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Warriors’ Durant named Most Valuable Player of NBA Finals

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, June 13th, 2017

Jun 12, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) celebrates with Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) during the fourth quarter in game five of the 2017 NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Durant signed with the Golden State Warriors hoping to win an elusive title and on Monday he not only reached his goal but was also named the unanimous Most Valuable Player of the NBA Finals.

Durant, in his first season with the Warriors, led the way in a 4-1 series win over the Cleveland Cavaliers to capture his maiden NBA title and the team’s second in three seasons.

The 28-year-old American averaged 35.2 points, 8.4 rebounds and 5.4 assists in the best-of-seven Finals, which the Warriors wrapped up in five games.

To win his first NBA title, Durant had to overcome Cavaliers forward LeBron James, whose former Miami Heat team defeated Durant’s Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2012 Finals.

“He’s the only person that I was looking at since 2012,” Durant said after the game. “I knew it was going to be a battle I just tried to challenge him … you can’t stop the guy. But we battled.

“I told him we’re tied up now and we’re going to try to do this thing again but I’m going to celebrate this one tonight.” — By Rory Carroll | OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA

(Additional reporting by Jahmal Corner; Editing by Frank Pingue)

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James sinks buzzer-beater to lift Cavs over Timberwolves

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, February 8th, 2018

Feb 7, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) throws a pass past Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jeff Teague (0) in the second quarter at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) – LeBron James resurrected Cleveland’s stagnant season, for one night at least, when he hit a game-winning buzzer-beater to lift the Cavaliers to a 140-138 overtime home win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday.

After Cleveland called timeout in the backcourt with one second left, James caught a long pass near the foul line.

Under pressure from Minnesota’s Jimmy Butler, the four-times league MVP spun around and launched a fadeaway jumper from the top of the key over the top of the lunging defender.

The ball caught nothing but net, sending the crowd into delirium as the team’s recent woes were temporarily forgotten.

“Coach (Tyronn) Lue called up a great play, Jeff Green gave me a heck of a pass and I just trusted my instincts and let it go,” James said in a courtside interview.

The win helped ease the pressure on James and a team that was whipped by the lowly Orlando Magic the previous day.

“It was a great win for us. We needed this after that tough loss last night to Orlando,” James continued.

“They (Minnesota) shot 58 percent from the field and we were still able to get a win. We played Cavaliers basketball tonight and that’s all you could ask.”

The win lifted the Cavaliers to 31-22, seven games behind the East-leading Boston Celtics.

The Cavaliers have struggled this season after making the NBA finals for the past three years, beating the Golden State Warriors once and losing to the same team the other two times.

Reporting by Andrew Both in Adelaide, South Australia; Editing by John O’Brien

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Highlights of Saturday’s NBA games

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, January 1st, 2018

December 30, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) shoots the basketball against Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol (33) and guard Andrew Harrison (5) during the third quarter at Oracle Arena. The Warriors defeated the Grizzlies 141-128. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

(The Sports Xchange) – Highlights of Saturday’s National Basketball Association games:

Warriors 141, Grizzlies 128

Stephen Curry returned from an 11-game absence due to an ankle injury and set an NBA season-high by hitting 10 three-pointers as the Golden State Warriors beat the Memphis Grizzlies 141-128 on Saturday.

In his first game since Dec. 4, Curry scored 38 points on 13-of-17 shooting. He made 10-of-13 as Golden State (29-8) shot 54.5 percent (18-of-33) from behind the arc and 58.8 percent overall.

Klay Thompson added 21 and hit five three-pointers while Kevin Durant contributed 20 for the defending champions.

Marc Gasol led the Grizzlies (11-25) with 27 points while Tyreke Evans added 22 as Memphis shot 52.1 percent and 71.4 percent (15-of-21) from three-point range.

Jazz 104, Cavaliers 101

Rookie Donovan Mitchell scored 29 points and Utah held off Cleveland.

