LeBron’s Cavs stun Warriors in thriller to clinch title
admin • June 20, 2016 • 2095
Sunday, June 19, 2016 Jun 19, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) celebratew with the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy after beating the Golden State Warriors in game seven of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
LeBron James powered the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 93-89 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Sunday in an electrifying Game Seven to complete an improbable comeback unlike any seen before and capture their first NBA championship.
With the victory over the top-seeded Warriors, who beat Cleveland in last year’s championship, the Cavaliers became the first team to rally from a 3-1 series deficit in the best-of-seven NBA Finals and win the title.
“I’ve had goal for two years since I came back to bring a championship to the city,” said an emotional James, who returned to the Cavaliers in 2014 after a four-year stint with Miami that included a pair of NBA championships.
“I gave it everything that I had. I poured my heart, my blood, my sweat and my tears into this game.”
James led Cleveland in the championship-clinching with a triple-double as he scored 27 points to go along with 11 rebounds and 11 assists en route to being named the Most Valuable Player of the NBA Finals.
The win ends decades of heartbreak for the city of Cleveland, which had not won a professional sports championship since the 1964 Cleveland Browns of the National Football League.
For James, the win not only marks his third NBA title, but it will go down as the single greatest achievement of his storied career as it fulfills his promise to deliver a title to his home state of Ohio.
“I understand what everyone in northeastern Ohio have been through the last 50-plus years and I am happy to be a part of history,” said James, who was in tears as he wrapped his arms around the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy. “I can’t wait to get back home. I am ready to get to you guys.”
The back-and-forth game lived up to its billing as it was tight throughout and included 20 lead changes while no team was able to pull ahead by more than eight points.
Facing elimination in each of their previous two games, James carried the Cavs back from the brink as they became only the third team to force a Game Seven after falling behind 3-1 in the championship round.
For the Warriors, who had a record 73 wins during the 82-game regular season, Sunday’s defeat marked the first time since November 2013 that they have lost three consecutive games.
The Warriors were in complete control of the series but were ultimately undone by the disappearance of their high-octane offense, a suspension to defensive stalwart Draymond Green, a season-ending injury to rim-protecting center Andrew Bogut and defensive specialist Andre Iguodala dealing with a balky back.
“I knew what we were capable of, even being down 3-1 versus the greatest regular season team ever,” said James.
“Everybody counted us out and that’s when we strived the most and that’s definitely when I strived the most when everybody counted me out.”
After a record smashing regular season the Warriors could not cap off the campaign with a second successive title, unable to deliver the knockout punch after going up 3-1 in the best-of-season series.
“Just an incredible run that obviously didn’t end the way we wanted it to,” said Warriors head coach Steve Kerr. “It’s been an incredible two-year run. We’re disappointed that it didn’t go our way at the end, but that’s life.”
(Reporting by Rory Carroll; Writing by Frank Pingue; Editing by Steve Keating)
Paul George outgunned James Harden in a matchup of MVP candidates, and the Oklahoma City Thunder erased a 26-point deficit to escape with a 117-112 win over the host Houston Rockets on Saturday.
George finished with a game-high 45 points plus 11 rebounds, torching the Houston defense with six 3-pointers plus 15-for-18 free throws.
Westbrook matched an NBA record set by Wilt Chamberlain with his ninth consecutive triple-double: 21 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists. The Thunder posted a 53-39 edge on the glass.
Harden totaled 42 points, his 29th consecutive game with at least 30, but he missed a contested 3-pointer after Westbrook pushed the Thunder ahead.
Clippers 123, Celtics 112
Landry Shamet made four 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and scored 17 points off the bench in his debut for Los Angeles, which rallied from a 28-point deficit to knock off host Boston.
It’s the third time in the past five games the Clippers have come from at least 20 points down to win, with the 28-point rally setting a franchise record. It was also the largest comeback by any NBA team in the last two seasons.
Montrezl Harrell led Los Angeles with 21 points off the bench, and Danilo Gallinari had 19 points and 10 rebounds. Gordon Hayward scored 19 points off the bench to lead the Celtics, who lost leading scorer Kyrie Irving to a right knee sprain with about four minutes left in the first half.
Hornets 129, Hawks 120
Kemba Walker was 13-for-27 from the field and 9-for-17 on 3-pointers in reaching the 30-point mark for the fourth straight game, scoring 37 as Charlotte defeated host Atlanta.
