Play-In Pandemonium

April 12, 2023

By: Carlos Alvarez

Good Morning,

If this is the playoffs, count us in. The NBA play-in openers capped off a night filled with Champions League action, another Bruins’ record, and another Rays’ win. And with the Lakers’ win, all four California NBA teams are officially in the playoffs for the first time ever.

Letter Rip!


Play-In Pandemonium

Photo: Harry How / Getty Images

Hawks Upset Heat in Miami (116-105), Lakers Overcome 15-Point Deficit to Beat T-Wolves (108-102, OT)

Welcome to the postseason! The first set of NBA play-in games delivered a dynamite tip-off for the two months ahead. The word \”pandemonium\” is defined as wild chaos and confusion, and that certainly personifies the NBA\’s play-in format. The Hawks and Lakers punched their tickets to the playoffs and secured the 7-seed in each conference, but it’s not over for the Heat and Timberwolves. Both teams will host the 8-seed play-in games on Friday against tonight’s winners. An upset in Miami and an OT thriller in Los Angeles? Let’s run it back.

Hawks def. Heat (116-105)

The first play-in game of the 2023 postseason was a road upset by the Hawks that was almost wire-to-wire. Miami hit the first shot of the game, but Atlanta responded and never trailed again. Despite an epic shooting night for Kyle Lowry (33 points, Six 3s), Miami was overwhelmed on the glass. The Hawks out-rebounded the Heat 63-39 thanks to a 21-rebound night from Clint Capela. Trae Young (25-8-7) was relatively cold (1-for-8, 3pt), but Atlanta got 53 points from the bench. The Hawks earned the 7-seed in the East and a matchup with the 2-seed Celtics while the Heat will host another play-in game on Friday for the 8-seed. 

Lakers def. Timberwolves (108-102, OT)

Chaos in Los Angeles was the true “welcome to the playoffs” moment for NBA fans. The Lakers overcame a 10-point deficit in the 4th quarter to win an overtime thriller against the short-handed Timberwolves. Minnesota was without Rudy Gobert (1-game suspension). LeBron James (30-10-6) and Anthony Davis (24-15-4) took over down the stretch as the Lakers mounted a late comeback thanks to a scoreless six-minute stretch for Minnesota. With the game tied (95-95), James found Dennis Schroder for the would-be game-winning 3 with 1.4 seconds left. On the ensuing possession, Davis fouled Mike Conley on a 3-point attempt. Conley hit all three from the stripe to force OT (98-98), but the cold streak continued for Minnesota. They scored just seven points in the final 11 minutes of regulation and OT. With the win, L.A. secures the 7-seed and a date with the 2-seed Grizzlies in the next round. The Timberwolves will host the consolation play-in on Friday for the 8-seed.

Tonight’s Schedule

Bulls at Raptors (7:00 pm ET)

Thunder at Pelicans (9:30 pm ET)

Friday’s Play-In (8-Seed)

Bulls/Raptors Winner at Heat (7:00 pm ET)

Thunder/Pelicans Winner at Timberwolves (9:30 pm ET)

Full NBA Playoff Bracket & Schedule

Fun Fact: With the Lakers’ win, all four California NBA teams are in the postseason for the first time ever — Lakers, Clippers, Kings, and Warriors.

Additional Storylines

SI: Lakers Overcome 15-Point Deficit to Beat T-Wolves in OT, Grab No. 7 Seed in West

B/R: Trae Young Still Sizzles Amid Trade Rumors as Hawks Upset Heat in Play-In



Best Team Ever?

Photo: Icon Sportswire / Getty Images

Bruins Break NHL All-Time Points Record (133) With Win Over Capitals (5-2)

More history for the Bruins! Boston gave a beatdown to Washington on Tuesday (5-2) to eclipse the NHL’s single-season points record (133) and etch their name in the history books once more. The Bruins already claimed the all-time wins record (63), and they’ve officially skated into the category of (statistically) the best hockey team ever. It was Boston’s seventh straight win coming down the stretch, and they still have one game to go. They’re 14-1 in their last 15 games, and it’s looking like the Bruins vs. The Field in the upcoming Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The 2022-23 Bruins By The Numbers

64 Wins (64-12-5)

133 Points

.821 Win Percentage

296 Goals Scored

170 Goals Against

Best Win Streaks: 7 Games (3X), 10 Games (1X)

Worst Losing Streak: 3 Games

Are the Bruins the best NHL team of all time?

