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Warriors complete comeback, advance to NBA Finals for second straight season

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Stephen Curry scored 36 points, including 15 in the fourth quarter, as the Warriors beat the Thunder in Game 7 on Monday to reach the NBA Finals. (Ben Margot/Associated Press)

Stephen Curry scored 36 points, including 15 in the fourth quarter, as the Warriors beat the Thunder in Game 7 on Monday to reach the NBA Finals. (Ben Margot/Associated Press)

OAKLAND, Calif. (Diya TV) — After seven games of the most dramatic basketball the NBA has ever seen, reigning two-time MVP Stephen Curry showcased a magical 36-point performance, propelling the Golden State Warriors to their second Finals appearance in as many years.

The defending champions will square off against a familiar opponent, the same Cleveland Cavaliers squad they defeating during last spring’s tournament, with a few extra players this time around.

Curry’s 36-point performance exploded during the second half, where he recorded 24, including 15 during the final quarter. He added another eight assists and five rebounds in the Warriors 96-88 victory, where the team became just the tenth in league history to battle back from a 3-1 series deficit.

“Steph is gonna Steph,” center Festus Ezeli said. “He came out and showed why he is the MVP.”

Curry said after the game that he and his teammates believed all along the series victory would come — they listened to each other when it counted, not the noise happening around them.

“I knew we were ready for the moment,” he said. “(I knew) we were a mature basketball team that tried our best not to listen to the noise when we were down 3-1. … In that locker room, the talk was positive.”

Fellow Splash Brother Klay Thompson netted 21 points in the contest, including six three-pointers fresh off his series-saving Game 6 performance. As a team, the Warriors went 17 of 37 from three-point range, and Game 6 and 7 combined, they went 38 of 82 from three. Thunder first-year head coach Billy Donovan acknowledged after the elimination that his squad missed multiple opportunities in three straight games to slay the defending champs.

“There was opportunity for us to close the series out in 5 and 6 and 7,” Donovan said. “I don’t know if that tells the full story of the seven games when you look at them in its entirety.”

While Golden State has become known for their prolific offense, it was their defensive work in Game 7 which rang loudest.

Oklahoma City shot just 38.2 percent overall for the game, with star point guard Russell Westbrook hitting just seven of 21 shots. Kevin Durant, who will likely be the hottest commodity on this summer’s free agent market, went 10 of 19 for 27 points. The widespread belief is that Durant will re-sign with the Thunder under the terms of a one-year contract.

“It is a lot of what-ifs,” he said after the game. “We could have said a lot of what-ifs throughout the whole playoffs.

“[But] you’ve got to credit them. They came out and played well the last three games of the series, and won three in a row. You’ve got to give them credit.”

While Curry is undoubtedly Golden State’s leader, head coach Steve Kerr said after the game the win, both in Game 7 and in the series, was a complete team effort.

“With everything on the line,” Kerr said, “our guys all came through.”

Basketball

Bucks bycott Game 5 in wake of Jacob Blake shooting, NBA season now in limbo

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Milwakee Bucks issue a statement

ORLANDO, Florida (Diya TV) — As the video of George Flyod’s killing spread across social media, the Black Lives Matter movement grew stronger & folks took to the streets to protest against police brutality. The NBA’s coronavirus-halted season resumed last month in Orlando. This Sunday, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, a police officer shot Jacob Blake, an unarmed Black man, seven times in the back.

Outraged, the Milwaukee Bucks players, decided to boycott Game 5 of the playoff series against the Orlando Magic. They forfiet the game, but the Magic refused to accept the Bucks’ forfeit and instead, both teams stood united, and the Bucks called Wisconsin’s Attorney General and Lieutenant Governor during “game time”.

The news spread quickly and other teams followed suit, notably the Rockets and Thunder, after Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul discussed the boycott.

Coincidently, four years ago today, former 49er Colin Kaepernick first kneeled during the national anthem. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell finally said that he that he wished they “had listened to Kaepernick earlier.” Kaepernick, who was essentially exiled from the league, has been receiving a lot of praise after today’s boycott.

The players took the “game time” to call the Attorney General Josh Kaul & Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes.

Twittersphere saw a barrage of reactions from players, coaches to former president Barack Obama

The 29-year-old, Jacob Blake was shot repeatedly in the back as he attempted to get into his car, while his three children sat inside. Protests have erupted in Kenosha since the shooting, with two people killed after a teenager opened fire on demonstrators with an assault rifle on Tuesday.

After the historic walkout, a players meeting was organized that continued past midnight in Orlando & sources say there was some frustration in the meeting among the players with the Bucks blindsiding everyone with their walk-out plan. Bucks’ guard, George Hill admitted he first sparked conversation pregame to boycott and his teammates supported.

As the teams voted on the status of the season, the LA Clippers & LA Lakers voted to boycott the NBA season, with LeBron James walking out of the meeting. He was soon followed by all the players from the LA teams.

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Basketball

India, Pakistan spar over women’s rights in Kashmir

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India

NEW YORK (Diya TV)  — At the United Nations, both India and Pakistan’s representatives took shots at their counterpart over women’s rights. Islamabad’s outgoing envoy to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi, said the women in Jammu and Kashmir were suffering due to the communication blackout in the state. India’s First Secretary to the UN Paulomi Tripathi said, without naming Pakistan, these “baseless statements” were ironic given the amount of honor killings that take place there annually.

Rajeev Majumdar is the new president of the Washington State Bar Association, becoming the first state bar president of South Asian descent in the United States.

For the first time, India entered the ranks of the top ten countries sending visitors to the United States, with tourists from India spending nearly $16 billion in the U.S. in 2018 alone.

And while the Kings and Pacers played two entertaining games in Mumbai, their legacy will include supporting five under-resourced schools in and around the region, outfitting them with Smart Classrooms, STEM training and new basketball courts.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Basketball

Gandhi 150th birth anniversary noted around the world

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Birth Anniversary

NEW DELHI (Diya TV) —  Celebrations for Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary have been ongoing for the past year, but culminated with a ceremony in New Delhi featuring Prime Minister Modi and another in Washington at the Library of Congress. And France’s government worked with the Indian Embassy there to issue a stamp in honor of his birth anniversary.

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and India’s Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal are meeting this week to continue the US-India discussion on trade and investment.

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb came to New Delhi to strengthen ties between the Hoosier State and India. Infosys has already made a large commitment there. Holcomb is part of a large delegation of Americans now heading Mumbai to take in the first-ever NBA preseason games in India featuring the Indiana Pacers and the Sacramento Kings.

Bollywood turned Hollywood actor Anupam Kher came to the Bay Area to keynote the Akshay Patra annual fundraising gala that helps feed children in India a hot meal during the school year.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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