Cavs fall to shorthanded Warriors

The Cleveland Cavaliers hosted the shorthanded Golden State Warriors on Friday night. The Warriors, who lost to the Celtics on Thursday night in OT, were without Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Andrew Wiggins due to rest. 

However, none of that mattered.

After trailing by double-digits for most of the second half, the Cavs, who were down by as many as 20 points, cut the Warriors’ lead to four with two minutes left in the fourth, but Ty Jerome hit a three on the next possession, and the Warriors defeated the Cavs 120-114 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

Cleveland(28-19), who was without Donovan Mitchell(groin) for the second straight game, have lost two straight and three out of their last four.

Here’s The Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ loss to the Warriors.

Darius Garland led the way for Cleveland with 31 points, nine assists, and two steals. Eighteen of Garland’s 31 points came in the first half. He didn’t shoot it that great(10/25 FG, 3/11 3-PT FG), but he did his part.

Defense: Cleveland gave up 120 points to Ty Jerome, Jordan Poole, Donte DiVincenzo, and others. Golden State lit them up from downtown. The Warriors made 23 threes and shot 54% from deep. Poole(5) and Jerome(3) made a combined eight threes. WOW!!

Rebounding: The Warriors outrebounded the Cavs 45-35. That’s unacceptable. That means you let Golden State outwork you!!

Third Quarter: Golden State shot 58% from the field, including 60% from deep in the third. The Warriors had their largest lead of 20 points in the quarter. Again, they just wanted it more!!

Even without Mitchell, this loss is super unacceptable. The Warriors sat pretty much their whole starting lineup. In many ways, the Warriors were willing to give this game up, but crazy things happen in the NBA.

This was the Cavs’ worst performance of the season! Again, Unacceptable!!

What’s Next:

Cavs host the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night.

Best of the Rest:

-Poole led the Warriors with a game-high 32 points; Jerome had 22 points, DiVincenzo added 17 points, and Kevon Looney chipped in with four points and 17 rebounds. 

Golden State had six players in double figures.

-For the Cavs, Caris LeVert had 22 points, including five threes. Evan Mobley added 17 points and eight rebounds.

-Ricky Rubio(injury management) did not play Friday night.

Curry on fourth NBA title: ‘This one hits different for sure’

The Warriors made it four NBA titles in eight seasons as they defeated the Celtics 103-90 in Game 6 of the NBA Finals at TD Garden Thursday night.

Golden State won the series 4-2; Steph Curry, who had a game-high 34 points, including five threes in Game 6, was named Finals MVP for the first time in his career.

After trailing 14-2 with just over eight minutes left in the first quarter, the Warriors outscored the Celtics 52-25 the rest of the half, including a 21-0 run. The Warriors led by as many as 21 points in the first half and had a 54-39 lead at halftime.

Boston got the lead to as low as eight late in the fourth but could not get any closer.

Curry, who won his fourth NBA title, averaged 31.2 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists, and 5.2 3-pt FG per game in this series, and according to StatMuse, he is the first player in NBA history to average 30/5/5 and five threes in a Finals series.

“We’ve got four championships,” Curry said after the win. “This one hits different for sure, just knowing what the last three years have meant, what it’s been like from injuries to changing of the guard in the rosters, Wiggs(Andrew Wiggins) coming through, our young guys carrying the belief that we could get back to this stage and win, even if it didn’t make sense to anybody when we said it, all that stuff matters. And now we got four championships. Me, Dray(Draymond Green), Klay(Thompson), and Andre(Iguodala), we finally got that bad boy. It’s special. It’s special.”

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr says the four championships don’t happen without Curry.

“I’m obviously thrilled for everyone in that room, and a lot of people had a big hand in this, but I think the thing with Steph is, you know, without him, none of this happens,’ Kerr said. “Steph ultimately is why this run has happened. Much like Timmy(Tim Duncan) in San Antonio. So I’m happy for everybody, but I’m thrilled for Steph. To me, this is his crowning achievement in what’s already been an incredible career.”

The Warriors missed the playoffs the last two seasons, so getting back to this spot was difficult for Curry and the rest of the team. After the win, Curry was in tears, and he explained why he was so emotional.

