Golden State among best teams I’ve seen, says LeBron
UNTV News • June 4, 2017 • 2879
FILE PHOTO: June 2, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) controls the ball against Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) during the first half in game one of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Cleveland forward LeBron James said the top-seeded Golden State Warriors are among the best teams he has seen but is confident his Cavaliers can avenge their blowout loss in Game One when the teams meet again on Sunday.
James had 28 points and 15 rebounds in the Finals opener but also turned the ball over eight times, costly errors that helped pave the way to a 113-91 Warriors win.
“I’ve seen a lot of great teams, and they rank right up there. They work well together,” he told reporters on Saturday during practice in Oakland.
“They have some guys that can actually lead a franchise without anybody else by themselves,” he said of the Warriors, who have four All Stars and posted the NBA’s best record this season.
The Warriors are an NBA record 13-0 in this year’s playoffs, and their undefeated record will not be broken on Sunday unless Cleveland takes better care of the ball, James said.
“Turning the ball over, that’s one thing we did in Game One that we’re going to be very conscious about going into Game Two, especially on their home floor,” he said.
Turnovers are particularly costly against a Golden State team that thrives in transition basketball, either finding one of their sharp-shooting guards for a three-pointer or driving to the basket for an easy lay-up or dunk.
“Game One was the feel-out for us, and they definitely took advantage of all our miscues. We just have to get better,” James said.
After their defense looked unable to stop Warriors forward Kevin Durant from driving to the basket in Game One, James said the Cavaliers could be more physical in Game Two.
“That’s always been something that we talk about, so we look forward to seeing what we can bring to the game in Game Two,” he said. — By Rory Carroll
Stephen Curry connected on 10 3-pointers as part of a 42-point performance Saturday night, helping the Golden State Warriors outlast the host Sacramento Kings 127-123 in a game that featured the most combined 3-pointers in NBA history.
The Warriors went 21-for-47 from beyond the arc while the Kings made a franchise-record 20 in 36 attempts. The 41 3-pointers were one more than the previous record of 40 set in a game last season between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Cleveland Cavaliers.
Curry, who finished 14-for-26 from the field and 10-for-20 on 3-pointers, scored 20 of his 42 points in the fourth quarter, none bigger than a three-point play off a Draymond Green assist that put Golden State ahead for good at 123-121 with 2:03 to go.
Kevin Durant backed Curry with 29 points and nine assists, while Klay Thompson added 20 points. Buddy Hield buried a career-high eight 3-pointers in 13 attempts to account for most of his scoring on a 32-point night for the Kings.
Raptors 123, Bucks 116
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 43 points and grabbed 18 rebounds for the Bucks, who had won five in a row and six straight at home.
Trail Blazers 110, Rockets 101
Jusuf Nurkic scored 25 points and grabbed 15 rebounds as host Portland ended both Houston’s six-game winning streak and James Harden’s five-game run of scoring at least 40 points.
CJ McCollum scored 24 points, and Damian Lillard contributed 17 points and 12 assists for the Trail Blazers. Harden finished with 38 points after missing a layup in the closing seconds.
Austin Rivers scored 21 points, and Clint Capela added 13 points and 21 rebounds for the Rockets, who lost for only the third time in the last 11 meetings with the Blazers.
Nuggets 123, Hornets 110
Nikola Jokic had 39 points and 12 rebounds, Paul Millsap scored 18 points and host Denver topped Charlotte.
Gary Harris added 17 off the bench for Denver, which has won five straight and nine of its last 11.
Kemba Walker led Charlotte with 20 points, while Marvin Williams, Bismack Biyombo and Malik Monk scored 16 apiece.
Jazz 110, Pistons 105
Donovan Mitchell racked up 26 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals, and visiting Utah defeated Detroit.
Ricky Rubio contributed 18 points, Joe Ingles had 16 and Derrick Favors added 13 for Utah. The Jazz erased an early 18-point deficit.
Blake Griffin led Detroit with 34 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. Reggie Bullock supplied 19 points and Andre Drummond, playing in his 500th career game, had 15 points and 18 rebounds.
76ers 106, Mavericks 100
Furkan Korkmaz buried a key 3-pointer with 1:34 remaining to stall a Dallas rally, helping host Philadelphia hold on for the win.
Ben Simmons recorded a triple-double with 20 points, a game-high 14 rebounds and a game-high 11 assists while Joel Embiid provided a double-double with a game-high 25 points and 12 rebounds, leading the 76ers to a third consecutive win despite the absence of Jimmy Butler, who missed the game with an illness.
Wesley Matthews connected on four 3-pointers to account for a majority of his team-high 18 points for the Mavericks.
