Gritty Celtics stun Cavaliers to reduce series deficit
UNTV News • May 22, 2017 • 2923
May 21, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson (13) fights for possession with Boston Celtics center Kelly Olynyk (41) and guard Marcus Smart (36) during the first half in game three of the Eastern conference finals of the NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
(The Sports Xchange) – Avery Bradley’s three-pointer in the last second of Game Three touched every part of the rim before bouncing in, giving the Celtics an improbable 111-108 road win over the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference finals on Sunday.
The surprise loss means Cleveland leads the best-of-seven series 2-1 ahead of Game Four in Quicken Loans Arena on Tuesday.
“Thank God it’s bouncing on the rim because that’s taking time,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens told reporters.
“If it goes in or doesn’t go in, they have a timeout left. So when it bounced around, I was actually hoping it went in, obviously, but not completely disappointed that it was bouncing up there.”
The Celtics came into the contest missing star player Isaiah Thomas, who is out for the remainder of the post-season because of a hip injury, and aware that the Cavaliers had lost just one home game to an Eastern team in the playoffs since 2015.
However, Thomas’ replacement, Marcus Smart, scored a career-high 27 points and handed out seven assists, and Bradley had 20 points.
Al Horford added 16 points, Jae Crowder amassed 14 points and 11 rebounds, and Kelly Olynyk contributed 15 off the bench for the Celtics, who were beaten by an average of 28.5 points in the first two games.
When the two teams left Boston after Game Two, the Cavs had beaten the Celtics by 44 points for the most lopsided win in Eastern finals history, a defeat that both stung and inspired Stevens’ side.
“We’ve got guys that have chips on their shoulders,” Stevens added. “A lot of these guys have been overlooked, and this is their first opportunity to really play a meaningful role.
“We knew that while Friday was a 44-point disaster, it was worth one (game). It wasn’t worth four.”
The Cavs led by as many as 21 points in the third quarter on Sunday but they shot 2-for-17 from three-point range in the second half. The Celtics made 18 three-pointers for the game.
Cleveland also committed 16 turnovers that Boston turned into 14 points. The Celtics gave the ball away nine times, leading to five Cavaliers points.
“You let a team grab momentum like that, you almost know that last shot is going in,” James said.
“It was like, you already knew. As soon as the ball went out of his hands, you kind of knew that shot was going to go in because of how the game was just played throughout the second half.”
James was ineffective, scoring just 11 points on 4-of-13 shooting with six turnovers. He was held scoreless in the fourth quarter and was limited to three points in the second half.
“I didn’t have it,” James said.
Kyrie Irving led the Cavs with 29 points, and Kevin Love added 28 points and 10 rebounds. Tristan Thompson scored 18 points to go with 13 boards.
Cleveland blew a chance to set a playoff record for consecutive wins (14) dating to Game Five of last year’s NBA Finals and become the fourth team in history to start the playoffs 11-0.
UNTV Cup Season 7 defending champion AFP Cavaliers’ record remains unblemished this season as they overpowered SSS Kabalikat, 100-86.
This is the third straight win for Cavaliers while it’s the second loss for Team Social Security System.
Veterans Alvin Zuniga and Winston Sergio led the AFP with 18 points and 17 points respectively.
Airman Wilfred Casulla Jr. added 10 points and 11 rebounds while Ezer Rosopa produced 9 points and 12 rebounds.
SSS main man, Carlito Quiambao contributed 41 points and 17 rebounds but they were not enough to get near AFP in the end game even with the addition of 28 combined points from Francisco Sarmiento and John Paul Roman.
Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture basketball team, DENR Warriors, now ties Malacañang-PSC Kamao in ranking in Group B as the DENR registered its second win against PNP, 88-77.
In the first half, PNP was still ahead with 6 points, 38-44, but in the third quarter, DENR started to rally led by Ralph Lansang when they brought 31 points into the table and limited the PNP to only 10 points.
The police force tried to regroup in the last quarter led by 2-time MVP Ollan Omiping but it was not enough to stop the onslaught of rookie team DENR Warriors.
Both Melvin Bangal and Ralph Lansang put up 21 points each with 34 points support from Paul Erwen Parreno, Desederio Asyon Jr., and Ed Rivera for the Warriors.
While Ollan Omiping contributed 20 points and Anton Tolentino got 14 points for the Responders.
In the other game, the Department of Agriculture Food Masters handed out PITC Global Traders’ second loss of the season in a toe-to-toe match, 68-64.
This is the second win of the Food Masters at UNTV Cup Season 8 with no loss yet.