“These last two months of the playoffs, these last three years, this last 48 hours, every bit of it has been an emotional roller coaster on and off the floor,” he said. “And you’re carrying all of that on a daily basis to try to realize a dream and a goal like we did tonight. And you get goosebumps just thinking about, you know, all those snapshots and episodes that we went through to get back here, individually, collectively. And that’s why I said I think this championship hits different. That’s why I have so many emotions, and still will, just because of what it took to get back here.”

Klay Thompson, who also won his fourth NBA title, believes Curry is an all-time great.

“I’m so happy for him to get that Finals MVP,” Thompson said. “Some bozo saying he needed it. I think he’s pretty much established what he can do, but to see him earn that, he’s one of the greatest ever, and we all followed in his lead, and gosh, that was awesome. What a series.”

Draymond Green, who added his fourth NBA title as well and had 12 points, 12 rebounds, and eight assists in Game 6, added on Curry: “Steph Curry, to have the season and the career that he’s had, it is amazing. And to stamp that with a Finals MVP — I know he said it don’t matter, and it doesn’t matter in the sense of like, oh, his legacy is not quite this unless he gets that. Like, that’s garbage. Still, Steph Curry still an all-time great. But to add that to your résumé as a competitor, you want that. For him, well-deserved.”

After winning Finals MVP, Curry’s legacy is complete. Before this series, Curry was an all-time great, but now there are no doubts.

Curry leads Warriors to win over Celtics in ‘The Foot Game’

In Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals, between the Bulls and Jazz, Michael Jordan, battling the flu, had a game for the ages. 

Jordan scored 38 points and the Bulls defeated the Jazz 90-88 to take a 3-2 series lead; Jordan would go on to win the fifth of his six NBA titles. 

The game would later be known as “The Flu Game”

Fast forward 25 years to Game 4 of the NBA Finals between the Warriors and Celtics at TD Garden Friday night. The Celtics had an opportunity to take complete control of the series, but Steph Curry, battling a foot injury he suffered in Game 3, had a game for the ages. Curry had 24 of his 43 points in the second half, including seven threes, 10 rebounds, and four assists as the Warriors defeated the Celtics 107-97 in “The Foot Game.”(our name for it)

The series is tied 2-2, and Game 5 is Monday night at Chase Center.

Boston led 94-92 with under five minutes left in the fourth, but the Warriors went on a 15-3 run to close it out, and Curry would score 10 of those 15 points 

According to StatMuse, Curry joins Jerry West and Magic Johnson as the only point guards to record a 40-point/10 rebounds Finals game.

In addition, according to ESPN Stats & Info, at age 34, he is the second-oldest player in NBA Finals history to record a 40-10 game behind only LeBron James(35), who did it in 2020.

Furthermore, the 24-second half points were the most for Curry in an NBA Finals game.

“Yeah, I think he was really laboring out there,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said playfully after the win. “He really struggled. No, never even looked like it was a factor, so…

“Just stunning. The physicality out there is, you know, pretty dramatic. I mean, Boston’s got obviously, best defense in the league. Huge and powerful at every position, and for Steph to take that — that kind of pressure all game long and still be able to defend at the other end when they are coming at him shows you, I think this is the strongest physically he’s ever been in his career, and it’s allowing him to do what he’s doing.”

Klay Thompson, who scored 18 points, was impressed by Curry’s heart.

“I think I have seen him show that much emotion, and the heart on that man is incredible,” Thompson said. “You know, the things he does we kind of take for granted from time to time but to go out there and put us on his back, I mean, we got to help him out on Monday. Wow, just showed why he is — shocking he wasn’t a First Team All-NBA guy, but whatever, next year.”

According to Thompson, this was Curry’s best performance in an NBA Finals Game.

“I think probably No. 1. I mean, this was nearly a must-win game, and to go out there and shoot as efficiently as he did, and grab 10 rebounds, and they were attacking him on defense,” he said. “I mean, his conditioning is second-to-none in this league. Steph played incredible.”

Draymond Green, who struggled again in Game 4 as he had two points, nine rebounds, and eight assists, says Curry showed why he’s an all-time great.

“Incredible,” Green said. “Put us on his back. Willed us to win. Much-needed win. Game we had to have. Came out and showed why he’s one of the best players to ever play this game, you know, and why, you know, this organization has been able to ride him to so much success. It’s absolutely incredible.”

Curry gave credit to the medical staff.

