Knicks Dominate Wizards, Lose to Heat
Hosting the struggling Washington Wizards on Friday, the New York Knicks came away with an impressive 103-65 victory.
J.R. Smith led the team with 23 points off the bench. Three other Knicks scored 18 points apiece, including Baron Davis, who set a new season high on his 33rd birthday.
Iman Shumpert left Friday's game with a sprained ankle, but was able to return to action for Friday's game against the Miami Heat. In a contest against one of the Eastern Conference's best teams, the Knicks ended up on the short end of a 93-85 score.
Carmelo Anthony led all scorers with 42 points, but Miami's LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh scored a combined 73 to carry the Heat to victory.
After the loss, New York (31-29) slipped to eighth place in the conference standings, half a game behind seventh-place Philadelphia. The Knicks are two games ahead of the Milwaukee Bucks for the East's last playoff spot.
They will host another key opponent in the Boston Celtics Tuesday night.
Rangers Lose Game Two, Win Game Three
With a 3-2 overtime victory on Saturday, the Ottawa Senators "stole" home-ice advantage from the New York Rangers. With a 1-0 victory in Ottawa Monday, the Rangers took it right back.
The Rangers took the lead in the first period thanks to Anton Stralman's power play goal, but Ottawa's Erik Karlsson evened the score at one in the second. The back-and-forth scoring continued in the third period: Brian Boyle gave the Rangers a 2-1 lead, but Nick Foligno tied the score at two with less than five minutes left in regulation.
Just 1:17 into overtime, Chris Neil got to a loose puck and drilled a backhand shot past goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, giving Ottawa the victory.
Monday's contest, though, was an absolute gem for Lundqvist. The veteran made 39 saves for his fourth career postseason shutout.
After two tense periods, Boyle finally broke the scoreless tie at 7:35 in the third. His backhand provided the only goal of the game.
The Rangers now lead the series 2-1, with Game Four scheduled for Wednesday night in Ottawa.
Mets Win Philadelphia Series, Beat Braves
The New York Mets continued their strong start to the 2012 season this weekend, taking two out of three from the Philadelphia Phillies.
Knuckleball specialist R.A. Dickey gave New York another strong start on Friday, giving up just one earned run in seven innings. Meanwhile, the Mets offense jumped on Philadelphia starter Cliff Lee for three runs in the first inning, including a two-run home run from Jason Bay.
Scott Hairston added another homer in the fifth inning to help the Mets secure a 5-2 victory.
Saturday's game saw the return of David Wright to the Mets lineup, and he immediately showed that a fractured right pinkie would not affect his game. The third baseman hit a home run on the first pitch he saw and finished with three hits on the night.
Jon Niese pitched 6.2 shutout innings, and relievers Bobby Parnell and Jon Rauch finished off the 5-0 shutout victory.
Sunday's game started out quite well for the Mets. Mike Pelfrey gave New York six innings of one-run ball, and Ike Davis gave the Mets a 2-0 lead with a first-inning home run.
However, the Phillies rallied for seven runs against three New York relievers, and starter Cole Hamels settled down to hold the Mets offense in check. Relievers Chad Qualls and Jonathan Papelbon finished off the Mets, handing New York an 8-2 loss.
The Mets rebounded from their first road loss with a win the next night in Atlanta. The big blow again came from Davis, who clubbed a three-run home run in the sixth inning to break a 1-1 tie. Dillon Gee worked seven strong innings, striking out five and giving up just one run.
The Mets (7-3) will play two more games in Atlanta before returning to New York to host the Giants.
Yankees Win First Home Series, Lose to Twins
In their inaugural home series of the 2012 season, the New York Yankees took two out of three from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Making his Yankee Stadium debut Friday night, right-hander Hiroki Kuroda blanked the Angels over eight-plus innings of work. Nick Swisher drove in three runs with a first-inning triple.
Alex Rodriguez blasted his 630th career home run in the fourth inning, tying him with Ken Griffey Jr. for fifth on baseball's all-time list. If he stays healthy, Rodriguez has a chance to reach Willie Mays' fourth-place mark of 660 this season.
Two days later, the Yankees suffered their first home loss of the season against Angels right-hander C.J. Wilson. New York starter Phil Hughes lasted just 3.1 innings, allowing six earned runs, and the Yankees offense was unable to recover.
The lone bright spot for the Yankees was right-hander David Phelps, who held the Angels to just one run in 5.1 innings of relief.
Facing the Angels for the rubber match on Jackie Robinson Day, the Yankees came away with a convincing 11-5 win.
Second-year starter Ivan Nova struck out eight Angels over six innings of work. Derek Jeter ripped a three-run home run in the fourth inning and Raul Ibanez added a two-run shot in the eighth.
The next night, the Minnesota Twins arrived and handed the Yankees a 7-3 loss. Right-hander Carl Pavano held his former team to just three runs over seven innings, while New York starter Freddy Garcia gave up five in 5.2 innings.
The Yankees (5-5) will host the Twins for three more games this week, then travel to Boston to face the rival Red Sox.