Reports of the Cavaliers’ demise are greatly exaggerated.
Instead of spending a couple of days obsessing over their obituary, the Cleveland Cavaliers spent their downtime feasting on home cooking and reminding themselves that they’re an elite basketball team vying for a championship. And so, on Thursday, they found themselves on the high side of a 120-90 beatdown in which they held each of the Golden State Warriors’ Splash Brothers to fewer than 20 points for the third game in a row.
All those adjectives that were used to describe how dominant the Warriors were in the first two games? Strike that, reverse it. The Cavs took a 2-0 lead on a Kyrie Irving jumper a minute into play, and never looked back. Ninety seconds later, after a pair of Klay... Read More
Golden State Warriors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers, GSW leads series 2-0 (9pm ET Wednesday, ABC)
Just a week ago, a Cavs-Warriors finals promised to join “The Godfather II” and “Empire Strikes Back” among the great sequels of all time. But after the Warriors totally dominated Cleveland Sunday night by a score of 110-77, these Finals feel more like the finishing touches on the greatest season in NBA history.
LeBron James would find Tristan Thompson for a bucket that would put the Cavs up 21-19 to close out the first quarter, despite James (0-5), Kevin Love (1-4) and Kyrie Irving (2-6), combining to hit on just 3 of 15 from the floor. And the Cavs would go up 28-22 early in the second quarter on an emphatic driving dunk by James,... Read More
#Cleveland Cavaliers vs. #Golden State Warriors, GSW leads series 1-0 (8pm ET Sunday, ABC)
If the Cleveland Cavaliers can’t win on a night when Steph Curry and Klay Thompson combine to make 8 of 27 for just 20 points, this series is gonna be over real quick. On Thursday, the Warriors bench picked up the Slack Brothers, outscoring Cleveland’s bench 45-10, and doing all the heavy lifting in a 104-89 victory.
The Warriors finished the first quarter up 28-24, and the second quarter opened inauspiciously for the Cavs, as LeBron James missed a layup and then missed twice more on putbacks. Minutes later, a Kevin Love jumper would get the Cavs back to within 4, but a Draymond Green 2-pointer, followed by a Leandro Barbosa bunny and 3-pointer would... Read More
Steph Curry scored 31 points as the Golden State Warriors staved off elimination on Thursday, defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder 120-111, as OKC’s Dynamic Duo of Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant combined for 71 points, but were off the mark for most of the night. The Warriors’ win has forced a Game 6 tonight in Oklahoma City.
Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant came out shooting, but laid a ton of bricks, hitting on just 4 of 17 for the opening quarter as the Warriors started to slowly pull away, going up 19-10 on a Draymond Green field goal with 3:44 to play. But Durant would score 6 points in the waning minutes, including the final bucket of the frame to close the gap to 25-21 Golden State.
The Cleveland Cavaliers shot the lights out Wednesday, hitting 57% from the floor, including 48% from downtown, as they stuffed the Raptors in their locker, 116-78, to take a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Kevin Love awoke from his two-game slumber to throw a smackdown on the Raptors in the first quarter, scoring 12 points on 4-of-4 shooting, drawing 4 fouls and blocking 2 shots, as the Cavs rode an 11-point run to jump out 37-19 by the end of the first quarter. It would only get worse for the Raptors.
Toronto would score just 15 points in the second quarter, getting off just 12 shots, and making 4, while hitting on just 7 of 13 from the line, as Cleveland’s defense forced 5 turnovers and pulled... Read More
#3 Oklahoma City Thunder vs. #1 Golden State Warriors, OKC leads series 3-1, (9pm ET Thursday, TNT) A week ago the Golden State Warriors were patiently awaiting their coronation as The Greatest Team in NBA History. Today, following a 118-94 drubbing Tuesday at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder, they find themselves teetering on the brink of infamy, in danger of being instead known as The Winningest Team in NBA History Not to Reach the Finals, Much Less Win a Title. Doesn’t quite have the same ring, does it? The Thunder, meanwhile, are just a win away from having knocked two of the twelve winningest teams in NBA history out of the playoffs.