Great rehab, medical staff hooking me up the last two days, getting me right, he said. I think, for the most part, I didn’t think about it. Like I don’t know how to explain the pain. It’s more so just when you’re out there, you don’t compensate, or you don’t — it doesn’t take up too much mental space in terms of feeling like I can do whatever I want to out on the court. So hopefully, that continues with these next two days off, and get ready for Game 5.”

More importantly, the Warriors got home-court advantage back.

“It means everything knowing the sense of urgency we had to have tonight to win on the road and keep some life in the series, get home-court advantage back and try to create some momentum our way,” Curry said.

These teams have alternated wins in this series. Plus, Boston has not lost two games in a row in these playoffs, so expect them to come out with a big effort Monday night. 

Celtics’ Brown on Warriors: ‘I feel like they got away with a lot tonight’

After one half of basketball, the Golden State Warriors led the Boston Celtics 52-50 in Game 2 of the NBA Finals Sunday night. 

Jayson Tatum scored 21 of his team-high 28 points and kept the Celtics in the game. However, in the third quarter, the Warriors went off.

Golden State outscored the Celtics 35-14 in the third quarter. Steph Curry scored 14 of his game-high 29 points in the third as the Warriors routed the Celtics 107-88 at Chase Center to even the series up 1-1.

Game 3 is Wednesday night in Boston.

The Celtics went cold in the third as they shot 24% from the field, including 25% from downtown, and they had no answers for Curry and the rest of the Warriors in the third.

Golden State had five players in double figures, but Curry was the focal point of the offense, which Draymond Green discussed after the win.

“I think our offense is always a lot of Steph,” Green said. “It all starts with Steph, whether — you know, when KD was here, our offense still started with Steph. That’s the way it’s going to be. I think when you’re playing against a team like that, you have to get offense from other places and not just Steph. I think, for the most part, we did a pretty good job of that. You know, Klay, what, 4-for-19, had a tough one, but that happens. We know he’ll make shots as this series continues to go on.”

In Game 1 for Boston, it was about the others, including Derrick White, Al Horford, and Marcus Smart, who combined for 68 points. In Game 2, it was a different story as the trio totaled 16 points. 

Curry discussed what they did to shut down White, Horford, and Smart.

“We look back at Game 1, and there were — between Marcus, Al Horford, and Derrick White, there for four or five shots they got in the first half that were just uncontested,” Curry. “So for us to come out in the first quarter with the level of intensity and focus, obviously Jaylen(Brown) and Jayson(Tatum), what they do in the ball in their hand, it’s a tough cover. It’s more obvious what you need to do on those guys. But then certain possessions, we took — kept a body on Al. Tried to force Marcus into a crowd. I think that carried over to the rest of the game. So we have to continue to try to do that because they are liable to get hot at any moment.”

Game 2 got a little physical as  Green got into it separate incidents with Grant Williams(first quarter)and Jaylen Brown, which led to a technical foul; however, some believe he should have gotten called for a second tech for his altercation with Brown, where Green had his legs on Brown, which led to some pushing and shoving between the two, but Green avoided the tech and the ejection. 

According to Green, he has to be himself.

For me to sit back and say, oh, I’m going to push it to this edge and try to pull back, that don’t work,” he said. “I got to be me. So with the first tech, it is what it is. That’s not going to stop me from being aggressive or doing what I do on the basketball court. Just got to live with the results.”

Brown expects Green to be physical, and he feels Boston has to raise their intensity level in this series.

“He’s going to try to muck the game up, try to raise the level of intensity,” Brown said about Green, “We’ve got to raise ours. I feel like they got away with a lot tonight, but we’ve got to come ready to play, come ready to meet that physicality on both ends.”

It appears we’re going to have a long series. Basketball is a game of runs. In Game 1, Boston exploded in the fourth, and in Game 2, Golden State exploded in the third. 

Let’s see what Game 3 has in store for us in Boston.

Curry, Thompson, Green are back in NBA Finals

After three years away, the Golden State Warriors are back in the NBA Finals after defeating the Mavericks 120-110 in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals. 

Golden State won the series 4-1.

The NBA Finals begin next Thursday at Chase Center.

The Warriors last made the Finals in 2019 when they lost to the Toronto Raptors, and that was with Kevin Durant leading the way. 

Durant is off in Brooklyn, who got swept in their opening round series by the Celtics, while Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green are on their way to the Finals for the sixth time in eight seasons.

