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NBA Finals: Legacies at stake for both sides in Game 7

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Stephen Curry and LeBron James

Stephen Curry and LeBron James

OAKLAND, Calif. (Diya TV) — The 1,316th game of the NBA season will be played on Sunday when the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers meet once more for a decisive Game 7 matchup to decide this year’s champion. It will undoubtedly be the most nail-biting 48 minutes of basketball either team has played all season, and the stakes for each of them couldn’t be higher.

For Golden State, a win would cement the team — mathematically, at least — as the best ever in league history, and likely place them among the all-time greatest in NBA history; a Cavaliers win would deliver the city of Cleveland its first championship of any kind in 52 years.

However, one of the strongest narratives to run throughout much of the regular season and these playoffs is the distinction of who the best player in the league might be — two-time MVP Stephen Curry, or four-time MVP LeBron James. Both players’ legacies, and perhaps permanent bragging rights, are on the line Sunday.

James will seek to clinch his third NBA championship Sunday, the previous two were also clinched on the road. After the Cavaliers fired head coach David Blatt midseason, a win in Game 7 would surely hush the doubters who believed Blatt was the man for the job. Additionally, unlike the previous two titles, where James had the assistance of players such as Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, there would be no doubt in who led Cleveland’s championship charge.

James has already put a stamp on his reputation as a big-game player — his 41-point performances in Game 5 and Game 6 were enough to help the Cavaliers become the first team in league history to battle back from a 3-1 deficit during the NBA Finals.

History is not on James’ side — only on three occasions has the road team emerged victorious in a Game 7 during the Finals and no team has won a Game 7 on the road during the NBA Finals since 1978.

Should he lose Sunday, James’ record in the Finals would fall to 2-5 all-time, and it will be impossible not to wonder if his 13-year career is shaping up to be an underachievement.

Warriors forward Andre Iguodala guards LeBron James of the Cavaliers.

Warriors forward Andre Iguodala guards LeBron James of the Cavaliers.

For Golden State, a victory Sunday would certainly ensure that Stephen Curry goes down as the ringleader of one of the two greatest teams in NBA history, with only Michael Jordan’s 1996 Chicago Bulls matching.

Curry has already broken nearly every league shooting record, including, on Thursday, the number of three-pointers in an NBA Finals with 28, so his status as the greatest shooter of the modern era is solidified. In order for him to retain the title of “Greatest Clutch Shooter,” he’ll need one of those stellar 40-point performances.

A Game 7 loss would leave Curry and the Warriors as one-time champions, until proven otherwise — a huge disappointment after their record-breaking 73 wins.

Whatever happens on Sunday, one thing is certain: It’s going to be a history-making night.

Basketball

Deaths of Indian American family in Iowa ruled murder-suicide

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Iowa murder suicide

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (Diya TV) — Iowa police say the shooting deaths of an Indian American family in West Des Moines, Iowa was a murder-suicide. Police said autopsies determined 44-year-old Chandrasekhar Sunkara’s death was a suicide. And the deaths of his wife, 41-year-old Lavanya Sunkara, and their two boys, aged 15 and 10, were homicides.

Top diplomats from the U.S. and India are meeting later this month to continue trade negotiations.

India said this week they will increase tariffs on US exports effective immediately, impacting items like apples, almonds, lentils and several chemical products.

The tax has raised the ire of California Senator Dianne Feinstein, who blamed the situation on President Trump. California almond exports to India are worth more than $650 million a year.

21-year-old Bishwajeet Kumar Jha, who authorities say was the head of a group of Indian college students who cheated more than 20 people out of nearly $1 million in a tech support telemarketing fraud scheme, received a five year sentence to prison in Rhode Island.

And we’ll introduce you to the pioneering broadcasters who called the NBA Finals in Punjabi for the very first time.

Ravi Kapur & Alejandro Quintana contributed to this report.

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Indian American family of four killed at home in Iowa

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Iowa Family killed

DES MOINES (Diya TV) — Investigators in Des Moines, Iowa say the Sunkara family, an Indian American family of four, were found dead in their home over the weekend. All four had gunshot wounds. There is no suspect in custody.

The 5th International Day of Yoga (IDY) was celebrated around the world this weekend. Thousands flocked to the Washington Monument in Washington DC, where yoga enthusiasts of all ages took part in the event, including representatives from the White House, US Department of State and the Ambassadors of Nepal, Mauritius and Myanmar.

The alums of the Indian Institutes of Technology gathered in Silicon Valley for their annual conference, featuring talks by Microsoft Chairman John Thompson and Bhavish Aggarwal, the CEO of Ola Cabs.

India is now 7-0 against Pakistan in Cricket World Cup games, after winning by 89 runs in a match interrupted by rain.

And we spoke to Toronto Raptors Superfan Nav Bhatia after his team won their first NBA title. Nav told our Ravi Kapur exclusively he will part of the championship parade and even received a ring from the owner.

Ravi Kapur & Alejandro Quintana contributed to this report.

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Raptors win first ever NBA championship over the Golden State Warriors

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Toronto Raptors win 2019 NBA Finals

OAKLAND, Calif. (Diya TV) —  The first Canadian team ever to win the NBA Finals, the Toronto Raptors fought earnestly and took down the NBA’s newest dynasty: the Warriors. The Raptors faced many hurdles in the playoffs, trailing 1-0 against the Magic and 2-0 against the Bucks. They put all of that behind and surged towards a 3-1 start in the Finals, which became increasingly difficult for the Warriors to overcome as they were tackled with injuries.

Kawhi Leonard, the Finals MVP, joined an elite group of players which have won a Finals MVP on two different teams. Among these players are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and LeBron James, and now Leonard with a Finals MVP with San Antonio and Toronto.

Toronto was filled with star-power, with Fred VanVleet stepping up in the fourth quarter with three-pointers, and Pascal Siakam taking crucial layups in the paint. Kyle Lowry contributed throughout the series, whether rebounds, points, or simply aggression was needed. This lineup, together, took down NBA’s lastest dynasty.

The Warriors, however, put up a worthy fight, staying inches away from winning even with their best player Kevin Durant out and then the sudden loss of Klay Thompson in Game 6. Both teams fought with fervor and passion, with the Raptors inching closer to the Larry O’Brian Trophy as every second on the clock.

Looking Ahead

With the offseason looming, many questions are yet to be answered. Will this Raptors team maintain its core and stay together? If so, will they be able to storm into next season with skillful play? Most likely, yes. After what they have put together, the intention would be to establish themselves as the new NBA dynasty and completely overthrow the Warriors. Nick Nurse won his first championship in his first season coaching the Raptors. With the coach not likely to move, it seems as if the core will stay in place.

The Warriors’ offseason is uncertain, as this aging team has its contracts expiring. Kevin Durant is invariably out for next season after suffering a devastating achilles injury. Will he stay with the Warriors, or will he sign with another team? His injury may influence which team picks him up, as he will be out of commission for the upcoming season. Klay Thompson will become a free agent, but will he stick with the Warriors and his fellow Splash Brother Steph Curry, or lead another team? In addition, players like Andre Iguodala and Shawn Livingston are aging and may not be able to play as much. The Warriors will need to cultivate the young players, like Alfonzo McKinnie, to be successful.

This was the Warriors’ last game in Oracle Arena, as next season, they will be moving to Chase Center in San Francisco. Will they be able to make a championship run there, or will the Raptors emerge victorious again? It all remains unanswered, but for now, the Raptor roars.

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