NBA: Cavaliers weigh moving Shumpert into starting lineup

UNTV News   •   June 6, 2017   •   3530

Jun 4, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving (2) shoots against Golden State Warriors forward David West (3) during the second half in game two of the 2017 NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada

(The Sports Xchange) – The Cleveland Cavaliers, down 2-0 after blowout losses to the Golden State Warriors, may switch up their starting lineup for Game 3 of the NBA Finals.

Cavs coach Tyronn Lue is considering starting Iman Shumpert in place of JR Smith in the backcourt for Wednesday’s game in Cleveland, according to ESPN.

Shumpert experienced cramping in the second half of the Cavs’ 132-113 Game 2 loss on Sunday night and required intravenous fluids after the game, a team source told ESPN.

Shumpert finished with six points, four rebounds and three steals in 22 minutes off the bench, shooting only 1 of 6 from the field.

But the Cavs may go with Shumpert in the starting lineup because of his defense in trying to slow down Warriors stars Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant.

On Sunday, Curry and Durant teamed up to get the Warriors within two victories of another championship.

Curry recorded his first career postseason triple-double with 32 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds, while Durant — seeking his first ring — had 33 points, 13 rebounds, six assists and five blocks.

Smith has been a non-factor in the two losses with just three points on 1-of-4 shooting in 28 minutes in Game 1 and had zero points in Game 2 on 0-of-2 shooting and four fouls in 14 minutes.

Lue said the Cavaliers must improve their defense to have a chance in Game 3.

“Having awareness, can’t relax, can’t fall asleep,” Lue said after Sunday’s loss. “This team, their offense is constant movement, so you got to be locked in.

“You can’t take a peek somewhere else and lose your man. So they make you pay. And they have a lot of guys who are great passers, so you got to be alert at all times.”

(Editing by Larry Fine)

Irving fuels Celtics’ triumph over Thunder

UNTV News   •   February 4, 2019

Feb 3, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) drives to the basket while Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) defends during the second half at TD Garden. (Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

Kyrie Irving racked up 30 points and 11 assists to lead the Boston Celtics to a 134-129 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder at home on Sunday.

The win was the fourth consecutive and the ninth in the last 10 for the Celtics. The Thunder’s seven-game winning streak was snapped.

Paul George led the Thunder with 37 points but was just 5 of 16 from behind the 3-point line.

Irving hit a critical floater with 23 seconds remaining with the Celtics clinging to a two-point lead. He drove past Terrance Ferguson, and let go of the floater over the outstretched arms of Thunder 7-footer Steven Adams. Russell Westbrook, coming over to help, got his finger on the shot, but it fell through the basket to extend Boston’s lead.

Westbrook had a monster game once again — 22 points, 16 assists and 12 rebounds — but his critical turnover with 8.1 seconds left and Oklahoma City down by two helped Boston escape with the win.

The Thunder got a 3-pointer from Jerami Grant right after Irving’s floater, then got the ball back after Jayson Tatum missed the second of two free throws to keep Oklahoma City’s hopes alive.

But Westbrook lost the ball charging toward the basket, and Tatum made both free throws at the other end.

Westbrook had his sixth consecutive triple-double and his 19th this season. Westbrook now has three streaks of six or more consecutive triple-doubles in his career.

Marcus Smart hit big shot after big shot to lift the Celtics to the lead for the final time.

With just less than seven minutes remaining in the third, Oklahoma City took the lead before Boston roared back. Smart hit a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession to ignite a 14-0 run that lasted more than three minutes. It was one of three 3-pointers Smart hit during the stretch.

Irving was 14 of 19 from the field in the win. Eight players scored in double figures for Boston

Boston was without center Aron Baynes, who missed the game with a left foot contusion. Baynes, who missed 13 games earlier this season with a broken hand, will miss “a few weeks,” he told reporters before the game.

—Field Level Media

Harden drills OT winner as Rockets nip Warriors

UNTV News   •   January 5, 2019

FILE PHOTO: Feb 10, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) points to the sky against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center. (Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports)

James Harden capped his second consecutive triple-double by sinking a 25-foot 3-pointer with one second remaining in overtime Thursday night, giving the Houston Rockets a 135-134 victory over the Golden State Warriors in Oakland, Calif.

After Stephen Curry put Golden State up by two with an 18-footer with 23.1 seconds to go, the Rockets got possession after a kicked-ball violation on the Warriors with 5.5 seconds left.

The ball was inbounded to Harden, who was able to get off — and make — a heavily contested 3-pointer to provide the game-winning points and cap a game-high, 44-point night.

Kevin Durant’s desperation 40-footer caromed off the rim at the buzzer, allowing the Rockets to win their sixth straight and 11th in their past 12.

In scoring 40 or more points for the fifth consecutive game, Harden also found time for 10 rebounds and a game-high 15 assists for his fifth triple-double of the season. He turned the ball over seven times.

Curry led the Warriors with 35 points.

The Rockets forced the extra session by scoring the last six points of the fourth quarter on a three-point play by Clint Capela with 1:03 to go and a 3-pointer by Harden with 51.4 seconds left.

After Durant misfired for Golden State, Harden had the last shot of regulation but couldn’t connect from 32 feet, sending the game into overtime tied at 119-all.

Thirty of Harden’s points came on 10 3-pointers as the Rockets went 21-for-54 from beyond the arc and outscored Golden State 63-42 on threes.

Capela recorded a 29-point, 21-point double-double for Houston, which beat Golden State for the second time this season after falling to the eventual champion Warriors in seven games in last year’s Western Conference finals.

Austin Rivers added 18 points, Danuel House Jr. 17 and Gerald Green 16 as the Rockets rallied from as much as a 20-point, third-quarter deficit.

Curry managed his 35 points despite just 5-for-15 shooting from 3-point range. The Warriors were 14-for-37 from long distance as a team.

Durant and Klay Thompson finished with 26 points apiece for the Warriors, while Draymond Green flirted with a triple-double of his own with nine points, 11 rebounds and eight assists.

The loss was Golden State’s third straight at home.

—Field Level Media

Jefferson retires from NBA, pays tribute to father

UNTV News   •   October 15, 2018

FILE PHOTO: Jan 10, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward Richard Jefferson (24) dunks against the Philadelphia 76ers during the second quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters Picture Supplied by Action Images

 

Richard Jefferson, who played 17 years in the NBA, has officially retired. Planning to pursue a career in broadcast journalism, the small forward announced Saturday on Instagram that he has made the decision to “move on from basketball.” He also offered a tribute to his late father.

According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Richard Jefferson Sr., 65, was killed in a drive-by shooting on Sept. 19 in Compton, Calif. He was known as “Big Rich.”

The 38-year-old Jefferson, a member of the world champion Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016, played 20 games with the Denver Nuggets last season, averaging just 1.5 points in 8.2 points per game. He previously played for the then-New Jersey Nets, Milwaukee Bucks, San Antonio Spurs, Golden State Warriors, Utah Jazz and Dallas Mavericks. He averaged 12.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 1,181 career games, 809 of them as a starter.

On the Instagram post, he wrote: “In the last month I’ve dealt with two life changing events back to back. My decision to move on from basketball and the tragic passing of Big Rich. The support of my family and friends have been huge.”

The post included a video clip showing Big Rich at a barbecue he hosted for about 20 people, and Jefferson added, “He really was a true OG. I’m going to miss all his one-liners, his cooking and his ability to make a whole room laugh.”

Jefferson played at the University of Arizona from 1998-2001, and was the 13th overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft by the Houston Rockets.

—Field Level Media

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