James, Cavs KO Celts, set up rematch vs. Warriors

UNTV News   •   May 26, 2017   •   2885

May 25, 2017; Boston, MA, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) looks to pass around Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley (0) during the third quarter of game five of the Eastern conference finals of the NBA Playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

(The Sports Xchange) – LeBron James and the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers are headed back to the NBA Finals.

James scored 35 points and added eight rebounds, eight assists and three steals, and Kyrie Irving posted 24 points and seven assists to power the Cavaliers to a 135-102 blowout of the Boston Celtics in Game 5 to clinch the Eastern Conference title.

The Cavaliers, who sat their starters for the entire fourth quarter, begin their third straight NBA Finals series against the Golden State Warriors next Thursday in Oakland. Cleveland won the 2016 title after Golden State prevailed in 2015.

James will appear in his seventh consecutive Finals as he seeks his fourth title.

James, who shot 13 of 18 from the floor and 4 of 7 from 3-point range, hit a 3-pointer with 2:41 left in the third quarter to pass Michael Jordan and become the NBA’s all-time leading playoff scorer.

Kevin Love had 15 points and 11 rebounds and Deron Williams added 14 points in 17 minutes off the bench in the win that made Cleveland 12-1 in the postseason.

Avery Bradley led the Celtics with 23 points, and Gerald Green scored 14.

With 2:44 left, the remaining Boston fans began a “Let’s Go Celtics” chant that kept going until the final horn, cheering every basket as if the game was close.

The Celtics made some noise near the end of the first half, but Irving scored Cleveland’s first 11 points in the first 3:18 of the second half before two baskets by James ballooned the lead to 25 with 6:39 left in the third quarter.

It soon grew to 32 and then to 35 by the end of the quarter.

Irving, who shook off a Game 4 twisted ankle, was 9 of 15 from the floor and 4 of 8 from three-point range.

Irving fuels Celtics’ triumph over Thunder

UNTV News   •   February 4, 2019

Feb 3, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) drives to the basket while Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) defends during the second half at TD Garden. (Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

Kyrie Irving racked up 30 points and 11 assists to lead the Boston Celtics to a 134-129 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder at home on Sunday.

The win was the fourth consecutive and the ninth in the last 10 for the Celtics. The Thunder’s seven-game winning streak was snapped.

Paul George led the Thunder with 37 points but was just 5 of 16 from behind the 3-point line.

Irving hit a critical floater with 23 seconds remaining with the Celtics clinging to a two-point lead. He drove past Terrance Ferguson, and let go of the floater over the outstretched arms of Thunder 7-footer Steven Adams. Russell Westbrook, coming over to help, got his finger on the shot, but it fell through the basket to extend Boston’s lead.

Westbrook had a monster game once again — 22 points, 16 assists and 12 rebounds — but his critical turnover with 8.1 seconds left and Oklahoma City down by two helped Boston escape with the win.

The Thunder got a 3-pointer from Jerami Grant right after Irving’s floater, then got the ball back after Jayson Tatum missed the second of two free throws to keep Oklahoma City’s hopes alive.

But Westbrook lost the ball charging toward the basket, and Tatum made both free throws at the other end.

Westbrook had his sixth consecutive triple-double and his 19th this season. Westbrook now has three streaks of six or more consecutive triple-doubles in his career.

Marcus Smart hit big shot after big shot to lift the Celtics to the lead for the final time.

With just less than seven minutes remaining in the third, Oklahoma City took the lead before Boston roared back. Smart hit a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession to ignite a 14-0 run that lasted more than three minutes. It was one of three 3-pointers Smart hit during the stretch.

Irving was 14 of 19 from the field in the win. Eight players scored in double figures for Boston

Boston was without center Aron Baynes, who missed the game with a left foot contusion. Baynes, who missed 13 games earlier this season with a broken hand, will miss “a few weeks,” he told reporters before the game.

—Field Level Media

Magic topple Lakers again

UNTV News   •   November 26, 2018

FILE PHOTO: LeBron James (REUTERS / USA-Today)

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.

—Field Level Media

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Lakers boast .500 record after win over Kings

UNTV News   •   November 12, 2018

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.

—Field Level Media

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