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Warriors well-built for success over the long haul

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

Golden State Warriors players and coaches celebrate with the Larry O’Brien Trophy. Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors made a strong case to be called one of the best teams in NBA history after a near-perfect run through the playoffs resulted in their second title in three years.

The scary part for the NBA’s 29 other teams? This may just be the beginning.

That is because the Warriors boast an intimidating starting lineup featuring four All-Stars in their 20s who are likely to be with the team for years to come.

Two-time reigning league MVP Stephen Curry is expected to sign the richest contract in NBA history this offseason as the league’s best three-point marksman will be eligible for a five-year deal worth an estimated $207 million.

“I’m just excited to do something special,” Curry said during the presentation of the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy on Monday in Oakland after his team beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals. “I’m ready to do it again.”

If so he will have help from shooting guard Klay Thompson and do-it-all power forward Draymond Green, who are already locked into long-term contracts with the Warriors.

And then there is Kevin Durant. The 7-foot (2.13 m) small forward and 2017 Finals MVP has said that after his controversial decision leave the Oklahoma City Thunder and join the Warriors last offseason, he is not eager to move again.

Durant is so dedicated to winning multiple championships that he is reportedly considering taking less money from the team in order to free up space to re-sign key reserves like Shaun Livingston and Andre Iguodala.

That all spells trouble for the rest of the league, who saw the Warriors capture a title in 2015, win a record-setting 73 games the next regular season before Durant moved to the Bay Area and the team became a juggernaut.

“They’re going to be around for a while,” Cavaliers forward LeBron James said after suffering his second Finals defeat in three years to a Warriors team that went 16-1 in the playoffs.

“Pretty much all their big-name guys are in their 20s, and they don’t show any signs of slowing down.”

And the team’s coaching staff is equally formidable.

After being sidelined for part of last season and again during the 2017 playoffs with back pain, head coach Steve Kerr returned during the Finals and said he intends to coach “for a long time.”

General Manager Bob Myers, who helped assemble the Warriors lineup after the franchise spent years as the league’s laughing stock, and savvy owner Joe Lacob fill out the rest of the team.

The big question this offseason is what, if anything, will contenders like Cleveland, San Antonio and Boston do to counter the champion Warriors.

Some reports have suggested James, the best player on the planet, may head to California to join the Lakers or Clippers in 2018, likely bringing talented players along in an effort to topple the Warriors if the Cavaliers fall short again next year.

One thing is clear – if no one can assemble a truly special team, the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy could very well reside in the Bay Area for years to come.

“After the parade, the narrative will shift to ‘So, what does the league plan to do about this?'” wrote Ray Ratto, a veteran Bay Area sports columnist.

“Right now, the only answer seems to be ‘not a damned thing.’ Because that’s the only answer that makes sense. This is Golden State’s era.” — By Rory Carroll | OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA

(Editing by Frank Pingue)

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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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Highlights of Tuesday’s NBA games

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, December 27th, 2017

Dec 26, 2017; Phonenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns center Tyson Chandler (4) makes the go ahead basket against the Memphis Grizzlies during the second half at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Joe Camporeale – USA TODAY Sports

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

Suns 99, Grizzlies 97

Tyson Chandler slammed home an alley-oop dunk off a Dragan Bender inbounds feed with four-tenths of a second left, and the Phoenix Suns held off the Memphis Grizzlies for the second time in six days with a 99-97 win on Tuesday night.

Memphis tied the score at 97 when Jarell Martin slammed home a Tyreke Evans miss with six-tenths of a second left and the teams seems headed to overtime. With the subsequent inbounds play moved to midcourt, Bender threw the ball just over the far side of the rim, where Chandler was waiting to slam it down.

Devin Booker had 32 points in his return to the lineup for the Suns, who beat the Grizzlies 97-95 on Dec. 21 when Evans missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer. TJ Warren finished with 17 points for Phoenix, which gave coach Jay Triano his 100th NBA win.

Evans had 25 points and Marc Gasol scored 18 for Memphis, which lost for the 20th time in 24 games.

