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Mitch's Sports Report: Unable To Beat Durant, Celtics Fans Want Him To Join Them

Missing two key players due to injury, the UVM Catamounts outlasted their counterparts from Western Carolina in the first round of the CBI tournament, winning 79-74 at at Patrick Gymnasium last night.

Ethan O'Day and Ernie Duncan didn't suit up for this one, both players banged up after a long season and a tough loss to Stony Brook in the America East finals, but Kurt Steidl and Trae Bell-Haynes helped pick up the slack, Steidl recording a double-double with twenty points and eleven rebounds. Bell-Haynes poured in sixteen points and drained a three-pointer with about a minute and a half left in regulation to pad UVM's five-point lead and effectively put the game away in the first-ever battle of Division one Catamounts. UVM and Western Carolina share the mascot nickname. UVM moves on to the quarterfinal round Monday facing either Seattle or Idaho. Duncan and O'Day will be re-evaluated before that game to see if they're well enough to get onto the floor.

The Boston Celtics had won six of their last seven games before a two-game slide that became three in a blow-out loss to Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder last night at TD Garden. Durant went through the Celtics defense like Breaking Bad fans on a binge watch, scoring twenty-eight points, dishing out nine assists and pulling down seven rebounds in a 130-109 win. The Garden crowd didn't particularly like that happening against their team, but knowing that Durant becomes a free agent this summer, began a chant of "Come to Boston!" when Durant stepped to the free throw line in the waning moments. Durant in Celtics green would instantly vault Boston from a pretty good but non-elite team to an instant contender, but Durant will be propositioned by virtually every team in the league when his Thunder contract expires, starting with his current one. Isaiah Thomas led Boston with twenty-nine points in the losing effort.

In the NHL, the Montreal Canadiens exposed their goalie Ben Scrivens to a shooting gallery in Buffalo, the Habs getting out-shot by the  Sabres forty-three to twenty-three, but Scrivens made a season-high forty-one saves and Paul Byron scored in overtime to give Montreal a 3-2 victory. The Habs fell behind 1-0 but took a 2-1 lead on deflected goals by defensemen Andrei Markov and Greg Pateryn. Marcus Foligno tied it at two with a short-handed strike in the third period before Byron ended Montreal's two-game losing skid with his extra frame game-winner.

Redemption in Anaheim last night for New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Klein, whose turnover in the first period gave the Ducks a 1-0 lead. But by the end of the contest Klein had scored twice, the first time in his eleven-year career he'd recorded a multi-goal game, and that was good enough for a 2-1 Rangers win. Next up for the Ducks is a visit from the Boston Bruins tomorrow night.

There are still about a dozen games left in the regular season for most NHL teams jockeying for playoff position in the western and eastern conferences, and as of this morning there's been a change that's seen one team popped from the playoff bubble. Last night's 3-2 win for the Philadelphia Flyers over the Chicago Blackhawks vaults the Flyers by one point over the Detroit Red Wings for the second and final wild card spot in the east.

A graduate of NYU with a Master's Degree in journalism, Mitch has more than 20 years experience in radio news. He got his start as news director at NYU's college station, and moved on to a news director (and part-time DJ position) for commercial radio station WMVY on Martha's Vineyard. But public radio was where Mitch wanted to be and he eventually moved on to Boston where he worked for six years in a number of different capacities at member station a Senior Producer, Editor, and fill-in co-host of the nationally distributed Here and Now. Mitch has been a guest host of the national NPR sports program "Only A Game". He's also worked as an editor and producer for international news coverage with Monitor Radio in Boston.
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