On Tuesday, the Warriors took an early 8-6 lead on a Harrison Barnes jumper, but the... Read More
What a game: after blowing an 18-point lead, the Toronto Raptors fought back from a 3-point hole with 6 minutes to play to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 105-99 and even the Eastern Conference Finals at two games apiece.
The Raptors took control in the second quarter as Kyle Lowry went off, hitting on 6 of 7 for 15 points, almost single-handedly keeping pace with the Cavs, who collectively scored just 17 in the quarter, and sending his team into the locker room with 57-41 lead at the half.
A 10-point run early in the third quarter pulled the Cavs within 7, but DeMar DeRozan answered by scoring the next 6 points to make it 65-52. The Cavs kept coming, however, as three-pointers from LeBron James, Kevin Love and J.R.... Read More
#1 Golden State Warriors vs. #3 Oklahoma City Thunder, OKC leads series 2-1 (9pm ET Tuesday, TNT) The Oklahoma City Thunder took it to the World Champs on Sunday, delivering a 133-105 drubbing that put them up 2-1 in the Western Conference finals and proved that Game 1 had been no fluke.
A Klay Thompson drive to the basket midway through the first quarter pulled the Warriors to within a point, at 14-13, but the Thunder promptly went on an 11-0 run to make it 25-13. Golden State would chip away at the lead, however, and by the end of the quarter they were as close as 34-28. They opened the second quarter with an Andre Iguodala 3-pointer and an Ian Clark layup to get back within one, 34-33, eventually... Read More
The Cavs are not going to win a lot of games with Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving combining to shoot 4 of 28 for 16 points, but you gotta tip your cap to Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan, who scored 32 points, and to Bismack Biyombo, who pulled down a franchise record 26 rebounds, and blocked 4 shots, as the Raptors took Game 3 by a score of 99-84.
DeRozan came screaming out of the gate, scoring 12 points, while Biyombo grabbed 10 boards, as Toronto took a 27-24 lead in the first quarter. The Raptors then rode a flurry of 3’s to a 7-point lead, before going on a 10-point run late in the second quarter that brought the score to 54-37, and at the half, it would be 60-47. As... Read More
Arizona Diamondbacks (Ray 2-2, 4.46) at St. Louis Cardinals (Leake 2-3, 4.66) 4:05pm ET on FS1
Robbie Ray was the most promising 5-12 starter of 2016, as he posted a 3.52 ERA with a 1.33 WHIP and a 2.43 SO/BB ratio. This season, his performance has been maddeningly hot-and-cold. In his good starts, he’s averaged 6+ innings with a 2.35 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, and 0 home runs, in his other 3 starts he lasted a total of 11 ⅔, with a 10.00 ERA, 2.66 WHIP, and 5 home runs. Weirdly, his SO/BB rate has been better in the bad starts, 2.7 vs. 2.2. His last start was among his best of the year, as he held the Yankees to 2 runs on 6 hits and a walk while whiffing 6... Read More
On Wednesday, the Warriors got back to the business of winning basketball games, outscoring the Thunder in every quarter on their way to a 118-91 victory that evened up the Western Conference Finals.
Golden State struck first, taking a quick 6-0 lead on 3-pointers by Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. With the Warriors up 13-12, Steph Curry went on the first of two tears, scoring 9 consecutive Warrior points to put them up 22-16. OKC’s Kevin Durant would answer in the 2nd, scoring 12 points in just 3 minutes and 10 seconds to again close the gap to 1 point. Late in the 2nd quarter a Durant field goal would tie it at 49-49. Unfortunately for OKC, the Warriors would close out the half with an 8-0 run to make... Read More
LeBron James’ 15th career triple-double powered the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday to a 108-89 win over the Toronto Raptors, and staked them to a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Two days after getting torched by 31 points, the Raptors came out much stronger to open Game 2, and with 4 minutes to play in the first half, a Patrick Patterson 3-pointer tied the score at 46-46. But that was as close as they would get, as the Cavs closed out the half with a 16-2 run as James and Kevin Love each scored 6 points, and the Raptors shot 0-for-9 from the floor, scoring only on a pair of DeMar DeRozan free throws.
