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Golden State Warriors await next challenge after 8-0 postseason start

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The Golden State Warriors are on another historic run, after Monday’s sweep of the Utah Jazz, the team has its first 8-0 playoff start in franchise history.

OAKLAND, Calif. (Diya TV) — The Golden State Warriors now sit just four wins away from the team’s third-straight trip to the NBA Finals — and very likely, a third consecutive meeting with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the league’s championship series.

From the outside looking in, it’s not hard to see why — the club possesses four All-Stars, including two MVPs.

Golden State eliminated the Utah Jazz on Monday night in a 4-0 series sweep, and are 8-0 in the postseason for the first time in franchise history. Coincidentally, the Cavaliers have also swept through their first two playoff series’ during this tournament.

But for the Warriors, the games mostly haven’t been very tight contests. Only the team’s Game 3 victory in the first round against the Portland Trail Blazers was decided by fewer than 11 points. And the Warriors not for one second in three of four games against the Jazz trailed in terms of scoring. The club’s trio of Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Kevin Durant have asserted their dominance, and the team’s defense on the court has been, in a word, stifling.

“We are mostly impressed with how we are playing our brand of basketball,” Green said. “We really imposed our will on the other team. That’s big. In the playoffs, you let a team get in a groove and it’s hard to win games like that.

“We have imposed our will all eight games. That’s important on the offensive and defensive end, and if you can do that, with the talent that we have, with the experience that we have, it will be tough to beat us.”

The Warriors await the winner between the series featuring a pair of Texas rivals, the San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets.

Golden State are averaging a playoff-high 115.3 points per game, ahead of the Cavaliers’ 114.5. The Warriors are conceding just 98.8 points in the postseason to lead all teams still alive and has a playoff-best 96.9 defensive rating.

Golden State’s offensive output has been delivered in spurts — one minute, Curry, in his vintage form, leads the way; the next, Durant or Green take a commanding control of the court. Klay Thompson has been in a bit of a slump, but still scored 21 points in the 121-95 victory Monday night.

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Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry celebrates with fans as he leaves the court after Game 4 of the NBA basketball second-round playoff series Monday. The Warriors won 121-95.

The Warriors have been without a familiar face on the bench since very early on in this playoff tournament — head coach Steve Kerr hasn’t appeared on the sidelines since Game 2 of the Portland series. He remains out after having a spinal cord leak procedure at Duke University on Friday, and there is no timetable for his return. He and interim head coach Mike Brown speak regularly, but that’s an obstacle to overcome.

Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder had nothing but glowing remarks to share about the sort of culture Kerr has created in the Golden State locker room.

“They demonstrate it in everything that they do,” Snyder said. “When a team kind of lives who they are, that is a unique group. They all believe in each other and they are willing to sacrifice for one another.

“Just the unselfishness that that group plays with and the care they have for one another on the court. They’ve got each other’s backs.”

The competition will get tougher, though. And there is, of course, LeBron James waiting to defend his crown in the NBA Finals.

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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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