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Draymond Green, Matthew Dellavedova tussle in NBA Finals Game 5

In case you haven’t heard, both Draymond Green and Matthew Dellavedova are aggressive on the court. And when aggressive meets aggressive, things are going to get interesting. Here’s CSN Bay Area reporting:

draymond Green

Draymond Green hopped off the floor hoping to hear a whistle but really wanting a piece of Cavaliers guard Matthew Dellavedova.

Yes, Delly once again found himself in the middle of a play that might easily be construed as “dirty.”

This one occurred with 5:55 left in the second quarter of Game 5 of the NBA Finals Sunday night at Oracle Arena. As both players hustled toward the rim for a possible rebound, Dellavedova, while tumbling to the floor, subtly used his left arm to hook Green’s right arm, resulting in Green also going down, on top of Dellavedova.

It was a splendid wrestling move sneakily executed on the basketball court. Green wanted a foul on Dellavedova but officials instead ruled a double foul, one being assessed to each player.

Leandro Barbosa steps up in Finals Game 5

The Golden State Warriors lead the Cleveland Cavaliers three games to two in the 2015 NBA Finals. Here’s the San Francisco Chronicle reporting on Warriors guard Leandro Barbosa, who did nice things off the bench Sunday:

Leandro Barbosa steps up in Finals Game 5

Before the fourth-quarter outburst, before Stephen Curry’s money threes clinched Game 5, before nearly 20,000 fans gave the Warriors a resounding have-a-ball-in-Cleveland sendoff, there was Leandro Barbosa.

On a second team that saved the Warriors throughout the season, Barbosa emerged as Sunday’s mightiest sub, scoring 13 of the bench’s 17 points — hitting four of five field-goal attempts, including his only three-point shot, and all four of his free throws…

Barbosa is the oldest Warrior (32), the most postseason-tested (95 games) and the only one to reach a conference finals before this year (twice with Phoenix). He and backup point guard Shaun Livingston came aboard in the offseason, providing a deeper roster for coach Steve Kerr, who can use either in long stretches without getting headaches.

Barbosa had a nine-point second quarter, and his 13 points (matching his total in the first four games) in 17 minutes — all in the first three quarters — kept Curry and Klay Thompson, who got in foul trouble late in the third period, fresh for the fourth.

Fatigue playing role in NBA Finals

Fatigue playing role in NBA Finals

Here’s the News Herald reporting on the 2015 NBA Finals, where the Warriors and Cavaliers bringa 2-2 tied series to Oakland Sunday night:

It’s just human nature.

The Cavaliers have a shortened rotation, are playing heavy minutes and have experienced some bumps and bruises. Fatigue — mental and physical — is obviously a factor in the NBA Finals.

The Cavaliers scored the first seven points of Game 4. Warriors coach Steve Kerr was forced to call time out with 9:43 remaining in the first quarter.

As the players came toward the bench, Kerr told them, “Don’t worry. They are playing seven players in their rotation for 48 minutes. That will wear them down.”

The Warriors ended up blowing out the Cavaliers, 103-82, to knot the series at 2-2. The series shifts to Oakland, Calif., for Game 5 on June 14 at Oracle Arena.

On Thursday, June 11, the Warriors beat the Cavs 103-82 to tie the 2015 NBA Finals 2-2. Here are video highlights of the best plays, key players, with mini-movie and more:













Warriors beat Cavs 103-82, tie NBA Finals 2-2

Thursday night in Cleveland, the Warriors benched center Andrew Bogut, added Andre Iguodala to the starting lineup, and beat the Cavs 103-82. The NBA Finals are now tied 2-2, with Game 5 Sunday at Golden State. Here are some quotes from around the web:

The AP reports: Stephen Curry shook off Iman Shumpert with a dribble, stepped back behind the line and splashed a 3-pointer that seemed to submerge a mute button on rocking and rolling Quicken Loans Arena. Curry clenched both fists, slapped his chest and yelled, ”C’mon!”

At last, this was the MVP and these were the Golden State Warriors - so deep, so deadly.

