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On this day, May 16, in Sports Odds History...
1980 (NBA): Rookie guard Magic Johnson fills in at center for injured Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and pours in 42 points, 15 rebounds and 7 assists as the Los Angeles Lakers win their 7th NBA Championship, defeating the Philadelphia 76ers 123-107 in Game 6 of the Finals. The Lakers were 6½-point road underdogs and entered Game 1 as -190 favorites to win the series. Abdul-Jabbar did not travel with the team to rest his sprained left ankle in hopes of returning for a potential Game 7 to be played back in Los Angeles. One year after earning the NCAA Tournament's Most Outstanding Player award, Johnson would earn the first of three Finals MVP awards as he averaged 21.5 points, 11.2 rebounds and 8.7 assists per game for the series. He remains as the only player to win the award as a rookie.
1996 (NHL): In Game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals, Steve Yzerman scores the only goal of the game 1:15 into double overtime giving the Detroit Red Wings a 1-0 victory over Wayne Gretzkey and the St Louis Blues. Gretzky's turnover led to Yzerman's goal as the Red Wings were -1½-goal line favorites. Enterying Game 1 Detroit was -900 to win the series as they would go on to lose in the next round to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche.
1999 (NBA): The New York Knicks become only the second #8 seed to defeat a #1 seed when they beat the Miami Heat 78-77 in Game 5 of their first round best-of-5 series. Allan Houston hit the game-winner with 0.8 seconds remaining as the Knicks were 5-point road underdogs and entered Game 1 as +230 underdogs to win the series. New York would go on to lose to the San Antonio Spurs 4-1 in the NBA Finals.
2015 (Horse Racing): Sent off as the 4-5 favorite, American Pharoah wins the 140th Preakness by 7 lengths. Jockey Victor Espinoza wins the race for the second year in a row after being aboard California Chrome in 2014.
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