After Durant left, things went south for the Warriors as they missed the playoffs the past two seasons. It’s been rough for the Warriors, but now they are back.

“The fact me, Klay, Draymond, from 2015 to now, six out of eight years having a chance to compete for a championship,” Curry, who had 15 points and nine assists and won the Magic Johnson Western Conference finals MVP, said after the win. “The feeling leaving 2019 Finals and realizing, like, we had been on an amazing journey, then got hit with a lot of adversity, some speed bumps, but never lost the faith we could get back here.”

Green, who had 17 points, six rebounds, and nine assists, added: “After being counted out, dynasty is over, all of those things. To get back here it’s fantastic. It’s a testament to the hard work and dedication and to an incredible organization. We continue to stick with it, show what we’re capable of. This one feels great. But got four more wins to get.”

Thompson missed the past two years after tearing his ACL in the 2019 NBA Finals and tearing his Achilles in 2020, and he was big-time in Game 5 as he had a game-high 32 points, including eight threes. After the game, Thompson was emotional, and he explained why.

“Just such a surreal feeling,” Thompson said. “It’s hard to put into words, really. This time last year, I was just starting to jog again and get up and down the court. Now to be feeling like myself, feeling explosive, feeling sure in my movements, I’m just grateful. All those emotions kind of rushed through me, and I thought about our training staff, I thought about Rick Celebrini, I thought about Steve, I thought about those days me and Rick were together in Santa Cruz, and I was in a terrible mood.

“We were together in the summertime. All those long days. They would tell me it would pay off. It was hard to see that at the time. Now to actually be here, I can feel it paying off.”

Golden State is back, and they are playing at a high level. Plus, they will have homecourt advantage in the Finals. In addition, the Warriors could get back Andre Iguodala and Gary Payton II.

However, they have to still win four more games. Based on the way they’re playing right now, the Warriors will be the favorites and will be tough to beat.

Doncic on Wiggins: ‘I wish I had those bunnies’

Andrew Wiggins had an outstanding performance in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals Sunday night. Wiggins had a playoff career-high 27 points and a career playoff-high-tying 11 rebounds as the Warriors defeated the Mavs 109-100 to take a 3-0 series lead. 

Wiggins also had the play of the night and maybe the playoffs.

In the fourth quarter, Wiggins drove to the lane and hammered home a one-handed dunk over Luka Doncic.

Watch below:

Initially, an offensive foul was called on Wiggins, which was reviewed and overturned.

After the game, Wiggins reacted to his big dunk.

“Just feeling the energy,” he said. “You know, that was the main thing when I seen the rim, that’s all I seen. They tried to take it away from me, but Steve challenged, and we won. Thank him for that.

The victim of Wiggins’ dunk, Doncic, was impressed by what he saw.

“I mean, I got hit a little bit, but that was impressive, I’m not going to lie,” Doncic said. “I saw the video again; I was like, ooh. That was pretty incredible. I wish I had those bunnies.”

Warriors coach Steve Kerr was amazed by the dunk.

“Yeah, it was an amazing dunk,” Kerr said. “We’ve seen Wiggs do that before where if he gets a head of steam and he gets that two-foot jump, he’s so explosive. I was surprised at the call but glad we had the challenge left.

Draymond Green added: “Absolutely incredible. He’s been attacking like that. That’s always our battle cry to him, forget laying the ball up; go dunk. He’s been attacking like that all playoffs. He got a couple posters these playoffs. That one was on Luka, so it just means more. When you get a poster on a superstar like that, it means just a little bit more. So it was incredible.”

The dunk was memorable, but more importantly, the Warriors are one game away from the NBA Finals.

Watch below as Doncic reacts to Wiggins’ big dunk:

Warriors’ Curry: ‘We’re definitely proud of ourselves’

The Golden State Warriors had two chances to make the playoffs, and both times they came up short, including Friday night against the Memphis Grizzlies as the Warriors fell in overtime 117-112 at Chase Center in the Play-In Tournament.

Golden State lost to the Lakers on Wednesday night in the Play-In Tournament 103-100 in Los Angeles.

Memphis now goes on to play the number one seed in the West, the Utah Jazz, while the Warriors go home. Golden State overcame many odds to get this point, including injuries to Klay Thompson and rookie James Wiseman, but the Warriors did not have enough to get over the hump and into the playoffs.