Mavericks 98, Raptors 93

J.J. Barea scored a team-high 20 points to lead Dallas past Toronto.

Dirk Nowitzki (18 points), Harrison Barnes (16 points, 10 rebounds) and Maxi Kleber (15 points) also were the big producers for Dallas, which earned just their third win in 11 games.

Kyle Lowry led the Raptors with 23 points, Jonas Valanciunas finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds, and Serge Ibaka had 11 points and 12 rebounds. Toronto lost for just the second time in 14 games.

Spurs 109, Nets 97

Kawhi Leonard scored a season-high 21 points while seeing the court for a season-most 26 minutes as Antonio defeated Brooklyn.

LaMarcus Aldridge finished with 20 points and nine rebounds, and Pau Gasol nabbed his third double-double in a row with 15 points and a game-high 12 rebounds for the Spurs. Tony Parker scored 14 points, and Patty Mills and Ginobili tallied 11 each for San Antonio.

Caris LeVert hit on 8 of 11 shots and led Brooklyn with 18 points. Allen Crabbe contributed 15, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson hit for 13 points and Spencer Dinwiddie and Jarrett Allen had 12 points apiece for the Nets.

Pistons 107, Pacers 83

Tobias Harris scored 26 of his 30 points in the first half, and Detroit won for the fifth time in six games, thumping Indiana.

Andre Drummond supplied 21 points and 18 rebounds for the Pistons, who never trailed. Ish Smith added 12 points, and Reggie Bullock chipped in 11. Pistons point guard Reggie Jackson sprained his right ankle during the third quarter. Jackson had eight points and a season-high 13 assists prior to the injury.

Victor Oladipo, who came into the game averaging 25.3 points, scored a season-low 13 points for Indiana. Bojan Bogdanovic, Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis added 10 points apiece for the Pacers.

Bulls 115, Bucks 106

Nikola Mirotic scored 24 points off the bench, and Kris Dunn finished with 20 as Chicago snapped a two-game losing streak.

Dunn bounced back from a 1-for-12 showing his last time out against the Boston Celtics. He hit 9 of 17 shots Tuesday and added 12 assists. The Bulls shot 43.7 percent from the floor and made 10 3-pointers.

Milwaukee got 28 points from Giannis Antetokounmpo and 22 from Eric Bledsoe. The Bucks committed a season-high 20 turnovers that the Bulls turned into 24 points.

Heat 107, Magic 89

Josh Richardson scored 14 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter to lead Miami past Orlando.

Wayne Ellington scored 18 points off the bench, including 12 in the fourth, for the Heat, who got starting center Hassan Whiteside back from a 13-game knee-injury absence. Whiteside produced seven points and eight rebounds in 18 minutes.

Evan Fournier returned after missing eight games due to an injured right ankle and scored 14 points in 30 minutes for the Magic, who have lost nine games in a row. Orlando’s Elfrid Payton had 19 points, eight rebounds and six assists.

Nuggets 107, Jazz 83

Jamal Murray scored 22 points and grabbed eight rebounds, Trey Lyles added 16 points and eight rebounds against his former team, and Denver beat Utah.

Nikola Jokic had 13 points, seven rebounds and five assists before being ejected early in the fourth quarter, but the Nuggets closed it out to win their third straight.

Derrick Favors led Utah with 20 points, Jonas Jerebko scored 13 and rookie Donovan Mitchell had 13 points and six assists. The Jazz lost for the ninth time in 11 games.

Clippers 122, Kings 95

Montrezl Harrell scored 22 points and Lou Williams added 21 as Los Angeles’ bench helped power a victory over Sacramento.

The Clippers’ bench outscored the Kings’ reserves 72-43. Los Angeles rookie Jamil Wilson started and scored a career-high 17 points, 14 of which came in the first quarter. DeAndre Jordan added 13 points and 15 rebounds as the Clippers won for the third time in their past four games.

Willie Cauley-Stein had 17 points and seven rebounds for the Kings. Buddy Hield and Malachi Richardson each added 10 points for Sacramento.

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