Watch: Bruins Best Capitals (5-2) for NHL Record 133 Points

Other NHL Highlights

Jets Clinch West Wild CardThe Jets held off the Wild (3-1) thanks to a stellar performance from Connor Hellebuyck (33 saves). The win gave Winnipeg the second Wild Card and the final playoff spot in the West.

Panthers Clinch East Wild CardThe Panthers didn’t play on Tuesday night, but losses by the Sabres and Penguins secured Florida’s spot in the postseason. Only one Wild Card remains.



City Flexes in UCL Leg 1

Photo: Cliff Brunskill / Getty Images

UCL Quarterfinals: Man. City Scorch Bayern (3-0), Inter Shut Out Benfica (2-0)

The first day of quarterfinals action in the Champions League produced a pair of shutouts, but it’s only Leg 1. Manchester City made Bayern look pedestrian with a dominant 3-0 performance thanks to goals from Rodri (27’), Bernardo Silva (70’), and Erling Haaland (76’). Bayern has a tough mountain to climb in Leg 2, but at least it won’t be at the Etihad. Meanwhile, in Portugal, Inter and Benfica played a scoreless first half before Nicolo Barella headed the go-ahead goal (51’) and Romelu Lukaku struck a penalty kick to ice it (82’). The Italian side takes a two-goal advantage heading back home for Leg 2. More kicking on the way today.

Champions League Highlights (Quarterfinals)

Manchester City def. Bayern (3-0)

Inter def. Benfica (2-0)

Today’s Schedule

Real Madrid vs. Chelsea (3:00 pm ET)

Milan vs. Napoli (3:00 pm ET)

Additional Storylines

ESPN: Man City’s Defense Leads Champions League Charge as Bayern Fall Apart

EuroSport: Rodri, Silva & Haaland All Score for City to Earn Commanding 1st Leg Lead



MLB Quick-Hitters

Rays Rake 4 HRs as Hot Start Reaches 11-0

Still perfect! The Rays rolled the Red Sox on Tuesday (7-2) thanks to four home runs in another dominant outing. Isaac Paredes, Yandy Diaz, Josh Lowe, and Brandon Lowe all hit homers. Tampa Bay (11-0) is now tied for the third-longest win streak to open a season in MLB history. The all-time record stands at 13-0.

Luis Arraez Ends Marlins’ Cycle Drought

The wait is over for the Marlins. Luis Arraez’s four-hit piece of history on Tuesday gave Miami its first cycle in the team’s 30-year existence. They had won two World Series crowns and thrown six no-hitters, but never had a batter hit for the cycle before last night — the 4,700th game in franchise history.

Mountcastle Mashes Record 9-RBI Night

World, meet Ryan Mountcastle. The Orioles’ young star tallied a franchise record-tying nine RBIs in Tuesday’s 12-8 win over the A’s, including a grand slam to put the game out of reach in the 7th inning. It’s just the 42nd occurrence of a player recording nine-or-more RBIs and the first since Adam Duvall (Braves) in 2020.



 NBA Awards Predictions

The last — and often, most controversial — piece of the NBA\’s regular season is its awards season. We’re here to deliver picks for each of the league’s major awards, including MVP, Rookie of the Year, and more. (FOX Sports)

 Mel Kiper’s Mock Draft

With just over two weeks remaining until Carolina is on the clock — the draft begins at 8 p.m. ET on April 27 on ESPN, ABC, and ESPN+ — there are some big changes since Mel Kiper Jr.’s last mock draft. (ESPN+)

 MLB New Rules Review

We\’re now just about a week and a half into the 2023 Major League Baseball season. Heading in, one of the biggest storylines was how the new rules would play. They were relatively radical changes, and they’re working well. (CBS Sports)