For the second straight year, one of the NBA's greatest players is leaving the playoff party early. Kobe Bryant and his Los Angeles Lakers are out. Last night, they lost their second round series against the young and explosive Oklahoma City Thunder, four games to one. The Thunder's big three - Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden - combined for 70 points in Oklahoma City's 106-90 win. NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman joins us now on the line.
Over the weekend, Hikaru Nakamura won the 2012 U.S. Chess Championship in St. Louis, Missouri. He's the top-ranked chess player in the country, and is now 2 1/2 points away from beating Bobby Fischer's all time record. For Tell Me More's series, "In Your Ear," Nakamura talks about the music that gets him pumped up for competition.
If life is a ballgame, then NPR's Mike Pesca is the guy in the stands, carrying his own stat-sheet and searching out empirical evidence. Host Rachel Martin speaks with Pesca about what the numbers have to say about injuries.
This afternoon, the 137th running of the Preakness takes place at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. Kentucky Derby Winner, the horse called, I'll Have Another, will try to capture the second jewel in the Triple Crown of Horse Racing, something only 10 horses have done since 1978. I'll Have Another, its trainer and owner all come from Southern California, and hopes are high that a big win will give a much-needed boost to horse racing in the California. NPR'S Carrie Kahn reports.
The Olympic torch has arrived in Britain, ahead of this summer's Games in London. The torch, lit at the original location of the Games at the ancient Greek site of Olympia one week ago, flew in from Athens yesterday. Just a few hours ago, the historic flame began its tour of the UK. Vicki Barker reports from London.
The cyclists who participated in Friday's National Bike to Work Day likely planned their riding route with several criteria in mind, from convenience to safety. Those same concerns help determine how "bikeable" a town is, according to a new study by the Walk Score website. Among the factors: There's safety in numbers.
Time for Major League Baseball. Now that the bats are really cracking, we're going to check in on how the teams and some key players are shaping up. We're joined now, as we are most Fridays, by sportswriter Stefan Fatsis. Hi, Stefan.
STEFAN FATSIS, BYLINE: Hey, Robert.
SIEGEL: Let's start with some breaking news. It was reported today that Kerry Wood, the hard-throwing Chicago Cubs pitcher, has decided to retire after 14 seasons.