Curry and Andre Iguodala scored 22 points apiece and the Warriors, showing why they were the league’s best team all season, squared the NBA Finals at 2-2 on Thursday night with a 103-82 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The AP reports: LeBron James scored 20 points - 21 under his average in the series - with 12 rebounds and eight assists, but Cleveland’s megastar, who needed stitches to close a cut on his head sustained when banged it into a camera in the first half, didn’t score in the fourth quarter and couldn’t do enough for the undermanned Cavaliers.

The AP reports: Timofey Mozgov led Cleveland with 28 points and guard Matthew Dellavedova, again battling leg cramps after a hospital stay for dehydration, had 10. The Cavs shot just 2 of 18 from the field and were outscored 27-12 in the fourth quarter. They also got nothing from their bench as J.R. Smith missed all eight 3-point attempts and Cleveland’s reserves combined to score seven points.

AFP reports: Iguodala had nine points in the first quarter and hit 8-of-15 shots for the game, including 4-of-9 3-point tries.

That even had four-time NBA Most Valuable Player James impressed.

“He’s one of the X-factors and he came to play,” James said. “He shot the ball extremely well. He was in attack. He got a couple of dunks in transition early on which got him going and he was really good. To start him gave them that boost.”

AFP reports: James suffered two cuts to the right side of his head on a camera after falling into a photographer late in the second quarter, writhing in pain on the floor at the feet of fans while grabbing his head. He also battled leg cramps and fatigue in the second half.

Reuters reports: “I had a slight headache, which I think every one of you guy would probably have if you ran into a camera,” James told reporters when asked about the incident. “But I didn’t go through any protocol. I’m fine. Like I said, I got a few stitches and I got a slight headache right now but I’ll be fine with that.”

Reuters reports: Iguodala had averaged 12.3 points off the bench over the first three games of the series but dug deep when it mattered most, given that none of the 32 teams who have fallen behind 3-1 in the NBA Finals have come back to win the series. Known more for his defense, Iguodala coolly drained four three-pointers en route to a season-high 22 points in 39 minutes for the top-seeded Warriors.

Expect to see more David Lee in these NBA Finals

The Cavaliers lead the Warriors 2-1 in the 2015 NBA Finals. Here’s CSN Bay Area reporting that we should expect backup Warriors forward/center David Lee to get more playing time in Game 4 and beyond:

Expect to see more David Lee in these NBA Finals

David Lee did not play in the first two games of the NBA Finals.

In Game 3 on Tuesday night, he registered 11 points, four rebounds, two assists and a steal in 13 minutes of action.

He went 4-for-4 from the field.

“David was terrific,” Steve Kerr said following the Warriors’ 96-91 loss. “David helped us big time get back into that game … You’ll see more of David Lee. He played really well.”

Video: NBA Finals Game 3 mini-movie

Tuesday night in Cleveland, the Cavaliers beat the Golden State Warriors 96-91 to take a 2-1 NBA Finals lead. In the win, LeBron James finished with a ridiculous 40 points, 12 rebounds, eight assists, two blocks and four steals. Here’s the NBA Finals game 3 “mini-movie” summarizing what went down:

Cavs take 2-1 NBA Finals lead

LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers have taken a 2-1 NBA Finals lead vs the Golden State Warriors. Here’s CSN Bay Area reporting on last night’s Game 3 in Cleveland:

Unlike Game 2, this game could not be hung on Stephen Curry but on the support staff. Unlike Game 2, this wasn’t a triumph of the Cleveland defense because it gave up 36 points in the fourth quarter of a game it had seemingly salted away.

But exactly like Game 2, James made the game revolve around him – this time, going 14-for-34 with 12 rebounds and eight assists in 46 minutes. Exactly like Game 2, the Cavs seemingly got the game by the thorax only to let it wriggle away in a desperate fourth quarter. Exactly like Game 2, the Warriors could not elevate their 3-point game from liability to weapon.

And exactly like Game 2, it did not occur to the Warriors that desperation was called for until it ended up being too late again. Not by a lot, but by enough.