It was the 40th time that Walker has topped 20 points and the 17th time he’s scored at least 30 this season. He added seven assists.
Charlotte’s Marvin Williams came back to haunt his former team with 27 points. Atlanta was led by John Collins with 21 points, and rookie Trae Young added 20 points and 11 assists.
Pacers 105, Cavaliers 90
Bojan Bogdanovic led a balanced offense with 23 points, the fifth time in his last six games he has topped 20 points, as host Indiana avenged a home loss in December to the Cavaliers.
Cory Joseph came off the bench to finish with 10 points, nine rebounds and 10 assists. Domantas Sabonis did not score in the first half, but finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds, also off the bench
Reserve Jordan Clarkson scored 18 points to lead Cleveland, which has lost four straight and 10 of its last 12.
Grizzlies 99, Pelicans 90
Joakim Noah had 19 points and 14 rebounds as host Memphis, playing its first home game since making two trades at Thursday’s deadline, defeated New Orleans.
Justin Holiday added 15 points, rookie Jaren Jackson Jr. scored 14, newcomer CJ Miles had 13, Mike Conley 11 and Ivan Rabb 10. Miles and Delon Wright, who were part of the trade that sent Marc Gasol to Toronto, made their debuts, as did guard Avery Bradley, who was acquired in a separate deal with the Clippers.
Julius Randle led the Pelicans with 21 points, Jrue Holiday had 15, Anthony Davis had 14 points and 16 rebounds and rookie Kenrich Williams had 10 points and 13 rebounds.
Wizards 134, Bulls 125
Jabari Parker and Bobby Portis made a triumphant return to Chicago, helping Washington win its second straight game.
The meeting was the first since Washington acquired Parker and Portis from Chicago at the trade deadline for Otto Porter Jr. All three played significant roles when their two new clubs won the front end of back-to-backs on Friday, with the Wizards beating Cleveland at home, while the Bulls surprised Brooklyn on the road.
Parker had 20 points, and Portis had a game-high 12 rebounds in Saturday’s win, during which the Wizards built a 15-point lead in the first half and kept the Bulls at arm’s length the rest of the way. Porter, who made a pair of 3-pointers, finished with 17 points for Chicago.
Raptors 104, Knicks 99
Kyle Lowry scored a game-high 22 points and hit a 3-pointer with 7:03 remaining that gave Toronto the lead for good in fending off host New York.
Serge Ibaka registered a double-double (15 points and 13 rebounds) for the Raptors, who have won four consecutive games. Marc Gasol, playing his first game for the Raptors since he was acquired from the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday, scored seven points and pulled down six rebounds in 19 minutes as a reserve.
Kevin Knox scored 20 points, and DeAndre Jordan posted a double-double with 10 points and 18 rebounds for the Knicks, who tied a franchise record by losing their 16th straight game.
Jazz 125, Spurs 105
Donovan Mitchell scored 23 points and Rudy Gobert added 21 points and 13 rebounds to lead host Utah to its second straight win while sending San Antonio to its fourth straight loss in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Royce O’Neale matched his season-high with 17 points off the bench as the Jazz had six players score in double figures.
DeMar DeRozan scored 23 points and LaMarcus Aldridge added 15 to lead the Spurs.
Magic 103, Bucks 83
Orlando took advantage of the absence of Giannis Antetokounmpo, snapping host Milwaukee’s six-game winning streak.
Jonathan Isaac led the Magic in scoring for the first time this season with 17 points. Eric Bledoe led Milwaukee with 19 points, 11 rebounds and five assists, and Malcolm Brogdon added 14 points. It was Milwaukee’s most lopsided loss and the fewest points they’ve scored all season.
Orlando has won four of its last five and is now 2 1/2 games out of the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.
Blake Griffin took advantage of the first opportunity to show his former fans what they’re missing, scoring 44 points on Saturday afternoon to lead the visiting Detroit Pistons to a 109-104 victory against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Griffin was drafted No. 1 overall by the Clippers in 2009 and spent his first eight seasons with them, helping the team reach the playoffs in six straight years from 2012-17. He was traded to Detroit last January.
