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Curry ejected, James scores 41 as Cavs force Game 7

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James’ mega billboard in downtown Cleveland once took up the side of a building

James’ mega billboard in downtown Cleveland once took up the side of a building

 

CLEVELAND (Diya TV) — And were we ever Thursday night.

LeBron James delivered one of the greatest performances of his career Thursday night against the visiting Golden State Warriors in Game 6 of the NBA Finals. James, for the second-straight game, scored 41 points as he and his Cavaliers’ teammates forced a decisive Game 7 in the 115-101 victory.

James, who made 16 of 27 shots from the floor, added 11 assists, eight rebounds, four steals and three blocked shots to his final stat line on the night. The four-time MVP scored 18 consecutive points for the Cavaliers during the third quarter, setting up one more game to deliver Cleveland sports fans the city’s first professional sporting championship since the 1964 Browns, and to try to become the first team in NBA history to come back from a 3-1 series deficit in the Finals.

“We’ve been able to beat a great team two straight games to force a game seven. I can’t wait,” James said after the win. “I’m going to give everything I’ve got in game seven. Records are meant to be broken. We gave it our all tonight and we were able to come away with a victory.”

It was James’ 17th career 40-plus point playoff game of his career.

It’s just the second time in league history the team down 3-1 has forced a Game 7 in the NBA Finals, it last happened 50 years ago by the Los Angeles Lakers. However much momentum the Cavaliers are bringing back to Oracle Arena, the odds are not in their favor — only three times in the 18 NBA Finals’ game sevens that have been played has the road team emerged victorious.

Cleveland took a stranglehold of the game from opening tip off —jumping ahead 13-2 and 31-9 before settling for the second-largest first quarter lead in NBA Finals history at 31-11. Golden State’s 11 points in the opening frame marked the fewest ever in a first quarter in post-shot clock NBA Finals history. The Warriors never led at any point of the game and faced their largest end-of-first-quarter deficit of the entire season.

A frustrated Stephen Curry led the scoring charge for Golden State in the game, collecting 30 points, but was also ejected for the first time in his career, which was preempted by fouling out for the first time since 2013. As he walked off the court, the MVP hurled his mouthpiece into the crowd. Curry finished the game 6 of 13 from downtown.

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry is held back from referee Jason Phillips (23) by Shaun Livingston, left, and Klay Thompson, right, while reacting to being called for his sixth foul on Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) during the second half of Game 6 of basketball's NBA Finals in Cleveland, Thursday, June 16, 2016. Ron Schwane AP Photo

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry is held back from referee Jason Phillips (23) by Shaun Livingston, left, and Klay Thompson, right, while reacting to being called for his sixth foul on Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) during the second half of Game 6 of basketball’s NBA Finals in Cleveland, Thursday, June 16, 2016. Ron Schwane AP Photo

 

Curry’s wife, Ayesha, quickly took to Twitter to share her thoughts on the game and her husband’s ejection.

“I’ve lost all respect sorry this is absolutely rigged for money… Or ratings in not sure which,” Ayesha Curry tweeted just before the final buzzer. “I won’t be silent . Just saw it live sry.”

She quickly deleted the tweet.

Golden State has not lost three straight games all season,

For the Warriors, Golden State will look to become the first Bay Area sports team to clinch a championship inside of their home venue in 42 years. Ayesha will get to see another game Sunday night.

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India Rising puts forth valiant effort in loss to Boeheim’s Army in TBT

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SYRACUSE (Diya TV) — With The Basketball Tournament commencing, most eyes have been set on Boeheim’s Army and their path to repeating as champions. However, their first match provided an opponent true to its name: India Rising. 

While one may look at the 90-62 score and disregard the India Rising squad, when watching the game, the team did truly give Boeheim’s Army a run for their money in the first half. Facing a team full of guys who played under one of the greatest basketball coaches ever, Jim Boeheim, India Rising jumped out to an early 5-0 lead and was able to keep pace with Boeheim’s Army for a substantial amount of time. Most people may have written them off early but they kept fighting. They had a clear cut goal to bring attention to basketball players of Indian descent by pulling off a cinderella win and carve a path for themselves. It is clear that they put in their full effort to try and realize those goals.

In the second half, Boeheim’s army was able to pull away but India Rising had made their message clear: Indian ballers should not be overlooked. The box score does not paint the real picture of how much heart, determination, and grit India Rising displayed to get more recognition. General manager Gautam Kapur and head coach Ajay Sharma have done an excellent job overseeing the initiative and giving the best Indian hoopers a chance to shine on a big stage. 