The Raptors would get back within 10 points midway... Read More
#2 Toronto Raptors vs. #1 Cleveland Cavaliers, CLE leads series 1-0 (8:30pm ET Thursday, ESPN)
The Cleveland Cavaliers buried the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday, 115-84, the largest margin of victory in the team’s playoff history. They’ve now won all nine of their games this postseason, transitioning from a team hounded by doubts all throughout the regular season into an apparent juggernaut.
Toronto jumped out to a 7-0 lead thanks in large part to a pair of steals by DeMarre Carroll, one each off of LeBron James and Tristan Thompson, and they kept the lead for almost 7 minutes, before a pair of Kevin Love free throws tipped the first of 9 lead changes in the quarter, before Cleveland closed out the frame with a 6-point run to make it... Read More
#2 Toronto Raptors vs. #1 Cleveland Cavaliers, Series tied 0-0 (8:30pm ET Tuesday, ESPN)
The Raptors earned their first trip to the conference finals by defeating the Miami Heat in a grueling series that included three overtimes, with only the last game decided by more than 12 points, as they breezed past Miami 116-89. Toronto went into the fourth quarter with an 8-point lead, and promptly went on an 11-2 run that made it 97-80 with 9 minutes to play. At that point it was over.
Toronto’s Kyle Lowry and DeMar Derozan came up big in the finale, scoring 35 and 28 respectively, combining for 50+ for the third straight game. Lowry added 7 boards, 9 dimes and 4 blocks, and Bismack Boyimbo had a big game posting 16-17.
#3 Oklahoma City Thunder vs. #1 Golden State Warriors, Game 1 (9pm ET Monday, TNT) While the Warriors made short work of the scrappy but clearly overmatched Trail Blazers, the Thunder went to war with the San Antonio Spurs, the team with the seventh-most wins in NBA history, leading to the strongest conference finals matchup in at least 20 years, according to fivethirtyeight.com. If the Thunder can keep playing they way they did in the last three games of their series with the Spurs, OKC vs. GSW is gonna be a classic.
Both Western Conference Finalists overcame very different, but equally daunting obstacles in their previous series: The Thunder were humiliated in Game 1 of their series against the Spurs, falling 124-92 before coming back to win 4... Read More
#2 Toronto Raptors vs. #3 Miami Heat, Raptors lead series 3-2 (8pm ET Friday, ESPN) The Raptors scored the first 9 points of Wednesday’s Game 5 and never surrendered the lead, though they did have to hold off a late charge by the Heat to secure a 95-91 win and take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Up by as much as 20 in the first half, Toronto suddenly went ice cold, not scoring a single point for more than 5 minutes, a drought that extended into the second half and allowed the Heat to get back within 7 before a DeMar DeRozan jumper stopped the bleeding. But the Heat kept chipping away until Dwyane Wade’s layup with 9 seconds to go got the Heat to within 4. But... Read More
#2 San Antonio Spurs vs. #3 Oklahoma City Thunder, OKC leads series 3-2 (8:30pm ET Thursday, ESPN) It wasn’t pretty, but Russell Westbrook threw the Thunder over his back and willed them to a 95-91 victory over the Spurs on Tuesday, to bring them within one more win from a trip to the Western Conference finals.
The San Antonio Spurs were up by 6 with 3:55 to play after Kawhi Leonard stole a pass and ran it back the other way for a monster dunk. But the Thunder answered with an 8-point run over the next 2 minutes to take back the lead. Then, up 92-91 with 9 seconds to go, the Thunder came out of a time out and got the ball to Westbrook, who turned the corner along... Read More
#3 Miami Heat vs. #2 Toronto Raptors, Series tied 2-2 (8pm ET Wednesday, TNT)
For the third time in four games, the Heat and Raptors had to go to OT to decide the winner, with Miami again coming out on top, this time by a score of 94-87. The Heat had to climb their way out of a 9-point hole midway through the fourth quarter, as Dwayne Wade scored 9 down the stretch, including the layup with 12 seconds to play that sent the game into overtime.