Pelicans 133, Cavaliers 98
Jrue Holiday and Julius Randle scored 22 points each as visiting New Orleans handed reeling Cleveland its ninth consecutive loss.
Seven Pelicans scored in double figures. Anthony Davis had 20 points and 10 rebounds, Elfrid Payton scored 13 points and E’Twaun Moore added 10. Randle also had 12 rebounds and eight assists.
Jordan Clarkson led the Cavaliers with 23 points, Jalen Jones and Collin Sexton had 15 each, Cedi Osman scored 13 and Tristan Thompson had 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Spurs 108, Grizzlies 88
Derrick White scored 19 points on 8-of-9 shooting from the floor, and LaMarcus Aldridge added 18 points as San Antonio bested visiting Memphis to earn its fourth straight victory.
San Antonio led by 20 points at the half and by 88-66 after three quarters and survived a 14-0 run by Memphis early in the final quarter before cruising to its 12th win in the past 15 games. Patty Mills added 15 points for the Spurs, with DeMar DeRozan and Jakob Poeltl scoring 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Mike Conley led Memphis with 21 points while Jaren Jackson Jr. and Dillon Brooks added 15 each for the Grizzlies. Marc Gasol grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds while JaMychal Green pulled down 10 boards.
Nikola Vucevic scored 31 points and grabbed 15 rebounds Sunday as the visiting Orlando Magic upended the Los Angeles Lakers for the second time in eight days, earning a 108-104 victory.
The Lakers tied the game at 104 with 2:24 remaining on a pair of free throws by LeBron James, but Los Angeles missed four 3-point attempts down the stretch.
Terrence Ross made a cutting layup with 34 seconds remaining to give the Magic a 106-104 lead, and Aaron Gordon sealed the victory on a dunk with 10 seconds remaining.
Gordon finished with 17 points, while Ross had 16 as Orlando ended a two-game slide. The Magic now have four victories in their past six games.
James scored 24 points for the Lakers, who have seven victories in their last nine games, but both of those defeats came to the Magic.
After losing 130-117 at Orlando, the Lakers made a commitment to defense, holding their next three opponents to an average of 95 points per game. That defensive focus was evident early in the Sunday game as the Lakers held Orlando to 19 points in the first quarter.
The Magic, though, turned things around, starting with a 12-2 run with just under three minutes to play in the first half. Orlando held its first lead of the game at 51-49 with less than a minute to play in the second quarter before a James 3-pointer put the Lakers up 52-51 at the half.
The Magic’s surge continued in the third quarter as they opened on a 15-7 run, forcing the Lakers into eight consecutive missed shots during the stretch. Orlando held an 86-71 lead after three quarters, having limited the Lakers to 19 points in the period.
Vucevic’s 31-point performance came after he scored a season-high 36 points the first time the teams met. Two of his three games with at least 30 points this season have come against the Lakers.
D.J. Augustin scored 12 points and had nine assists for the Magic, while Jonathon Simmons added 10 points.
Kyle Kuzma scored 21 points for the Lakers, while Brandon Ingram added 17. Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball scored nine points and pulled down 10 rebounds.
The Lakers’ LeBron James speaks during a news conference on Monday in El Segundo, California. | USA TODAY / VIA REUTERS
The Los Angeles Lakers have a .500 record for the first time this season after a 101-86 win against the host Sacramento Kings on Saturday night.
LeBron James scored 25 points for Los Angeles, which has won four of five and six of nine. The Lakers have another winnable game Sunday against the visiting Atlanta Hawks.
Brandon Ingram had 12 points and eight rebounds, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Josh Hart and Kyle Kuzma scored 11 apiece for the Lakers. Tyson Chandler had a team-high 12 rebounds off the bench in his second game since joining the Lakers.
De’Aaron Fox scored 21 points to lead Sacramento. Marvin Bagley III had 13 points off the bench and Willie Cauley-Stein had 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Kings, who had won six of eight coming in.
Kuzma made a 3-pointer on the first possession of the second half to extend the lead to 53-44. Los Angeles missed its next seven shots, including three open 3-point attempts on one possession, which would have extended the lead back to double digits.
At the same time, the Kings went on a 7-0 run to get within 53-51 and they pulled as close as one point on two occasions before Lakers backup point guard Rajon Rondo capped a 10-0 run by hitting a wide-open 3-pointer for a 67-56 lead with 3:50 left in the third quarter.
The Lakers took a 76-65 lead into the fourth and Lance Stephenson sank a 3-pointer off a loose ball on the first possession, extending the lead back to 14. They soon went up by 20 on Josh Hart’s 3 with 8:01 left and maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the way.
The Lakers led by 16 midway through the second quarter before taking a 50-44 lead into the half.
James led the way with 15 points in the first half for the Lakers.
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