In a 64 team tournament, India Rising stood out and gave a near-professional squad a tough time. For what this team set out to achieve, no heads should be hung low. India Rising should be getting the recognition they so rightfully deserve.

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Warriors win Game 5 at home, now just one game away from the title

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) —The Golden State Warriors are just one win away from their fourth title in eight years. The Dubs returned home and overpowered the Boston Celtics 104-94 to take a 3-2 series lead, even though Stephen Curry only scored 16. Infact, Curry did not make a single three, a first in the last 3.5 years. Andrew Wiggins on the other hand matched Tatum while scoring a team-high 26 points and added 13 rebounds, including the dagger dunk to finish off Boston. 

Draymond Green saw glimpses of a turnaround game as he was very close to a triple double before fouling out for the 3rd time in this series. Klay Thompson made a great contribution on the offensive end with 21 points, on the third anniversary of his horrific injury in the finals against the Cavaliers in 2019 . The Warriors trio of Curry, Thompson and Green were able to cement themselves even further with their 20th Finals win together, the most of any trio over the past 30 years.

The Celtics saw franchise star Jayson Tatum have a better game scoring wise than the last game with a team-high 27 points. But while Tatum showed up for game 5, Jaylen Brown did not. When both of those players are on at the same time, the Celtics can light it up. However, there has been inconsistency from both throughout the Finals. The C’s will need both guys to be on for them to fend off the Dubs and force a Game 7.

The Warriors can close out the series and add a 7th ring to their collection with a win on Thursday in the hostile environment of TD Garden. A collective team effort would do the trick as in Game 4, Curry shouldered the load while the rest of his supporting cast did the same for him. The Celtics will look to put forth their best effort of the season in a final effort to keep their season alive. It could very well come down to if both Tatum and Brown can prove they can be a dynamic duo on the biggest stage.

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Warriors seal Game 4 victory with an epic Steph Curry performance, tie series 2-2

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BOSTON (Diya TV) — The Warriors, seal Game 4 victory with a vintage Stephen Curry performance, evened up the NBA Finals in an absolute thriller, winning 107-97.

The start of the game saw both teams match each other pound for pound with Boston ultimately taking the first quarter by a single point. There were notions before the game about Curry having a foot sprain, but he quickly laid those doubts to rest. He began to heat up in the first quarter (and talked some trash along the way). Conversely, Draymond Green continued his finals performance with more fouls than points. Robert Williams III showed off his skills as a rim protector on defense, which was a missing piece for the Celtics up until the point of Williams’ return. In the first half, Curry and Jayson Tatum battled against each other in classic star matchup fashion with Curry scoring 19 and Tatum going for 16. Tatum was money from beyond the arc (made 3 out of his 4 three-point attempts), just like he’s been all Finals as he’s been shooting 48% on 3’s.

The officiating in the first half was questionable, especially in the second quarter when Payton Pritchard clearly traveled and yet a foul was called instead. This set off Warriors HC Steve Kerr and his temper led to him getting a technical foul. For a non-call to be that egregious and then to double down by giving Kerr the technical foul is asinine and something that certainly sparked controversy. Attention was also brought to the Celtics free throw attempts versus the Warriors (15 and 5 respectively) even with both teams attacking the basket often. Despite this disparity, the Warriors were able to keep it within 5 at the end of the half.

More Curry magic continued in the second half with him carrying the team on his back, in essence. 43 points highlight the stat line but when watching the game, it was clear as day that he was really the only dependable source of scoring throughout the ballgame for the Dubs. With 7 threes made tonight, we saw the greatest shooter in league history go to work and will his team to victory. In the biggest stage of basketball, Curry made his mark once again.

The Celtics now face a daunting Game 5 heading to San Francisco. Winning both games on their home court would have all but sealed a championship for them. But now, the door has not only creaked, but swung wide open. The #1 defense in the NBA will gameplan to try and find answers for Curry. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown will be facing a challenging environment in Chase Center, but one they are familiar with. 

Meanwhile, the Warriors will look to capitalize off the momentum and adrenaline this win has given them. Off the heels of a classic performance, Curry will try to carry on his titanium-strong Finals MVP case. Draymond Green, coming back to friendly faces in San Francisco, will try to turn around an awful stretch. This series is shaping up to be a dramatic one with both teams trading blows. Game 5 should deliver more popcorn-worthy entertainment, especially if Stephen Curry is involved.

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