Wade led all scorers with 30, but was so tired by the end of regulation that he would afterward confess to mainly being a decoy in OT, though he did throw down a dunk for the final 2 points of the game.... Read More
#3 Oklahoma City Thunder vs. #2 San Antonio Spurs, Series tied 2-2 (8pm ET Tuesday, TNT)
With his team trailing the San Antonio Spurs by 2 with 9:53 to play in the game, Kevin Durant went on an 8-point run that covered 78 seconds, and put the Oklahoma City Thunder ahead for good, as Durant would go on the score 9 more in the final frame to lead his team to a 111-97 victory.
Durant, not surprisingly, led all scorers with 41 points on 14-of-25 shooting, but Russell Westbrook’s shooting woes continued, as he hit on just 5 of 18 for 14 points, though he did managed to dish out 15 assists and pull down 7 rebounds. Steven Adams had another big night for OKC, posting 16-11.
#2 Toronto Raptors vs. #3 Miami Heat, TOR leads series 2-1 (8pm ET Monday, TNT)
The Raptors’ Kyle Lowry finally found his mojo on Saturday, hitting on 11 of 19, including 5 of 8 for 3, en route to a team-leading 33 points, as Toronto narrowly avoided wasting a 13-point lead to beat the Miami Heat 95-91.
Lowry had been averaging during these playoffs just 14 ppg with a 31% field goal percentage heading to Game 3 against Miami, and in the first quarter, it looked like he would be delivering more of the same, as he went 0 for 2 with a turnover. He went 2 for 4 for 4 points in the second, but then he caught fire in the third, opening the quarter with a 3... Read More
In Game 3 on Friday, the Spurs stole back home court advantage with a 100-96 victory powered by some lethal shooting from downtown, as San Antonio hit on 10 of 19 from three-point land. Down by as much as 15 in the second quarter, the Thunder fought back, briefly taking the lead midway through the fourth, but ran out of gas. Oklahoma City started fouling every Spur in sight, leading to San Antonio hitting 10 of 11 free throws in the final 4:48, as San Antonio slowly pulled away, one point at a time.
The Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard and the Thunder’s Russell Westbrook led all scorers with 31, but where Westbrook needed to hoist 31 shots to get there, Leonard fired off just 17. With Leonard focused on scoring, he... Read More
#2 Toronto Raptors vs. #3 Miami Heat, Series tied 1-1 (5pm ET Saturday, ESPN) The Raptors jumped out to a 10-point lead in the first quarter, as they scored 7 off Miami turnovers. But the Heat’s Joe Johnson would catch fire for 2 minutes and 25 seconds in the 3rd quarter, scoring 9 points on 4-of-4 shooting to pull Miami within 2, and by the end of the frame, they were up 2. This was Miami’s game for the taking, as the 4th quarter saw them up 6 with just 4:15 to play, but Jonas Valanciunas took control, scoring 6 points and grabbing 4 rebounds down the stretch, as Toronto tied it up in regulation.
In overtime, the Raptors jumped out to the lead on a DeMar DeRozan 10-footer,... Read More
#1 Cleveland Cavaliers vs. #4 Atlanta Hawks, CLE leads series 2-0 (7pm ET Friday, ESPN)
On April 20, the Cavaliers tied the NBA playoff record with 20 3-pointers in a game. Four days later the Golden State Warriors broke that record, despite losing Steph Curry to injury in the first half, by making 21. On May the Fourth (Be With You), the Cavaliers took back the record, hitting on 25 from downtown, a new NBA mark for regular or postseason, as they took down the Hawks 123-98.
The Cavs had 10 different guys hit at least one 3, as the team hit on 25 of 45, with JR Smith again leading the missile brigade by making 7 of 13 on hs way to scoring 23 points. Kyrie Irving hit... Read More
#3 Miami Heat vs. #2 Toronto Raptors, Miami leads series 1-0 (8pm ET Thursday, ESPN)
Down 90-87 with time winding down on Tuesday night, Toronto Raptor Kyle Lowry heaved a desperation 3 from halfcourt. The clock was at zero by the time the ball clanged off the right side of the rim and through the net, sending the game into overtime. But the rollercoaster night –there were 8 ties and 15 lead changes – ended with a plunge into despair for the hometown crowd, as the Heat scored the first 8 points of OT, as the Raptors picked an awful time to have their longest scoring drought of the game. When it was over, Miami had won Game 1 by a score of 102-96, and stolen home court advantage... Read More
#4 Atlanta Hawks vs. #1 Cleveland Cavaliers, CLE leads series 1-0 (8pm ET Wednesday, TNT)
The Cavs opened their second-round series against the Hawks with a 104-93 victory Monday, in which LeBron James once again went 25-7-9, leading his team in both scoring and assists. Cleveland benefited from some long range sharpshooting, hitting on 15 of 31 3-pointers, with JR Smith leading the way by going 4-of-7.
