Category Archives: Basketball

LeBron James follows Stephen Curry out of USA Olympics team

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The USA team participating in this year’s Olympic Games in Rio will be short another star as LeBron James confirmed that the will not play for his nation’s basketball team.

It had been a long season as the Cavaliers star led Cleveland into their first major sporting title in 52 years. Initially down 3-1 against Steph Curry’s Warriors, LeBron managed to carry his native team into game 7 and a first spectacular turnaround in the NBA grand finals to win the Championship trophy.

“I could use the rest,” the local youth product said.

LeBron will be joining Curry in a star-studded list of national team draft absentees; the unanimous NBA MVP had already announced his withdrawal earlier, citing injury issues.

Having two Olympics gold medals under his belt could also be a factor influencing the NBA fnals MVP. James had won gold in 2012 and 2008 with the USA team then, as well as bronze in 2004.

Additionally, other athletes who had concerns over the spreading strain of Zika virus and the political turmoil in Brazil had also withdrawn from Rio 2016. However, James’s decision was understood to have been solely for sporting reasons: he has played more minutes than any other player in the NBA over the last six seasons.

Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski is already adjusting plans after stars such as Russell Westbrook, James Harden, LaMarcus Aldridge and Chris Paul had also withdrawn from the player drafting process.

But even with such talent handicap, Team USA remains heavy favorites to win gold: they are currently 1 to 14 with bookmakers. The next most favored team are Spain at 10 to 1.

USA Basketball will officially announce their 12-man roster for Rio next week. Carmelo Anthony, DeAndre Jordan, Jimmy Butler, Klay Thompson and Kyle Lowry are expected to be included.

Kevin Durant had also confirmed earlier this week that he intends to play in Rio, while sources also revealed that Paul George, Draymond Green and DeMarcus Cousins also have committed to the US.

LeBron James leads Cavaliers to NBA title victory

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Cleveland native LeBron James brings home their first NBA Championship title as the Cavaliers won a tense NBA grand final in the Oracle Arena, beating the Golden State Warriors by 93 to 89.

The achievement by LeBron is all the more unimaginable when considers that the last time a Cleveland team ever won anything major was when the Cleveland Browns won the NFL championship in December 27, 1964.

The 4-time NBA MVP dominated the playoff series even as the Cavaliers were pushed to a brink at 3-1. 32 other teams who had fallen to that score in the Finals were never able to make a comeback, but LeBron made sure his team did.

Even if he was in the same court as reigning MVP Steph Curry, when things mattered, LeBron and the Cavs outplayed and outgunned the greatest regular-season team.

There was no question that the Warriors would have solidified their place in NBA history, but this just wasn’t their time; even their entire home-supporting yellow crowd looked dazed and defeated.

James won 27 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists, and as the game ties 89-89 with one minute left, his teammate Kyrie Irving made one from downtown to pull ahead gradually into the one of the most improbable titles in NBA history.

Irving finished next to LeBron with 26 points, and the Cavaliers formed a raucous mob at the buzzer, mixed with every emotion ranging from ecstasy, disbelief, relief, all at once.

Even as neither team could find any separation until the closing moments, Draymond Green had 32 points, 15 rebounds and 9 assists for the Warriors, and Stephen Curry had 17 points but shot just 6 of 19 from the field. Curry also missed one vital shot in the final minute that could have tied the game.

And with that, the Warriors were unable to top off their record-breaking regular season with a championship, while the Cavaliers revel in, how far they’ve come and what they’ve achieved, which, as underdog victories go, may take some time.

Cavaliers overpowers Warriors to pull NBA finals into Game 7

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The Cleveland Cavaliers throttles the Golden State Warriors in game 6 to extend the NBA finals into a winner-take-all game seven.

There were early signs for the need of the deciding match as the Cavaliers blew 31 points over Warriors’s meager 11 in the first quarter. Although the West Coast team managed to retaliate with 32 in the second, the Cavaliers were never far behind at 28.

LeBron James then managed – with a little bit of LeBron magic – to lead a consecutive 27-point blowout with a contribution to every point as the Warriors managed to squeeze a 24 point gap to seven in the final quarter.

He checks out with a thunderous ovation in the final minutes, scoring 14 out of his massive 41 points contribution to the team. Kyrie Irving added 23 to the board to top off James’s epic performance, and the Cavs saved their season for the second time in four days.

And should they have the last laugh the Cavaliers will be the first to overcome a 3-1 deficit in the NBA finals, even if it does pale in comparison with the Warriors’s record of 73 regular season wins this season. Most importantly, it will be their first major championship win since 1964.

“I want to win for sure,” said James, who added 11 assists and eight rebounds. “But I want to give everything I’ve got and we’ll see what happens. We forced a Game 7. It’s going to be a fun one.”

It was indeed unimaginable for the Warriors to be in this situation since game 4. But everyone seemed to have lost their touch, with reigning MVP Steph Curry only scoring 30 and his splash sibling adding 25.

Curry was even ejected with little more than 4 minutes left after being called for a sixth personal foul. He cursed at an official and fired his mouthpiece into the front row, striking a fan.

But it did not dampen the atmosphere in Q Arena at all. As the minutes died away, every Cleveland fan joined in the chants, “Cavs in 7!” and “See you Sunday!”

Warriors complete seventh game comeback against OKC

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Warriors complete seventh game comeback against OKC

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Golden State Warriors win series by 4-3.

The Golden State Warriors defy all odds against Oklahoma City Thunder by completing one of the unlikeliest of comebacks in NBA history, rallying from near defeat to win game 7 by 96-88 and move into the NBA final for the second year running.

NBA MVP Stephen Curry and his team had lagged far behind at 3-1 in the series and looked fated for an early exit from the postseason tournament. But after two straight wins they managed to level the series at 3-3, forcing a winner-takes-all game 7 decider.

Still, things did not look as it was all going according to plan for the Warriors despite their advantage of playing on home ground. They fell behind as much as 13 points before the first half ended 48-42, with OKC taking the lead.

Then everyone in the Golden State camp seemed to fire up, and every player suddenly seemed eager to test themselves for how many 3 pointers they have got in them.

Stephen Curry, reliable as always, scored the game-high 36-points as Klay Thompson added 21 and six threes to follow-up a record breaking performance in game six.

“We survived by the skin of our teeth”, said Golden State coach Steve Kerr. “We were able to pull it out, and we’re moving on.”

But it was not all Warriors here – Thunder had suffered a little drop in performance too. The team had been notorious in losing out in the final quarter even in regular season, just as in game 6 against the Warriors.

They also paid the price as their dynamic duo struggled at the worst possible time – Russell Westbrook was only 7-for-21 from the floor while Kevin Durant shot 10-for-19 for a total of 27 points, his lowest-scoring Game 7 performance ever.

“We laid it all out there,” a somber Durant said after the game. “Everybody left their soul out on the court. We have no regrets.”

But in the end, whether by ability and circumstance, the defending champions had won and is now set for a title rematch against the Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James, with hopes to repeat their 4-2 win last year – or better than that, given their record breaking season.