“We’ve had times throughout season where we were out of sync and just gutted it out,” Andre Iguodala said, trying to softpedal the problem. “We just haven’t been able to find our own rhythm yet. It’s weird but not weird that we’ve started slow but gotten into our flow eventually. I think they’re a great team, very underrated, and they’re just taking it to us right now.”

Cavs win Game 2 in OT, tie Finals

Cavs win Game 2 in OT, tie series

Here’s the San Francisco Chronicle reporting on 2015 NBA Finals Game 2, which the Cavs won in overtime to tie the series 1-1:

Klay Thompson did everything he could to go bucket for bucket with LeBron James, but the King proved he wasn’t quite ready to yield his crown Sunday night in Oakland.

With a surrounding cast absent All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, James did a little bit of everything: recording a triple-double and willing Cleveland to a series-tying, 95-93 overtime victory in Game 2 of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena.

“Geez, you’d be hard-pressed to find a guy anywhere, anytime … (who) can give you the kind of all-around performance and all-around leadership that LeBron does for his group,” Cleveland head coach David Blatt said.

Thompson finished with a team-high 34 points, but he was outdueled by James, who had 39 points, 16 rebounds, 11 assists and a free throw that gave the Cavaliers a 95-93 lead with 4.4 seconds on the clock to clinch a historic game. It was the first time in NBA history that the first two games of the Finals went into overtime.

Matthew Dellavedova now has huge role in NBA Finals

The Golden State Warriors lead the Cleveland Cavaliers 1-0 in the 2015 NBA Finals. Game 2 is Sunday night in Oakland. Here’s the San Francisco Chronicle reporting on the Cavs’ guard situation:

Kyrie Irving’s series-ending fractured kneecap instantly vaulted Dellavedova into a prominent role. He’s expected to step into the starting lineup at point guard, no easy chore given his Warriors counterpart at the position: Stephen Curry, the league MVP.

Not surprisingly, Dellavedova’s teammates took turns expressing their faith in him before Saturday’s practice at Oracle Arena.

“Delly does a great job of keeping the train on the tracks,” guard Iman Shumpert said. “He’s one of those guys who’s going to scratch and claw until we win.”

Cleveland did win twice with Dellavedova starting in the Eastern Conference finals against Atlanta. He collected 11 points, six rebounds and four assists in Game 2 (a 94-82 victory for the Cavs), and then he had 17 points, three rebounds and two assists in Game 3 (a 114-111 overtime win for the Cavs).

Warriors do not back down from challenges

The Cavaliers vs Warriors NBA Finals begin tonight with Game 1 at Golden State. Here’s the Bay Area News Group reporting:

The Warriors don’t back down from any challenge. [Draymond] Green won’t let them. Whether he’s barking encouragement to his teammates or setting an example of resilience and defiance, the Warriors are game.

That belief is the foundation of a defense that has shined for the better part of this postseason. The Warriors conquered the brutal Western Conference during the regular season. They corralled the exceptional talent of Anthony Davis. They survived the physicality of Zach Randolph (Michigan State) and Marc Gasol. They contained the explosiveness of James Harden and Dwight Howard.

Now the only thing between the Warriors and the NBA title is King James, who is motivated to cap his storybook return to Cleveland with the franchise’s first title.

The Warriors have the better team. They should win this series. If they don’t, the most likely reason will be that LeBron’s greatness negated the Warriors’ superior depth and advantage at multiple positions. So the Warriors need to keep James in check.

In the upcoming Cavaliers vs Warriors NBA Finals, it’ll be a Warriors team effort to guard LeBron James, but Golden State forward and defensive guru Draymond Green should be a big part of that. On Twitter tonight, we (@InsideHoops) tossed this out there: LeBron James vs Draymond Green, discuss. Here are some of your most interesting responses:

@AJConolly: I think LeBron will cook him but can’t wait to see how Green does.

@seanndebbie: It’s no discussion, last time Green guarded Lebron, Lebron dropped 42.

@josephbacaltos: Warriors players still going help off their man.