Atlanta went into the fourth quarter down 74-70, but were up just 4 minutes later, 80-79. Over the next 4 minutes there were three ties and three lead changes, the last one in favor of the Cavs, 90-88. Down the stretch Atlanta hit on just 1 of 7 from the field and committed 3 turnovers as the Cavs pulled away.
#4 Atlanta Hawks vs. #1 Cleveland Cavaliers, Series tied 0-0 (7pm ET Monday, TNT)
After breaking the Celtics’ hearts in the first game of their series and then humiliating them in the second game, the Hawks appeared poised for a cakewalk. But the Celtics came roaring back to even the series in Boston. Game 5 saw the Hawks shut down Isaiah Thomas, the Celtics’ best scorer, and in Game 6 the Hawks went back to Boston to close it out, with a 104-92 win that wasn’t all that close, given that Boston outscored them by 9 in the fourth quarter. Paul Millsap scored 16.3 ppg with 8.8 rpg, while Jeff Teague contributed 16.5 ppg, 1.8 rpg, and 6 apg. Atlanta now faces a whole other level of foe in... Read More
NBA Playoffs on Sling TV: Raptors at Pacers – Game 7
Who doesn’t love a Game 7?
With the Pacers holding onto a 1-point lead late in the third quarter, a pair of Paul George free throws sparked an 18-point Indiana run, as the Toronto Raptors went more than 6-and-a-half minutes without scoring. When the Raptors came to, they found themselves in a 83-64 ditch and with just 7 minutes and 22 seconds to climb out. By the time buzzer sounded, the score had changed, but not the deficit, as the Pacers prevailed 101-83.
Paul George led the Pacers in scoring, rebounding and assists, with 21 points (despite hitting just 5 of 14 from the field), 11 boards and 6 dimes, and is... Read More
#3 Oklahoma City Thunder vs. #2 San Antonio Spurs, Series tied 0-0 (8:30pm ET Saturday, TNT)
The Thunder came within a replay-reversed buzzer beater of sweeping their opening round series against the Mavericks, instead having to settle for a 4-1 victory in which they outscored Dallas by an average of 18 points. Russell Westbrook was the man for OKC, averaging 26 points with 7 rebounds and 11 assists, while Kevin Durant chipped in with 26 points (on 37% shooting), 6 rebounds and 3 assists. But it was Enes Kanter who did big damage off the bench, averaging 15 points and 7 boards in just 20 minutes a game. Durant is playing with a chip on his shoulder, showing a mean streak he’d given a few peeks of throughout the... Read More
#2 Toronto Raptors vs. #7 Indiana Pacers, Toronto leads series 3-2 (7:30pm ET Friday, ESPNews)
The Indiana Pacers’ Paul George and the Toronto Raptors’ DeMar DeRozan had an old fashioned shootout Tuesday, and though George won the battle, it was the Raptors who won the war. George scored 39 points on 11-of-19 shooting, adding 8 boards and 8 dimes, while DeRozan scored “just” 34, but the Raptors came out on top, winning 102-99, after a DeRozan 3 put them up for good with 4:15 to play.
The Pacers roared out to a 17-point lead late in the first quarter, but an 11-point run got the Raptors back within shouting distance, only for the Pacers to go up by 13, which was the difference... Read More
#4 Atlanta Hawks vs. #5 Boston Celtics, ATL leads series 3-2 (8pm ET Thursday, TNT) With 3:27 remaining in the first half of Tuesday’s game, the Celtics’ Jonas Jerebko sank a pair of free throws to put Boston up 33-32, but in the waning minutes before the break, the Hawks caught fire, hitting on 6 of 7, including three 3-pointers by Kent Bazemore, to head into the locker room up 47-39. And the hot hand that put Atlanta on top continued to burn the Celtics (mix metaphors much?) in the third quarter, as the Hawks outscored the Celtics 42-23. The Celtics made 7 turnovers in the quarter, while the Hawks hit on 13 of 18 shots, including 5 of 9 from downtown. The fourth quarter was a mere formality.
