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Mitch's Sports: Celtics Beat Sixers With Epic Comeback; UVM Men's Lacrosse In America East Final

The University of Vermont men's lacrosse team is heading for the America East championship for the second time in three years after an 8-4 win over Stony Brook yesterday. 

Five of UVM's eight goals were scored by Ian MacKay who now stands alone as the school's all time goals leader. The third seeded Catamounts also set a program record for most wins in a season with twelve, and will play for the America East title against top-seeded Albany with a chance to get an automatic invite to the NCAA tournament. The championship game will take place Saturday at noon at Albany, and will be televised on ESPNU.

To the pros of the NBA, and while the conventional wisdom on the Boston Celtics is that injuries to superstars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward mean the rookie-led team is still a year away from really contending for a title, the Celtics find themselves just two wins away from reaching the eastern conference finals.

Last night in Boston the Celtics went up two games to none on the Philadelphia 76ers, overcoming a 22-point first half deficit to win 108-103. The Sixers came into this series brimming with confidence, with a bevy of young stars of their own and one of the game's best big men in Joel Embiid, but the Celtics keep finding ways to defy the odds, and rookies like Jayson Tatum continue to play with the cool demeanor of been there, done that veterans. Tatum finished with 21 points, his most important of those coming on two free throws in the final 8 seconds of the game that salted the win away. Terry Rozier continued his hot hand with 20 and Marcus Smart played his usual stifling defense while also contributing 19 on offense.

In contrast, Sixers rookie sensation Ben Simmons was anything but sensational, taking and missing just four shots on the night and finishing with only one point. Philly did jump out to a huge first half 48-26 lead but the Celtics kept chipping away and turning up the heat on defense, eventually ending the half on a 25-8 run that set the stage for a second half that saw the return of Jaylen Brown to the floor. The Celtics leading scorer had to leave game one early with a strained hamstring but came off the bench last night to score three straight 3-pointers and a tip-dunk, scoring 13 points and grabbing four rebounds. game three is in Philly tomorrow.

And in Toronto, the team that finished first in the eastern conference this season is finding out the hard way that it means nothing to LeBron James. The best basketball player on earth scored 43 points like he was falling out of bed, leading his Cleveland Cavaliers to a 128-110 blow out and a commanding two games to none lead as the series heads back to Cleveland for game three.

To Major League baseball and while the hotter than the sun Mookie Betts blasted another home run, his fourth in his last two games, Boston Red Sox starter David Price lost his third consecutive start and got rocked buy the Rangers in an 11-5 loss  in Texas.

Nomar Mazara has been on a Mookie-like tear of his own, with home runs now in three straight games and he drove in five runs overall for the Rangers last night.  He doubled off Price in the third and then chased him from the game in the fourth with a three-run blast. The Sox try to rebound tonight with Rick Porcello, who's yet to lose this season, seeking win number five on the year. The believe it or not he's 44-years old and still pretty darn good Bartolo Colon counters for Texas.

The NY Yankees had already taken two out of three from the team that kept them from going to the world series last year, but they weren't done with the Houston Astros yet, making it 3 out of four from the defending champs with a 6-5 in Houston.

This one came down to a final at-bat in the bottom of the 9th so dramatic you could run a high noon soundtrack behind it. Last year's reigning MVP and one of the best hitters in all of baseball Jose Altuve was up against one of the hardest throwing closers in the game, Aroldis Chapman with two outs in a one-run game, and Chapman was the last man standing, striking out Altuve on three consecutive fastballs, each clocked at 101 miles per hour.

Prior to that, the Yankees had rallied for three runs in the 9th to take the lead, getting a key hit from rookie Gleyber Torres who poked in the go-ahead run. For all the talk of the Red Sox jumping out to a franchise best 17-2 start to the year, the Yankees are poised to take over first place from their rivals, now just one game behind Boston after their stunning showing against the Astros.

The NY Mets also got off to a great start this season, but things have been going south of late. The Mets had no clue what to do with the offerings of Julio Teheran, who took a no-hitter into the seventh inning at Cit Field for the Atlanta Braves last night in an 11-0 romp. Jason Vargas took the loss for the Mets and Matt Harvey, who was recently moved to the bullpen, couldn't stem the tide either, giving up five runs in the 7th.

In Cleveland, Yangervis Solarte picked a good time for his first career grand slam with two outs in the top of the 11th, sending the Blue Jays to a wild 13-11 win over the Indians, and that marathon was just game one of a day-night double header scheduled due to an earlier rain out. Somehow the exhausted players on both sides fit in one more, and this time it was Cleveland coming out on top in the nightcap 13-4.

In the NHL playoffs the Washington Capitals could have had their rivals from Pittsburgh on the ropes, but the Penguins fought back to tie the series at two games apiece, beating Washington 3-1 last night in Steel City. Jake Guentzel scored twice to lead the Pens, and the Capitals were without forward Tom Wilson, who won;t reappear in this series unless tit goes seven games. Wilson was , suspended by the NHL for three games for a high hit that left Pittsburgh rookie Zach Aston-Reese with a broken jaw.

And the Winnipeg Jets couldn't gain control of their series against the Nashville Predators at home in Winnipeg last night. That series is now tied at two games each after a gritty 2-1 win by the Preds last night on goals by P.K. Subban and Ryan Hartman. Pekka Rinne made 32 saves to lock down the win. The series shifts back to Nashville for game five Saturday.   

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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