After the game, Warriors forward Draymond Green, who had a triple-double with 11 points, 16 rebounds, and 15 assists against Memphis, reflected on the season.

‘We definitely had a lot of struggles trying to build with a young, new team,” Green said. “Had quite a few rough patches there along the way, but over the last 20 games or so, we started to figure it out and grow, and a lot of successes came from that. Steph Curry being in the MVP conversation, myself, being in the Defensive Player of the Year conversation.”

Despite overcoming the obstacles and going 15-5 in the final 20 games to put themselves in a position to get to the playoffs, Green would not call this season a success for the Warriors.

“The reality is we came up a little short, so there are no moral victories here,” he said. “We’re still champions, and  that’s always the goal, so I’m not going to act like this year was some huge success because we didn’t win it, and that’s always the goal.”

While Green would not call the season a success, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr did.

“I think this season absolutely was a success; we would have loved to have gotten into the playoffs and tried to make a run,” Kerr said. “We were really a good team over the last 22 games, I guess… To watch Jordan (Poole), Juan (Toscano-Anderson), Mychal Mulder, these young guys grow and develop, that makes this a successful season because of what it sets up for next year.”

Curry, one of the three finalists for MVP, was proud of his team, but like Green, there are no moral victories for him.

“It’s okay to pat yourself on the back for doing something that really, nobody thought we could do,’ Curry, who had 39 points on Friday night, said. “I don’t think there is any moral victories. It’s weird because we’re not used to this, but we’re definitely proud of ourselves.”

The Warriors battled hard to get to this point, and it seemed the playoffs were going to happen for Golden State after they defeated the Grizzlies last Sunday to get that eighth seed, but they fell just short. Obviously, the Warriors can get back into contention, especially with Thompson and Wiseman coming back, so while they are disappointed now, next season will probably be a different story for Golden State.

Mayweather’s ex upset with Conor McGregor

Earlier this week, Conor McGregor posted a picture of him on Instagram wearing a number 23 Golden State Warriors’ jersey. The jersey was not Draymond Green, but former Warriors G C.J. Watson.

Why C. J. Watson? 

 TMZ Sports has the details:

Floyd Mayweather’s ex-GF is FURIOUS at Conor McGregor over a “trolling” stunt that mocked her domestic violence incident with Floyd … saying he’s shamelessly profiting from her pain. The woman is Josie Harris — who Floyd was convicted of attacking during a 2010 domestic violence incident at the boxer’s Vegas home in front of their 3 kids. Mayweather spent 2 months behind bars for the attack. McGregor “trolled” Floyd over the incident last week by wearing an NBA jersey of C.J. Watson — the man Floyd accused Josie of secretly texting in 2010, which led to the violent altercation.

 

In a statement, through her attorney Dan Friedlander, Harris talked about McGregor’s “lack of sensitivity” to her situation:

“Although McGregor played no part in Mayweather’s physical and emotional abuse of Harris, his exploitation of the events of September 9, 2010, for publicity, entertainment, and personal gain, demonstrates a lack of sensitivity toward Harris and her three children who witnessed Maywetaher’s violence and the trauma they have suffered, and continue to suffer as a result of Mayweather’s conduct.”

Click below to read the complete statement:

0727_mcgregor_mayweather statement

I guess it’s a case of all fun and games, until somebody gets hurt. You wonder if and when McGregor will apologize.

 

Civil lawsuit to be filed against Warriors’ Draymond Green for alleged assault

According to attorney Lisa Bloom, a civil lawsuit will be filed on Tuesday against Warriors F Draymond Green for an alleged assault, battery, and related crimes against an unnamed man and woman. 

The alleged victims will speak at a press conference tomorrow morning.

According to ESPN:

The expectation from Green’s camp is that the lawsuit is in response to a sequence of events last July that culminated in Green allegedly slapping then-Spartan player Jermaine Edmondson. The alleged slap followed a verbal dispute outside an East Lansing bar in the early morning of July 10, 2016, and was preceded by an encounter two nights earlier allegedly involving Edmondson, his girlfriend, Green and two of the NBA star’s associates.

Last summer, Green reached a plea deal for the alleged assault against Edmonson.

“I am just letting my attorneys handle the situation,” Green told ESPN.