Game 1: DENR def. PNP, 88-77
DENR 88 – R. Lansang 21, M. Bangal 21, P. Parreño 13, E. Rivera 11, D. Ayson 10, A. Gamboa 8, A. Atablanco 2, R. Abanes 2
PNP 77 – O. Omiping 20, A. Tolentino 14, M. Flormata 13, R. Villanueva 10, R. Cabrera 8, C. Elopre 6, H. Decena 2, J. Misola 2, J. Nicolas 2
Quarter Scores: 21-18, 38-44, 69-54, 88-77
PLAYERS OF GAME:
Ralph Lansang – 21 PTS, 8 REB, 7 STL, 1 BLK
Ed Rivera – 11 PTS, 11 REB, 4 AST, 5 STL
Game 2: AFP def. SSS, 100-86
AFP 100 – A. Zuñiga 18, W. Sergio 17, W. Casulla 10, E. Rosopa 9, R. Pascual 9 R. Almerol 8, R. Araneta 8, V. Evidor 7, B. Bautista 6, P. Fernandez 3, D. Cordero 3, J. Lumongsod 2
SSS 86 – C. Quiambao 41, J. Roman 16, F. Sarmiento 12, R. Guierrez 6, S. Paclibare 2, M. Rapadas 2, R. Zarraga 2, M. Hernandez 2, S. Trinidad 2, R. Puño 1
Quarter Scores: 28-19, 57-36, 81-53, 100-86
PLAYERS OF GAME:
Winston Sergio – 17 PTS, 2 REB, 1 STL, 1 AST
Alvin Zuniga – 18 PTS,2 REB, 4 AST, 2 STL
Game 3: Agriculture def. PITC, 68-64
Agriculture 68 – C. Dematera 16, E. Oreta 14, S. Silva 11, J. Casaysayan 10, B. Mastelero 8, M. Lim 6, M. Tayer 3
PITC 64 – R. Vasallo 13, M. Martin 13, A. Taplah 10, H. Porto 8, R. Regalado 6, R. Barbers 4, M. Gecale 4, L. Lopez 4, M. Juan 2
Jordan Clarkson scored 28 points and the Cleveland Cavaliers squandered most of a 25-point fourth-quarter lead before holding on to defeat the Washington Wizards 116-113 for their second straight win.
Washington cut the deficit to three points in the final minute and had a chance to tie when it inbounded with 10.8 seconds left but Cedi Osman knocked the ball away from Troy Brown, who was attempting a 3-pointer, and the Cavs held on despite missing nine fourth-quarter free throws.
Osman had 26 points for Cleveland and Ante Zizic had 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Bradley Beal had 31 points for Washington but was on the bench during the fourth-quarter rally. Reserve Jordan McCrae had 15 points and Trevor Ariza added 13 for the Wizards, who have lost two straight.
Cleveland led by six at halftime and pulled away in the third quarter when it outscored the Wizards 35-22.
Matthew Dellavedova’s 3-pointer gave the Cavaliers an 82-61 lead late in the quarter.
Clarkson’s second straight 3-pointer made it 94-69 with 10:44 left to play and Cleveland still led by 25 with 6:58 to play before Washington rallied.
Gary Payton’s layup capped a 13-2 run that brought the Wizards within 109-99 and McCrae’s jumper made it 112-103 with 1:42 left to play.
Washington cut it to 115-108 on Brown’s layup with 35.1 seconds left. After Cleveland’s Collin Sexton missed two free throws, McCrae hit a 3-pointer with 30.7 seconds remaining.
Clarkson’s free throw extended the lead to 116-111, but McCrae’s two free throws pulled Washington within 116-113 with 18.5 seconds left.
Osman missed two free throws and Washington had the ball with 10.8 seconds remaining before Brown’s failed 3-point attempt.
The Cavaliers took their largest lead of the first half, 53-44, on Clarkson’s layup with 8.3 seconds remaining in the second quarter, but Ariza hit a 3-pointer with one second left.
Dec 17, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) celebrates with forward Kevin Love (0) against the Washington Wizards during the second half at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
(Reuters) – LeBron James used a visit to Washington on Sunday to express his continued displeasure at Donald Trump, without once mentioning the United States president by name.
James took the court wearing one white and one black shoe for the Cleveland Cavaliers against the Washington Wizards in an NBA game in the national capital.
Both shoes had the word “EQUALITY” stitched in capital letters on the back, and they got the attention he apparently was seeking.
“Obviously, we know where we are right now and we know who’s at the helm here,” the four-times NBA most valuable player told reporters after the game, played barely a mile from the White House.
“Equality is all about understanding our rights, understanding what we stand for and how powerful we are as men, and as women, black or white or Hispanic.”
James, a frequent and outspoken critic of Trump, backed losing Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.
He has continued his attacks on Trump in the 13 months since the election, saying that the president does not understand that many children look to their leader for guidance and encouragement.
James spoke on Sunday after compiling his third straight triple-double — 20 points, 12 rebounds and 15 assists — as the Cavaliers beat the Wizards 106-99.
“No matter your race, this is a beautiful country and we’re never going to let one person dictate how beautiful and how powerful we are,” he said.
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; editing by Amlan Chakraborty
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