this series, . To outrun their own history of failure, the Canucks are understandably not concerned with style points, , and they are relying overwhelmingly on the wrecking ball qualities of forward Ryan Kesler, .

The Canucks do not know their opponent yet, but writes that if San Jose loses Tuesday night’s Game 6 against Detroit, it is time to panic.

Even though it is still hockey and basketball season, it is worth a nod toward tennis just to marvel at . He is undefeated, knocked off Rafael Nadal not just on clay but in Spain, and .

For now, though, the rising getting all the attention is the Mississippi River and the crazier stuff happening in an arena nearby.

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