#6 Charlotte Hornets vs. #3 Miami Heat, Series tied 2-2 (8pm ET Wednesday, TNT)
The Hornets dropped the first two games of the series in Miami, but managed to tie things up at two games apiece with a pair of wins over the weekend in Charlotte. On Monday the Hornets essentially won the game at the charity stripe, as they hit on 25 of 30 free throws, while the Heat made just 14 of 21, an imbalance compounded by Charlotte’s 17-9 turnover advantage. The Hornets’ Kemba Walker led all scorers with a career playoff high 34 points, and Jeremy Lin came off the bench to score 21 on a night when he finally got some foul calls his way, making good on 8 of 9 free throws. The... Read More
#5 Boston Celtics vs. #4 Atlanta Hawks, Series tied 2-2 (8pm ET Tuesday, TNT)
Just a few days ago, it appeared the 2016 Boston Celtics were circling the drain. After losing Game 1 to the Hawks 102-101 after trailing by 19, they lost Game 2 in historic fashion by scoring just 7 points in the first quarter. But after a weekend of home cooking, the Celtics suddenly find themselves back in this thing, tied with the Hawks at 2 games apiece.
On Sunday, the Hawks’ Paul Millsap had himself a game for the ages, putting up 45 points on 19-of-31 shooting, while grabbing 13 boards and blocking 4 shots. But it was all for naught, as the Celtics suffocating defense held the rest of the Hawks to 26%... Read More
#6 Dallas Mavericks vs. #3 Oklahoma City Thunder, OKC leads series 3-1 (8pm ET Monday, TNT) An already chippy series went next-level Saturday night, as Kevin Durant got whistled for a flagrant 2, Serge Ibaka got a T for throwing an elbow, and Russell Westbrook got a T for getting into a shouting match with the Mavs’ Salah Mejri. Nonetheless, OKC went on to win Game 4 against Dallas 119-108. Up 3-1 in their opening round series, the Thunder have a chance to close it out tonight.
Westbrook would finish the game with 25 points and 15 assists, and Kevin Durant dropped 19 points while grabbing 4 boards, but it was Enes Kanter who led all scorers with 28 points on a blistering 12-of-13... Read More
#2 Toronto Raptors vs. #7 Indiana Pacers, TOR leads series 2-1 (3pm ET Saturday, TNT)
The Pacers’ Paul George led all scorers with 25 points as he led his team with 10 boards and 6 dimes, but it was a tough night for the All-Star guard as he shot just 6-of-19 and made 4 turnovers, as Indiana fell 101-85 to the Toronto Raptors. Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan each scored 21 while shooting a combined 15-of-40, but they got a lot more help than George. Jonas Valanciunas had 9 points and 14 rebounds, and DeMarre Carroll scored 17 points to go along with 5 boards.
Valanciunas hit a jumper with 8:21 to go in the first quarter to give the Raptors a... Read More
#1 Cleveland Cavaliers vs. #8 Detroit Pistons, CLE leads series 2-0 (7pm ET Friday, ESPN) On Wednesday, the Cavs tied an NBA record by hitting 20 three-pointers on their way to a convincing 107-90 win over the Detroit Pistons. JR Smith led the bombing raid by hitting on 7 of 11 three-point attempts en route to a 21 point night while LeBron James led all scorers with 27 points on 12-of-18 shooting. Just a couple of days after taking their best shot at the Cavs and coming up short, the Pistons regressed to their mean, shooting 44% from the floor, 24% from downtown and 56% from the free throw line. It was not nearly enough.
