Sponsored by The U.S. Marines
By Dave Doyle
NBA: Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
OKC is pulling away from an otherwise sardine-tight Western Conference, and it’s in large part because of the play of their fifth-year small forward. The Thunder are on a four-game win streak after a 109-95 win at Portland on Tuesday, in which Durant scored 25 points in 32 minutes off a 10-for-14 performance from the floor. That follows a string of games which earned him the West’s Player of the Week honors, as he had 32 points and nine rebounds in a rout of the Los Angeles Clippers; 40 and 17 in a double-overtime win over the Minnesota Timberwolves; and 28, nine and eight assists in a victory over the Miami Heat.
NHL: Ryan Miller, Buffalo Sabres
The Sabres goalie has returned to the form he displayed in anchoring Team USA’s amazing 2010 Olympic run. That’s good news for Buffalo and bad news for the rest of the Eastern Conference. Miller stopped 44 shots on Tuesday night to help his team to a 5-1 road win at Washington, which gave the Sabres sole possession of the East’s eighth and final playoff spot, two points ahead of the Capitals. That marked Buffalo’s fifth consecutive win, all featuring Miller, who has allowed just three goals in his past four games. If the Sabres get into the postseason, they’re beginning to look like that hot low seed the conference leaders want to avoid.
College Basketball: Chane Behanan, Louisville
Surprise teams usually get contributions from unexpected sources, and no one has personified Louisville’s unexpected run to the Final Four quite like the Cardinals forward. The 6-foot-7, 250-pound freshman forward drilled a 3-pointer — just his sixth in 39 games — to kick-start the stunning, late 18-3 run that pushed Louisville to a 72-68 win over Florida in the Elite Eight on March 24. That big three was part of a 17-point, seven-rebound performance. Two nights previous, Behanan had a team-high 15 points and nine rebounds as Louisville rolled past Michigan State.