@camillasaguin: Uhhh why is this even a discussion? LeBron can’t and won’t be stopped. Draymond Green? Who dat? Who dat? #NoMatch

‏@Max_Atttack: Draymond will be able to hold Lebron better than any other defender he’s gone up against this postseason.

@Lienitis117a: Draymond Green is a lot like Kwahi, so I expect LeBron to have rough games…

@Joshuabehymer: Draymond will play him like Diaw did for the Spurs. Straight up and physical, if he scores, you live with it.

@JdotKimmy: The most physical defender GS can throw at him, but not enough quickness to keep up.

@akunematata: Who will guard Tristan Thompson? Field day on the boards.

@RomeTrav: Somebody hacked yall.

@TravBoll91: That means Barnes on Thompson for the rebounding battle. Good luck with that.

@lfredgarrido: Green’s a good defender but LeBron is strong enough to enforce. Green’s not yet on the Kwahi/PG13 lvl on terms of stopping LBJ.

@rook_js: Livingston would have more success guarding him then anybody else on GS.

‏@8ballSprts: Unless Draymond learns to harness his aggressive and passionate style, he will be in foul trouble often.

@Jmic84: Didn’t @KingJames drop 40 last time? Yea no chance.

Klay Thompson health update: Good to go for NBA Finals Game 1

Klay Thompson health update: OK for NBA Finals Game 1

Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson, who was diagnosed with a concussion after suffering an injury during Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals on May 27, has completed the NBA’s concussion protocol and has been cleared to play for Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday.

This was expected, as there was no reason to think the effects of the concussion would linger beyond this year’s lengthy period between the end of the Conference Finals and the start of the NBA Finals.

Thompson’s scoring and outside shooting is a key part of the Warriors offense.

According to CSN Bay Area, “Thompson said after working out each of the past two days, he has lost nothing in terms of conditioning or rhythm. “We’ve had so much time to get it back, I don’t think it really messed with me,” he said, referring to the seven-day layoff between the conference finals.”

Expect Klay Thompson to be ready for NBA Finals Game 1

Everyone expects Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (concussion) to be ready for NBA Finals Game 1 on Thursday. Head coach Steve Kerr feels the same way. Here’s CSN Bay Area reporting:

Expect Klay Thompson to be ready for NBA Finals Game 1

Eight years after the Warriors snapped a long playoff drought and pulled a shocking first-round upset under the “We Believe” banner, there is a new cause in which they believe.

Shooting guard Klay Thompson, who sustained a concussion in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals on Wednesday, will be fit to return for Game 1 of the NBA Finals next Thursday – or so coach Steve Kerr believes.

“I expect him to be there,” Kerr said after Saturday’s practice, in which Thompson did not participate.

Klay Thompson diagnosed with concussion

Klay Thompson suffers concussion, exact return date unknown

Klay Thompson diagnosed with concussion

Following extensive examinations over the last two days – including neurological tests earlier this morning – Warriors’ guard Klay Thompson has been diagnosed with a concussion. He will not return to the court until he is symptom-free and cleared under the NBA’s concussion protocol guidelines. He will be evaluated daily and there is no timetable for his return.

Wednesday night in Oakland, the Golden State Warriors beat the Houston Rockets, clinching the series in five games. The Warriors will face the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2015 NBA Finals. Enjoy these video highlights from the Warriors’ win:




The AP reports: After a generation of wishing and waiting, the Golden State Warriors have finally arrived on basketball’s biggest stage again. Stephen Curry had 26 points and eight rebounds, Harrison Barnes added 24 points and the Warriors advanced to the NBA Finals for the first time in 40 years with a 104-90 victory over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night… The Warriors shook off a slow start and sweated out a shaky finish in Game 5 to close out the Rockets and set up a matchup with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers beginning June 4… Dwight Howard led Houston with 18 points and 16 rebounds. But MVP runner-up James Harden had a forgettable finale, with a playoff-record 13 turnovers and 14 points on 2-of-11 shooting.

