Let’s Enjoy the Celtics’ Implosion. Plus, the Yankees Continue Hitting Homers Like Crazy

Daniel Theis and the Celtics blew another lead to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Image: Getty

The Celtics’ season is going down the toilet.

Boston has had double-digit leads in the second half of both games of the Eastern Conference finals against the Heat, but has lost both of those games, including Thursday night’s 106-101 verdict in which Miami owned the third quarter by a 37-17 margin.

Appropriately, the Celtics were angry after the game — particularly Marcus Smart, although Boston Globe writer Gary Washburn’s report, “Smart is in bathroom and there is still screaming coming from locker room” reads hilariously and/or horrifyingly if removed from the context of the Celtics being angry at themselves and each other for blowing these games.

In fact, let’s take it out of context:

“Smart is in bathroom,” Washburn reported. “And there still is screaming coming from locker room.”

That’s an entirely different kind of disgusting situation than what the Celtics are currently enduring.

It’s not just that the Celtics blew a 13-point halftime lead that had been as big as 17 in the second quarter, came back to go up by five in the fourth, and lost to the Heat anyway.

It’s not just that the Celtics now trail 2-0 in a best-of-seven series against a team that’s 10-1 in the playoffs.

It’s that this is the situation the Celtics find themselves in and it’s not because Jimmy Butler is burning them.

Butler hasn’t been bad by any stretch. He scored 20 points with five assists and five rebounds in Game 1, and made up for a 4-for-11 shooting performance by coming up with four steals in Game 2. But if you told the Celtics that they’d hold Butler to being the Heat’s No. 3 scorer in one game and No. 4 scorer in the next, Boston probably would have felt pretty good about its chances to at least be heading to Game 3 tied.

The last time the Celtics came back from a 0-2 series deficit was the 2017 first round against the Bulls, a team that did have Butler going off against them, with 30 and 22 points in those first two games. The only other time the Celtics rallied from 0-2 down was the 1969 Finals against the Lakers, who did not have Jimmy Butler, as he was still 20 years away from being born.

Giancarlo Stanton got into the act as the Yankees hit six homers or more for the third consecutive game.

Giancarlo Stanton got into the act as the Yankees hit six homers or more for the third consecutive game.
Image: Getty

After hitting at least six homers in back-to-back games for the first time in team history, including three from backup catcher Kyle Higashioka on Wednesday night, it turned out the Bronx Bombers were just getting warmed up — they hit another half-dozen dingers on Thursday, becoming the first team in major league history to homer six or more times in three consecutive games as they pounded the Blue Jays.

In the fourth inning, already leading, 3-2, the Yankees teed off on Chase Anderson for back-to-back-to-back home runs by Brett Gardner, DJ LeMahieu, and Luke Voit. With a chance to tie a major league record by hitting a fourth straight homer, Aaron Hicks struck out. But then Giancarlo Stanton went deep, followed by Gleyber Torres, to tie a different major league record: five home runs in an inning.

Torres’ was the longest of the historic inning, at 428 feet, and finally drew Charlie Montoyo out of the Toronto dugout to replace Anderson with Wilmer Font, who gave up a single to Gio Urshela but got Clint Frazier to line out to end the frame.

Anderson’s ERA jumped from 5.81 at the start of the night to 7.45 as a result of the barrage. Gary Sanchez belted a homer off T.J. Zeuch in the seventh inning, the Yankees’ 19th homer of the three-game series (they hit seven on Wednesday).

The previous teams to hit five homers in an inning? The 1939 Giants, 1949 Phillies, 1961 Giants, 1966 Twins, 2006 Brewers, and 2017 Nationals.

Bryce Harper was part of that last one, when he was with Washington, and on Thursday night he was busy taking part in back-to-back-to-back home runs for the Phillies, who erased the three-run lead the Mets had taken in the first inning.

Harper got it started, then Alec Bohm went deep, then Didi Gregorius completed the hat trick. Harper homered again in the second inning to give the Phillies the lead, but the trash fire that is the Philadelphia bullpen struck again and the Mets wound up winning, 10-6.

?Skylar Diggins Smith had a chance at the Phoenix Mercury’s second straight buzzer-beater, following Shey Peddy in the first round of the WNBA playoffs, but she missed and the Minnesota Lynx advanced to the semifinals against the Seattle Storm.

The other second-round game was an upset that was surprisingly never really close, as the Connecticut Sun had five scorers in double figures and beat the Los Angeles Sparks, 73-59.

The Sun, who lost last year’s Finals to the Washington Mystics, move on to face the top-seeded Las Vegas Aces. Both semifinal series start Sunday afternoon.

The Browns beat the Bengals, so now we know which team people will be on the end of the “could Ohio State beat them???” jokes in a few weeks.

At 1-1, Cleveland has tied its best start to a season since re-entering the league in 1999. The last time the Browns were 2-0 was 1993, when they opened with three straight wins under Bill Belichick and defensive coordinator Nick Saban.

If you’re going to get ejected for arguing balls and strikes, do it like Josh Donaldson, who kicked dirt across the plate at the end of his home run trot to express his disdain for Dan Bellino’s strike zone earlier in the at-bat.

Donaldson’s homer gave the Twins their third lead of the day in Chicago, but the White Sox rallied for two runs in the bottom of the seventh, won 4-3, and became the first team to clinch a spot in the American League playoffs.

That should give MLB time to promote the hell out of Tim Anderson, right?

SG Ripdorf/Molzen II is in last place in the 3.Kreisklasse Heide-Wendland West, which is the 11th tier of German soccer. Well, they’re tied for last with SG Hösser, BSV Union Bevensen II, and FC Oldenstadt II, as each of those teams has opened the season with two losses, but Ripdorf is technically last on goal differential, which for them stands at minus 40.

Ripdorf had requested to have the game postponed because Holdenstedt had come into contact with someone who had tested positive for coronavirus. Although Holdenstedt’s tests came back negative, 14 days had not passed, hence the request. But the league said Ripdorf had to either play or pay a fine of 200 euros, so they played.

Sort of.

Ripdorf dressed seven players, the minimum required to play, and just after kickoff, walked to the sideline. As Ripdorf kept social distance, Holdenstedt ran rampant for a 37-0 win.

Eight players had hat tricks for Holdenstedt, which opened the scoring through Mazlum Caran in the first minute, got another goal from Marcus Gläser in the second minute, and eventually led 23-0 at halftime. Holdenstedt finally let up after Rick-Matthias Müller’s fifth goal of the game in the 79th minute, leaving Jonas Lau one goal shy of a hat trick of his own.

No word on whether Karl Marx argued any of the goals was offside.

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