Detroit center Andre Drummond added 20 points and 21 rebounds, including nine on the offensive end. Reggie Bullock, another former first-round pick of the Clippers, scored 17 points for the Pistons, who had lost nine of 11.
The starting lineup for the Clippers included two players who came to Los Angeles in the Griffin trade; forward Tobias Harris and guard Avery Bradley. Harris finished with 11 points, 10 below his scoring average, and 10 rebounds. Bradley finished with three points.
Magic 105, Celtics 103
Jayson Tatum’s tying attempt at the buzzer missed, helping Orlando hold on late over visiting Boston and snapping a four-game losing streak.
Aaron Gordon had 11 points in the fourth quarter and led all scorers with 28 points along with 12 rebounds. Terrence Ross added 25 points off the bench, and Nikola Vucevic had 16 points and 13 rebounds. The Magic were coming off a disappointing road trip in which they went 1-5.
Kyrie Irving had 25 points, six assists and five rebounds, and Marcus Morris added 17 points and eight rebounds for the Celtics. Boston has lost back-to-back games, including to Miami on Thursday to end a four-game winning streak.
Heat 112, Grizzlies 108
Justise Winslow produced a game-high 26 points to go with seven rebounds and four assists as Miami defeated visiting Memphis.
Winslow made 10 of 16 shots, including 4 of 4 3-pointers, as Miami improved to 10-4 in its past 14 games. The score was tied at 108 with 56 seconds left when Miami’s Bam Adebayo made 1 of 2 free throws. The Heat led the rest of the way.
Memphis was led by reserve JaMychal Green, who had a double-double with 24 points and 11 rebounds in just 22 minutes. The Grizzlies lost for the seventh time in eight games.
Timberwolves 110, Pelicans 106
Karl-Anthony Towns had 27 points and 27 rebounds as host Minnesota held off New Orleans.
Andrew Wiggins added 18 points, Josh Okogie scored 17, Dario Saric and Tyus Jones had 14 each and Taj Gibson 10 for the Timberwolves.
Anthony Davis had 30 points and 14 rebounds, Jrue Holiday scored 25 points, Julius Randle added 22 points and 11 rebounds and Elfrid Payton had 10 points to lead the Pelicans, who saw a three-game winning streak end in the opener of a five-game road trip.
Thunder 122, Spurs 112
Dennis Schroder scored all 19 of his points in the second half as Oklahoma City picked up a come-from-behind victory over visiting San Antonio.
Russell Westbrook led the Thunder with 24 points and 10 rebounds, and Paul George finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds.
Marco Belinelli had a season-high 24 points off the bench to lead San Antonio. DeMar DeRozan added 18 while LaMarcus Aldridge, coming off a 56-point performance in Thursday’s 154-147 double-overtime win over the Thunder in San Antonio, scored 17 points.
Suns 102, Nuggets 93
Kelly Oubre Jr. and Richaun Holmes combined for 40 points off the bench as Phoenix’s reserves dominated their Denver counterparts in a home win over the Western Conference’s top team.
The Suns, who have the worst record in the West at 11-33, used a 10-0 flurry late in the first quarter to take a lead they never relinquished en route to their first win over the Nuggets in three tries this season.
Nikola Jokic had 23 points and 10 rebounds for Denver, which at 28-13 retained a half-game lead over Golden State atop the West.
Jazz 110, Bulls 102
Donovan Mitchell scored a game-high 34 points, and Utah rallied for a win over visiting Chicago.
Rudy Gobert flirted with a triple-double for the Jazz with 15 points, 16 rebounds and eight assists. Kyle Korver (16) and Joe Ingles (16) also scored in double digits for Utah, which outscored Chicago 29-20 in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.
Chicago lost its seventh game in a row. Zach LaVine led the Bulls with 21 points, while Lauri Markkanen had 16 and three others had 11.
Kings 104, Hornets 97
Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 22 points, and Buddy Hield and De’Aaron Fox added 21 each as Sacramento fended off visiting Charlotte.
Bogdanovic hit four 3-pointers and Hield five as the Kings went 14 of 37 on treys overall. They also got 12 points and 12 rebounds from Willie Cauley-Stein and 11 points from Marvin Bagley III.
Kemba Walker led the Hornets with 31 points, although he left in the final minute because of an abdominal injury. The Hornets also got 13 points from Nicolas Batum, 11 from Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and 10 from Malik Monk.
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