Mike Fiers fought all sorts of things on Tuesday night against the Cincinnati Reds in recording his second ever no-hitter for the Oakland A’s in 2-0 win in Oakland. The lights nearly prevented the game from beginning, while a high pitch count, a popular opponent of many a pitcher, nearly stopped him from completing it. It even took another masterful catch from Roman Laureano to preserve it, but in the end Fiers did it on 131 pitches to become the 35th man to have two no-hitters in his career.
The Denver Nuggets took control of their Western Conference semi with the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday night with 124-98 win to go up 3-2 in the series and put a huge amount of pressure on the Blazers when Game 6 rolls around back in Denver. Nikola Jokic was his typically brilliant self, posting 25 points and grabbing a ridiculous 19 boards in the win. The Nuggets really pulled away in the middle quarters, not even allowing a late flurry from their visitors to amount to much at all.
The Philadelphia 76ers headed north of the border on Tuesday night in the Eastern Conference semis. It didn’t go so well up in Toronto, as they would get hammered by the emphatic Raptors by a score of 125-89 in about as lopsided an NBA playoff contest can get. After a 37-17 second quarter, the Raptors never let up and ran away with the win, allowing just one Philly player, Jimmy Butler with 22 points, to score more than 20. Pascal Siakam led the Canadians with 25, while Kawhi Leonard added 21 of his own in the runaway that puts them 3-2 up in the series as it heads back to Philadelphia.
Liverpool came into Tuesday night’s Champions League semi-final second leg against Barcelona down three goals to zero after the first leg last week and without two of its star players against a team with Lionel Messi in it. But at the end of the day, unsung heroes won out the day as the Reds won 4-0 to move into the final 4-3 on aggregate in what was a fascinating performance for the ages. It will be their second final in a row after making, and losing, last year’s edition, and it came after two goals each from Gini Wijnaldum, two minutes apart, and Divock Origi as well as excellent defensive work throughout the 90 minutes. They now will await the winners of the Tottenham vs Ajax series, which concludes on Wednesday, to see who they will face in Madrid.
It took seven games and two overtimes in it, but the St. Louis Blues figured out a way to get it done against the Dallas Stars to win 2-1 and advance to the Western Conference Finals of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Goals had been scored in the first half by the Blues’ Vince Dunn and the Stars’ Mats Zuccarello just over two minutes apart but no goals would be scored for the next 60 minutes or so. It was Patrick Maroon that scored the winner in the second OT period, sending the home crowd into raptures.