SPORTS INSIDER – Nationals’ seek to extend hot streak; Miami ties Finals with game 2 victory


2014 NBA Championship logoCeci Ferrara
June 9, 2014
Sports Writer
Sports Insider

After struggling to stay above .500 for the first two months of the season, the Nationals have been on a hot streak in June, winning five of their last six games, including four straight.

With their recent wins, the Nationals are now 32-29 — tied for first place in the NL East. Though Washington’s improvement has been impressive, it’s also come against sub-par opponents. Neither the Rangers, Phillies, nor Padres had a winning record, which lead to the Nationals easily outscoring them 53-16 in nine games.

Their most recent victory was a 6-0 shutout against San Diego on Sunday afternoon. Jordan Zimmerman (5-2) dominated on the mound, pitching five perfect innings before giving up a single to Alexi Amarista in the bottom of the sixth. He allowed just two hits and struck out a career-high 12 batters in his first complete game of the season.

“It was fun putting up the zeros,” Zimmerman said of his near hit-less game. “The main thing was to go deep and win the ballgame.”

The Nationals will next face a true test as they start a four-game road series against the San Francisco Giants. San Fran (42-21) has been spectacular this season, and they have the record to show for it. They not only lead their division by the widest margin (9.5 games), they also lead the league in wins.

“I don’t know if anybody measures up to them right now,” Washington Manager Matt Williams said. “They’re doing things really well.”

Washington will seek to extend their hot streak against the hottest team in baseball beginning Monday Night in San Francisco.

NBA Finals

The Spurs are looking for redemption, while the Heat is looking to make history, and both of them won’t give up without out a fight.

The NBA Championship Series has brought excitement, drama, and a new internet meme…and that’s just the first two games. San Antonio won game 1 easily after Miami looked deflated when LeBron James was carried off the court with leg cramps.

They had a chance to take a 2-0 series lead before the action moved to Miami for the next two games, but their efforts fell just short on Sunday evening. The game was evenly matched for most of the night, with the two teams going toe-to-toe for most of the game. After a slow game 1, James racked up 35 points and 10 rebounds in a game that was ultimately decided by just one basket.

“For me, once I get into a good groove, I feel like everything is going to go in,” James said afterward.

With the game tied 43-43 at halftime, neither team slowed down in the second half. They both posted over 50 points over the last two quarters, with the Heat edging out the Spurs 55-53. A lay-up by Dwayne Wade, with 9.4 seconds left, put the Heat ahead by five, which turned out to be just enough for the victory.

With time running out, San Antonio missed several shots. When Manu Ginobili nailed a three-point jumper at the buzzer, it was too late.

The series, now tied 1-1, will continue with game 3 in Miami on Tuesday.


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