Derrick Favors added 19 while Ricky Rubio totaled 16 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists as Utah (16-21) beat Cleveland for the fourth straight time.

LeBron James turned 33 and played for the seventh time on his birthday. James finished 29 points, eight rebounds and six assists but Cleveland (24-12) lost for the fourth time in five games.

Jeff Green added 22 while Kevin Love finished with 20 and 10 rebounds for Cleveland.

Knicks 105, Pelicans 103

Jarrett Jack made two free throws with 9.1 seconds left and Kristaps Porzingis scored seven of his team-high 30 points in a critical late-game stretch to lift New York to a victory over New Orleans.

The Knicks, who won for just the third time on the road this season, erased an eight-point deficit in the final three minutes.

The Pelicans led 99-91, but Porzingis scored seven consecutive points to get the Knicks (18-18) back in the game. Anthony Davis’ three-pointer at the buzzer was no good for New Orleans (18-18).

New Orleans was led by Davis, who scored 31 points, and by DeMarcus Cousins, who had 29 points and 19 rebounds.

Pistons 93, Spurs 79

Reggie Bullock scored a career-high 22 points and Detroit beat San Antonio.

Bullock, who is averaging 13.6 points in his last eight games, shot 9-of-14 from the field and scored more than 20 points for the first time in his career.

Rookie Luke Kennard added a career high 20 points while Andre Drummond posted a double-double of 14 points and 21 rebounds for Detroit (20-15)

Kawhi Leonard led the Spurs (25-12) with 18 points but 4-of-11 from the field. LaMarcus Aldridge added 15 and 11 rebounds as San Antonio set a season low in points.

Heat 117, Magic 111

Tyler Johnson scored 22 of his season-high 31 points as Miami rallied to beat Orlando.

Johnson shot 10-of-11 in the third quarter as Miami (19-17) overcame an 18-point deficit. Goran Dragic added nine of his 25 points in the final 3 1/2 minutes.

Aaron Gordon led all scorers with 39 points but Orlando (12-25) dropped to 4-21 in its last 25 games.

Hawks 104, Trail Blazers 89

Dennis Schroder scored 22 points as Atlanta beat Portland.

Reserve Marco Belinelli scored 14 points as Atlanta (10-26) won for the third time in fourth wins. The Hawks also posted their third straight home win.

Portland star Damian Lillard sat out with a right hamstring injury. Shabazz Napier (18-17) led Portland with 21 points.

76ers 107, Nuggets 102

Jerryd Bayless scored eight of his 14 points in the first 1:06 of the fourth quarter to start a decisive run and the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Denver Nuggets 107-102.

Dario Saric had 20 points and nine rebounds, J.J. Redick scored 18 points and Robert Covington had 15 points and 10 rebounds for Philadelphia.

Jamal Murray led the Nuggets with 31 points, Nikola Jokic had 19 points, 13 rebounds and six assists and Gary Harris added 17 points for Denver (19-17).

Trey Lyles added 16 points and eight rebounds for the Nuggets.

Editing by John O’Brien

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NBA: Rondo tallies 25 assists for highest total in 21 years

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, December 29th, 2017

FILE PHOTO: Nov 15, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans guard Rajon Rondo (9) is defended by Toronto Raptors forward OG Anunoby (3) in the first quarter at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) – New Orleans point guard Rajon Rondo dished out an NBA season-high 25 assists on Wednesday against the Brooklyn Nets to become the first player to reach the total in 21 years.

Rondo delivered the 25 assists in just 30 minutes to help the Pelicans top the Nets 128-113.

Jason Kidd was the last player to achieve 25 assists back in 1996. The record for most assists in a single NBA game is held by Scott Skiles, who tallied 30 in 1990.

Rondo, who joined the Pelicans on a one-year deal in the off-season, put his passing skills on full display in helping four New Orleans players score more than 20 points on Wednesday.

The 31-year-old Rondo had a previous career-best of 24 assists.

Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles, editing by Nick Mulvenney

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