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:
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Matthew Dellavedova stepping up for Cavs in NBA Finals
Here’s the Northeast Ohio Media Group reporting on Cleveland Cavaliers guard Matthew Dellavedova, whose role has greatly increased due to Kyrie Irving’s playoff-ending injury. The Cavs won Game 3 last night in Cleveland and lead the Warriors 2-1 in the NBA Finals:
Matthew Dellavedova is one fearless, hard-nosed son of a gun. The mark he has made in these Finals has been nothing short of amazing. The Cavaliers’ backup point guard has completely overshadowed the league’s MVP, Stephen Curry, and it hasn’t even been close.
Dellavedova is doing it with a relentless drive and determination that’s overpowering the long-range marksmen. The second-year player went for a postseason career-high of 20 points in a Game 3 win over the Golden State Warriors to put the Cavaliers up 2-1 in the series…
J.R. Smith and Brendan Haywood were on the bench marveling at what Dellavedova was doing out there last night. While Dellavedova was locking down his man defensively, stepping in and hitting a 25-footer, knocking down clutch free throws, throwing alley-oops to LeBron James in transition and diving for loose balls, the two agreed during the game that this guy’s story needed to be told in detail…
Dellavedova isn’t the fastest, the quickest, the most athletic, but he’s getting the job done and giving the Warriors fits in the process.
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 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.
Cavs Big Three down to one
Here’s CSN Bay Area reporting on the Warriors vs Cavaliers NBA Finals:
The Big Three was down to The Big Two after Kevin Love sustained a dislocated shoulder in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.
And with Kyrie Irving’s undergoing playoff-ending surgery Saturday to repair a fractured kneecap, now the Cleveland Cavaliers must carry on in the NBA Finals against the Warriors with just one of their marquee players available.
LeBron James tried to do it all even with Irving playing 44 minutes on Thursday in the opener. James scored 44 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out six assists in the Cavs’ 108-100 overtime loss to the Warriors in Game 1 at Oracle Arena.
How will his approach be different in Game 2 on Sunday night without the team’s All-Star point guard?
“Well, if I get more aggressive than 36 shots,” quipped James, who actually attempted 38 shots and made 18 on Thursday night. “I might have about 58 of them things tomorrow night. I don’t know how much more aggressive you want me to get at this point.”
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).
The Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 108-100 in overtime to take a 1-0 NBA Finals lead. Enjoy this “mini-movie” video showcasing the action:
Kyrie Irving injury update: out 3-4 months with fractured left kneecap
The Cleveland Cavaliers injury hits keep coming, and the latest is a huge blow that should spell the end to their championship hopes this season as they face the Golden State Warriors in the 2015 NBA Finals. The Warriors lead the series 1-0.
Cavs guard Kyrie Irving left last night’s NBA Finals game one in the overtime period with a left knee injury. He received an MRI today at Stanford Sports Medicine Clinic, which revealed a fractured left kneecap.
He will have surgery to repair the knee in the coming days at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland by Cavaliers head team physician Dr. Richard Parker.
His recovery time is projected to be three to four months and his status will be updated as appropriate.
This leaves LeBron James in the Finals without Irving or injured forward Kevin Love.
Former Knicks J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert now key NBA Finals players
Here’s the New York Daily News reporting on a pair of former Knicks who are now key members of the Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers:
LeBron James and Stephen Curry — league MVPs, past and present — obviously will dominate much of the discussion when the NBA Finals finally commence between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night at Oracle Arena.
But the local flavor is undeniable, as well, as former Knicks J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert are riding shotgun alongside James in search of a championship barely five months after Phil Jackson dumped them for almost no return in January.
“It’s a dream come true, to be in the Finals and be in this situation,” Smith said before Cleveland’s practice on Wednesday. “Going from the worst team to the best team, or one of the best teams, it’s unbelievable. It’s hard to put into words.
“But we talk about it often. We just hope we make the best of the situation…You have to take advantage of it.” …
Shumpert, who figures to draw the primary assignment of guarding Curry with All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving nursing multiple injuries, added that he feels “blessed” for the opportunity to play “on the big stage” of the Finals.
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
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:
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 suffers concussion, exact return date unknown
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.
Cavs sweep Hawks, reach 2015 NBA Finals
The AP reports: The championship LeBron James craves more than any other, the one he came back home to get, is within reach. The Cavaliers are in the NBA Finals. James scored 23 points, Kyrie Irving provided a boost after missing two games and Cleveland reserved a spot in the finals with a 118-88 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night to win the Eastern Conference title. By sweeping the top-seeded Hawks, the Cavs earned their second trip to the finals, where they will face either Golden State or Houston starting June 4.
The AP reports: It will be the fifth straight visit to the league’s showcase event for the inimitable James, who returned to Cleveland after four years in Miami to try and end this city’s championship drought dating to 1964. The Cavs are four wins from doing it, and if they can, James will have a title that would put him in a class by himself. Other players have won more championships, but none has ever done it for his ring-starved home region.
The AP reports: Jeff Teague scored 17 and Paul Millsap 16 for Atlanta, which won a team-record 60 games during the regular season and made the conference finals for the first time since 1970. But the Hawks were no match for the Cavaliers and had no answer for James, who nearly averaged a triple-double in the four games.
Reuters reports: In addition to his 23 points, James also made nine rebounds and had seven assists on Tuesday, doing most of his scoring in the first half as Cleveland opened up a commanding 59-42 by halftime. The Cavs were bolstered by the return of point guard Kyrie Irving, who had missed the last two games with a knee injury. Irving played 22 minutes and scored 16 points.
AFP reports: Cleveland will face either the Golden State Warriors or the Houston Rockets in the championship showdown. Golden State leads that series 3-1.
The Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Atlanta Hawks Tuesday, sweeping them and reaching the NBA Finals. During the Cavs postgame press conference, J.R. Smith snapped an Instagram selfie with LeBron James and Tristan Thompson. Enjoy!
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.
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.
Incident with Matthew Dellavedova leads to Al Horford ejection
Here’s the Akron Beacon Journal reporting on a key sequence from Sunday’s Hawks-Cavs Eastern Conference Finals Game 3 in Cleveland, which the Cavaliers won in overtime to take a 3-9 series lead:
Matthew Dellavedova’s growing reputation as a dirty player — deserved or not — preceded him Sunday night.
And it seemed to play a part in another playoff entanglement, following his leg lock on the Chicago Bulls’ Taj Gibson in the conference semifinals and his collision with the Atlanta Hawks’ Kyle Korver on Friday that left Korver with a postseason-ending ankle sprain.
This time in a scramble for a rebound with 34.3 seconds left in the first half at Quicken Loans Arena, Cavs’ backup point guard Dellavedova tripped over the Hawks’ DeMarre Carroll and fell in a heap with Atlanta’s Al Horford. When he felt Dellavedova on his knees, Horford elbowed Dellavedova in the neck and shoulder area.
After a lengthy review, Horford received a flagrant-2 and an ejection and Dellavedova was called for a technical foul for what crew chief Ken Mauer called “a live ball physical taunt.”
The moment nearly stole the spotlight from a play-to-exhaustion triple-double from LeBron James as the Cavs edged the Hawks 114-111 in overtime in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals. The Cavs will attempt to sweep the visiting Hawks in Game 4 Tuesday night and earn a trip to the NBA Finals.