James seems to be a man on a mission,... Read More
#3 Oklahoma City Thunder vs. #6 Dallas Mavericks, Series tied 1-1 (7pm ET Thursday, TNT)
After getting buried in Game 1 by a score of 108-70, the Dallas Mavericks won an 85-84 stunner that went in the books only after a replay review waved off a Steven Adams putback that would’ve won the game for the Thunder. OKC’s Russell Westbrook had a tough night, making just 8 of 22 shots for 19 points to go along with 14 rebounds and 6 assists. But Westbrook was a veritable sharpshooter next to his running mate, Kevin Durant, who made just 7 of 33 for 21 points, his 26 misses matching Michael Jordan for the most in the last… forever? “Bad shooting night for me,” Durant said in a bid for understatement... Read More
#8 Detroit Pistons vs. #1 Cleveland Cavaliers, CLE leads series 1-0 (8pm ET Wednesday, TNT)
The Cavs spent much of the off-season muttering “If only…” as they looked back on a title run that was derailed by injuries to Kevin Love in the first round and Kyrie Irving in the finals (and, of course, the Golden State Warriors). On Sunday, LeBron James played his first postseason game with Love and Irving since April of last year, and came away with a 106-101 victory over the upstart Detroit Pistons. LeBron scored 22 points and had 11 assists, and needed all the help he could get to hold off a young hungry Pistons team. As it turns out, he got a lot of help, as Love poured in 28 with 13... Read More
The Warriors swept the Rockets 4-0 in the regular season but both Golden State and Houston recognize that the postseason is a different animal.
“It seems like in the playoffs, things kind of take a different shape,” said MVP Stephen Curry, who will lead the Warriors against MVP runner-up James Harden and the Rockets tonight at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals.
Harden agrees: “Yesterday is over with. We play … against the Golden State Warriors. That’s a really good team. We have to turn the page. We have to be ready to go … We’ll be ready.”
LeBron James couldn’t let Derrick Rose and Paul Pierce have his spotlight for long. The King nailed a shot at the buzzer Sunday night to lift the Cavaliers over the Bulls, 86-84, and tie the series at 2.
Consider it returning a favor. Rose banked in a 3-pointer for the win Friday night – and, no, he did not call glass.
“I was supposed to take the ball out,” James said. “I told Coach there was no way I’m taking the ball out unless I could shoot it over the backboard and go in. So I told him, ‘Have somebody else take the ball out.’ The play that was drawn up,... Read More
Is the sweep a blessing or a curse? Does it let you rest or rust?
The Warriors, Wizards and Cavs have moved on to the next round with sweeps, while the Clippers and Spurs seem locked in a battle that has all the makings of a down-to-the-final-buzzer seven-game series.
For the teams that swept, there’s no way they would rather be in the kind of fight that L.A. and San Antonio are in.
Being rusty is better than being battered and bruised.
And a sweep is no guarantee that you’ll escape unscathed. The Cavaliers lost forward Kevin Love for two weeks to a dislocated shoulder. The longer Cleveland can wait tom play the winner of the Bulls-Bucks series the better.
Atlanta took the NBA by surprise this year and had a playoff spot secured so soon that it made the end of their regular season anti-climatic.
Most people refuse to pick a team to win the Eastern Conference that doesn’t have a player named LeBron James, but the Hawks went 3-1 against Cleveland in the regular season and have home court advantage.
But that’s getting too far ahead. Atlanta has to get through Brooklyn first (which, let’s be honest, shouldn’t be hard) and the Cavs have to put down a Boston team that surprised many by slipping into the playoffs despite a sub-.500 record.
The East, however, isn’t a two-horse race. Chicago is easing Derrick Rose back just in time for the playoffs. It’s not easy recovering... Read More
Indiana is finishing up strong and with only a few games left the Pacers still have a shot at the playoffs. Indiana beat another playoff hopeful on Sunday, the Thunder, which marked the Pacers’ fifth win in a row.
“We know every game matters for us and we’ve got to continue to play at this level to get in,” George Hill said. “It just sucks that we don’t control our own destiny as far as needing help from others. We just got to hope for the best.”
That help would have to come in the form of a loss by the Brooklyn Nets, who have the same record as the Pacers but own the tie-breaker.
You can watch Indiana make its final push at home against the Wizards and... Read More