The AP reports: Things got tougher on Curry and the Warriors when backcourt mate Klay Thompson faked a shot that drew Trevor Ariza in the air early in the fourth quarter. Thompson absorbed Ariza’s knee to the side of his head, sending him to the floor. Thompson, who finished with 20 points, lay on the ground for a minute before walking to the locker room. He came back to the bench after receiving stitches on his right ear.

AFP reports: Forward Harrison Barnes played a key role, helping Golden State break open a close contest with four straight baskets to cap an 11-2 scoring run that turned a six-point lead into an 87-72 Warriors advantage with 7:07 left to play. Barnes scored nine straight points on a jump shot, a three-pointer, a running basket and a dunk.

AFP reports: The Warriors defense harried Rockets star guard James Harden into a dismal two-for-11 shooting performance. He missed all three of his three-point attempts and finished with an NBA playoff record 13 turnovers.

AFP reports: Dwight Howard led Houston with 18 points and 16 rebounds, but the Rockets shot just 35.1 percent from the field.

Reuters reports: The Rockets had won Game Four of the series on Monday to avoid being swept, but were outscored 35-24 in the second quarter on Wednesday and played catch up the rest of the way.

Rockets win Game 4 vs Warriors

Rockets win Game 4 vs Warriors

When Golden State’s Stephen Curry crashed into Trevor Ariza’s shoulder, was upended and sent flying toward the court on Monday night against Houston, it felt like forever before he landed.

”That was the worst (fall ever) because you’re in the air for a long time,” Curry said. ”And not knowing how you’re going to hit the floor, knowing that it’s going to happen, it’s inevitable, but you’re up there just trying to brace yourself.”

The MVP was able to return to Game 4 of the Western Conference finals after the spill but the Warriors couldn’t overcome a big deficit, as James Harden scored 45 points in the Rockets’ 128-115 victory.

– Associated Press

While the Rockets prevented a sweep, no team in NBA history has recovered from a 3-0 deficit to win a playoff series.

“We’re a really good team when we are moving the ball and working together,” Harden said. “We’ve got to do a better job of being consistent.”

Harden made 13-of-22 shots from the floor, including 7-of-11 from 3-point range, and added nine rebounds and five assists.

– AFP

Harden also pulled down nine rebounds, while center Dwight Howard notched 14 points and 12 boards as the Rockets ensured they would live to fight another day, pulling back to 3-1 down in the best-of-seven series.

Curry finished with 23 points, while guard Klay Thompson led the Warriors with 24.

Golden State, who will have their next chance to close out the series back in Oakland on Wednesday, have not been to the NBA finals since 1975.

– Reuters

Stephen Curry shines, Warriors take 3-0 lead vs Rockets

Here’s the Houston Chronicle reporting on Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry, who was even more brilliant than usual Saturday night in Houston, helping his team dominate the Rockets 115-80 to take a 3-0 series lead in the Western Conference Finals:

Stephen Curry shines, Warriors take 3-0 lead vs Rockets

Curry was marvelous in Game 1 and deadly in Game 2. He was both and more in Game 3, pouring in a game-high 40 points on 12-of-19 shooting, including a sublime 7-of-9 on 3-pointers.

The scrawny, tiny Curry has never stood larger in his basketball career. He broke Reggie Miller’s NBA record for 3s made in a playoff year. He’s averaging 35.6 points on 61.2 percent shooting (38 of 62) from the field and 58 percent (18 of 31) beyond the arc. He’s made Harden forgettable, placed his name among the league’s historic greats and put once-forgotten Golden State within sight of the only series that matters.

Curry was very, very good before the 2014-15 playoffs. Thanks to three games against the once-resilient Rockets, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound point guard has become indisputably great.

“Steph was Steph. He’s the MVP,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr, whose highly confident team blew out the fight-less Rockets 115-80 Saturday at the Toyota Center. “He’s had a brilliant season. The shooting is hard to describe because I don’t think we’ve ever seen anybody shoot the ball the way Steph does off the dribble, off the catch. Seven-for-nine from 3. I mean, it was remarkable. Just a tremendous performance.”

Check this video of the top five plays from Rockets at Warriors, Western Conference Finals Game 2, which Golden State won 99-98 to take a 2-0 series lead.

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