Love grows into role with LeBron in Cavs’ title quest
UNTV News • June 1, 2017 • 3040
May 23, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love (0) rebounds in the third quarter against the Boston Celtics in game four of the Eastern conference finals of the NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Kevin Love has emerged as the player LeBron James yearned to see and the power forward could be a pivotal contributor for the Cleveland Cavaliers in their quest to repeat as NBA champions.
This season, Love has been more confident and assertive, flashing the form that made him a three-times All-Star in his initial NBA seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
On the eve of Thursday’s opener of the Finals against the Golden State Warriors, the 6-foot-10 (2.08 m) frontcourt man was asked what kind of player James had hoped he could become.
“He was about 30 pounds heavier and has a terrible haircut,” said Love, drawing laughs from reporters.
“No, I think he just means … being assertive and just very confident on both sides of the ball in my movements.”
“Just continuing to have a can-do mindset throughout and having confidence in each and every one of us. It’s not just me, it’s everybody playing their best brand of basketball.”
Love was thought to be the critical third partner of a ‘Big Three’ in Cleveland with James and dynamic guard Kyrie Irving.
However, he battled injuries and at times struggled to establish his identity on the floor, often deferring to his explosive team mates and losing some of that assertiveness.
This season Love has stepped up, averaging 19 points a game, 2.5 more per contest than his previous two seasons. He has also improved in the postseason to a 17.2 points average against stingier playoff defenses.
Love is fired up for the unprecedented third successive Finals clash between the Warriors and the Cavaliers, and is comfortable with his role.
“Picking my spots, being assertive, as I mentioned, and just filling in the gaps where we know that ‘Bron, being our leader, and Kyrie are going to be special,” he said.
Still, he said everything revolved around James, one of the NBA’s all-time greats.
“He’s special in so many ways,” said Love. “But as far as his approach and his routine and just his relentlessness in chasing, that greatness is special to watch.
“We talk about guys setting the tone, he’s the best to do it. He’s our leader, and we follow him at all costs.”
(Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Ian Ransom)
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.
FILE PHOTO: Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol (33) reacts during an NBA playoff game against the Portland Trail Blazers last season in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo: Reuters/Justin Ford/USA Today Sports
Marc Gasol scored 26 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and made four 3-point shots to lead the Memphis Grizzlies to a 100-87 road win on Sunday against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Mike Conley added 18 points and nine assists for the Grizzlies, who now have won five of six. The Timberwolves had won three straight since trading Jimmy Butler to the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Grizzlies broke open the game in the third quarter by outscoring the Timberwolves, 28-19. Through three quarters, Memphis had forced 16 Minnesota turnovers and the Timberwolves concluded with 20 miscues.
Derrick Rose kept the Timberwolves in the game, scoring 18 off the bench. Rose was 6 of 11 from the field, including 2-for-4 from long range. Newly acquired Dario Saric also gave Minnesota a lift off the bench, scoring 14 points.
The Grizzlies shot 42.7 percent from the field. Minnesota shot 39.2.
A telling sign that Sunday just wasn’t the Timberwolves’ day — with time running out late in the fourth, Garrett Temple threw up a 3-point attempt from 30 feet and hit nothing but net to give Memphis a 96-83 lead.
Another sign — Gasol sank a corner 3 midway through the third to give the Grizzlies a double-digit lead at 66-54. Minnesota had not won a game where it trailed by double digits all season, and still hasn’t.
Shelvin Mack’s 3-point jumper made it 69-54 as the Grizzlies defense smothered the Minnesota offense.
The Timberwolves cut the deficit to eight midway through the fourth and when Covington forced the ball off Conley’s knee, it appeared Minnesota would have a chance to creep even closer.
But a missed call allowed the Grizzlies to keep the ball and Gasol made a 3 making the score 81-69.
Saric answered to cut the lead to 10 but Gasol could not be stopped. Memphis’ big man sank another 3 and it seemed Memphis had an answer every time Minnesota tried to claw back.
Memphis dictated the pace from the get-go but trailed 20-17 after the first quarter. The Grizzlies outscored the Timberwolves 30-23 in the second period and took a 47-43 lead into halftime.
Minnesota shot just 35 percent (14 of 40) in the first half while the Grizzlies were just a little better at 39.1 percent (18-for-46).
The two teams combined to turn the ball over 19 times in the first half.
UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.