Warriors smash Cavaliers in NBA Finals opener

UNTV News   •   June 2, 2017   •   3406

Jun 1, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) is defended by Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving (2) in the first half of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Durant scored a game-high 38 points and Stephen Curry hit six three-pointers as the Golden State Warriors cruised to a lopsided 113-91 win in the first game of the NBA Finals on Thursday.

The highly-anticipated meeting between the defending champion Cavaliers and the top-seeded Warriors did not disappoint initially, with sensational dunks by LeBron James and Durant during a see-sawing first quarter.

But the wheels came off quickly for the visiting Cavaliers in the second half, with Durant sinking a three-pointer and Warriors center Zaza Pachulia hitting a lay-up on their way to a 10-0 run.

The final outcome was all but a formality by the start of the fourth quarter as the Warriors forged 21 points ahead.

The Warriors, who had not played in nine days, were rusty at the outset, missing shots close to the basket and looking anxious when they had possession.

“Our first half was sloppy on the offensive end, we were missing a lot of lay-ups,” said Curry.

“A little gun shy with our shots. But our defense allowed us to create some momentum until we got our flow.”

But the Cavaliers hurt themselves with 20 turnovers, tying an NBA record for a playoff or Finals game.

The Warriors, meanwhile, committed just four, tying the record for the fewest in a Finals game.

The Warriors and Cavaliers are meeting in their third consecutive Finals, a matchup many predicted when the season began after Golden State signed Durant in a blockbuster move.

The Warriors won the 2015 championship but let a 3-1 lead slip last year as James’s Cavaliers finally brought the Larry O’Brien trophy back to Ohio.

The Warriors know better than to relax against James and their rivals, Durant said.

“We’re playing a great team, we’re playing the champs. You know they’re not going to give up at all,” he said on court.

The Warriors improved their postseason record to an unprecedented 13-0 while the Cavaliers suffered just their second loss since the playoffs began in mid-April.

“It wasn’t just the third quarter, it was the whole game,” James, who gave up eight turnovers, told reporters after the Cavaliers were outscored by 13 points in the period.

“It started with myself having some turnovers, especially in the first half. I pride myself on not turning the ball over and I did it too much.”

When asked what was different about the Warriors compared to their two previous Finals, James was succinct.

“K.D.,” he said, referring to Durant.

“We got to figure out how to combat that, which is going to be a tough challenge for us,” he said.

The teams will meet again in Oakland on Sunday for Game Two of the best-of-seven series. — By Rory Carroll | OAKLAND

(Reporting by Rory Caroll; Additional reporting by Larry Fine; Editing by Ian Ransom)

Cavs let big lead vanish but hold off Wizards

UNTV News   •   January 30, 2019


Jan 29, 2019; Cleveland, OH, USA; Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) drives against Cleveland Cavaliers center Ante Zizic (41) in the first quarter at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

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.

—Field Level Media

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Harden drills OT winner as Rockets nip Warriors

UNTV News   •   January 5, 2019

FILE PHOTO: Feb 10, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) points to the sky against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center. (Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports)

James Harden capped his second consecutive triple-double by sinking a 25-foot 3-pointer with one second remaining in overtime Thursday night, giving the Houston Rockets a 135-134 victory over the Golden State Warriors in Oakland, Calif.

After Stephen Curry put Golden State up by two with an 18-footer with 23.1 seconds to go, the Rockets got possession after a kicked-ball violation on the Warriors with 5.5 seconds left.

The ball was inbounded to Harden, who was able to get off — and make — a heavily contested 3-pointer to provide the game-winning points and cap a game-high, 44-point night.

Kevin Durant’s desperation 40-footer caromed off the rim at the buzzer, allowing the Rockets to win their sixth straight and 11th in their past 12.

In scoring 40 or more points for the fifth consecutive game, Harden also found time for 10 rebounds and a game-high 15 assists for his fifth triple-double of the season. He turned the ball over seven times.

Curry led the Warriors with 35 points.

The Rockets forced the extra session by scoring the last six points of the fourth quarter on a three-point play by Clint Capela with 1:03 to go and a 3-pointer by Harden with 51.4 seconds left.

After Durant misfired for Golden State, Harden had the last shot of regulation but couldn’t connect from 32 feet, sending the game into overtime tied at 119-all.

Thirty of Harden’s points came on 10 3-pointers as the Rockets went 21-for-54 from beyond the arc and outscored Golden State 63-42 on threes.

Capela recorded a 29-point, 21-point double-double for Houston, which beat Golden State for the second time this season after falling to the eventual champion Warriors in seven games in last year’s Western Conference finals.

Austin Rivers added 18 points, Danuel House Jr. 17 and Gerald Green 16 as the Rockets rallied from as much as a 20-point, third-quarter deficit.

Curry managed his 35 points despite just 5-for-15 shooting from 3-point range. The Warriors were 14-for-37 from long distance as a team.

Durant and Klay Thompson finished with 26 points apiece for the Warriors, while Draymond Green flirted with a triple-double of his own with nine points, 11 rebounds and eight assists.

The loss was Golden State’s third straight at home.

—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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