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James could be a free

 
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MessagePosté le: Lun 13 Aoû - 02:33 (2018)    Sujet du message: James could be a free Répondre en citant

You can’t say the Dallas Mavericks aren’t trying.

Despite a clear path to a high lottery selection Quenton Nelson Youth Jersey , Dallas took the Detroit Pistons to overtime on Friday in a 113-106 loss.

As of Friday, the Mavericks sported the fourth-worst record in the NBA, a game worse than the Atlanta Hawks and a half-game better than the Orlando Magic.

But it will take a whole lot more than trying for the Mavericks to have any chance on Sunday against the NBA’s hottest team when Dallas heads to the Wells Fargo Center to take on the Philadelphia 76ers.

The 76ers are in full-on scorched-earth mode, winners of 13 straight. That includes arguably their finest victory of the season, a 132-130 defeat of the Cleveland Cavaliers. LeBron James posted his career-high 18th triple-double of the season with 44 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists.

The win put Philadelphia a half-game ahead of Cleveland in the race for the Eastern Conference third seed.

As if attempting to out-do the league’s best player, 76ers rookie Ben Simmons continued his tear with 27 points, 13 assists, 15 rebounds and four steals. J.J. Redick added 28 points.

With Joel Embiid out with a left orbital bone fracture, Simmons has blossomed. In five games since Embiid was injured in a March 28 matchup with the New York Knicks, Simmons has averaged 18.2 points Christian Kirk Youth Jersey , with 53 rebounds and 52 assists.

“This was big, beating a team like that without an All-Star,” Simmons told reporters after the win over Cleveland. “I think everyone is coming together as a team. We are playing well.”

Dallas enters the game on a two-game losing streak and losers of five of six as its offense has only slightly improved from a brutal three-game stretch. After scoring 93, 92 and 87 points in three straight losses, the Mavericks have put up 115 (in a 115-109 win over Portland), 100 and 106 points in their last three games. For the season, Dallas is averaging 102.4 points.

Like the 76ers, Dallas also is missing some key players. Dirk Nowitzki (ankle) and J.J. Barea were both shut down for the season, and the Mavericks have turned to obscure young players like small forward Dorian Finney-Smith.

Undrafted last year, Finney Smith signed with the Mavs and played in 81 games last season, but he has been hurt for most of this year. Also seeing action is two-way rookie Johnathan Motley Jessie Bates III Youth Jersey , who went undrafted this year and has flipped between Dallas and the G-League Texas Legends.

Motley showed some moxie in the overtime loss to Detroit, leading both teams in scoring with a career-high 26 points — two days after scoring a then career-high 14 points in 41 minutes.

“Look, that’s (what) we’re looking at these guys for,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. “We know what the guys who have gotten heavy minutes can do. We need to explore situations and see what the (other guys) can do. Opportunities don’t get much better than this if you’re a G-League player or a prospect that’s looking for an NBA shot.”

Dallas concludes its 2017-18 campaign on Tuesday against the Phoenix Suns in a battle of two of the NBA’s worst teams.

Philadelphia heads to Atlanta on Tuesday before returning home on Wednesday to close out its regular season against the Milwaukee Bucks.

CLEVELAND — The Golden State Warriors have been in this precise position before, and they suffered a hiccup before they tasted champagne.

Golden State is the only team in NBA history to lead consecutive Finals 3-0. Both times it was against the Cleveland Cavaliers, including the 2018 Finals that could end with a Warriors win in Game 4 on Friday.

Last season, with a chance to clinch its second title in three years on Cleveland’s home court, the Cavs banged 24 3s and forced a Game 5.

“It’s different, man. I keep telling people,” Golden State’s Kevin Durant said. “It’s just a different vibe because we’ve been through a season with each other already as champions, going through a whole season. So we know exactly what we need to do in order for us to win.

“We wanted to do that Cheap P.J. Hall Jersey , focus on that as much as possible. The emotions and all that stuff doesn’t really matter. We just try to play a solid, focused game, and we’ll figure out how to feel afterward.”

The Warriors are searching for their third title in four years — all against Cleveland — and their sixth title overall, which would tie them for third all time.

Durant, solid through the first two Finals games, jockeyed into pole position to win Finals MVP for the second consecutive season in Game 3 with his playoff-career-high 43 points in the Warriors’ 110-102 win.

Durant is averaging 31.7 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 6.7 assists in the Finals. His numbers are a little behind those of LeBron James (37.7 points, 9.0 rebounds, 10.7 assists) in this series, but Durant has the better team.

Stephen Curry set an NBA record with nine 3s in Game 2 and then shot 1 of 10 from 3 in Game 3. And the Warriors still had enough to beat the Cavs for the 10th time in the last 11 games Kolton Miller Raiders Jersey , counting the regular season.

“We’ve had an opportunity to win two of these games in this three-game series so far, and we haven’t come up with it,” James said. “Obviously, from a talent perspective, if you’re looking at Golden State from their top five best players to our top five players, you would say they’re stacked better than us.

“We have a lot of talent as well. We’ve been in a position where we could win two out of these three games. So what do we have to do?”

No team has ever come back from an 0-3 deficit in the NBA playoffs (0-131). But the Cavs are nonetheless a tough out. They’re 7-2 in elimination games since 2015 and have successfully faced down elimination three times already this season.

Kevin Love has registered at least 20 points and 10 boards in all three games so far, giving James at least one layer of support against the vaunted Warriors.

“We’ve given ourselves a chance,” Love said. “I know that we’ll come out in Game 4 and really compete. We’re not going to give in.”

The Cavs blew a 13-point lead in Game 3, and their disastrous final 36 seconds in regulation of Game 1 took away a win. This series could look a lot differently than it does right now, and the Warriors say they think the Cavs aren’t quite finished just yet.

“Just understand the details defensively of what we need to do against a team like Cleveland, with the threats that they have Minkah Fitzpatrick Youth Jersey ,” Curry said. “Understanding that Game 4 is going to be the toughest game that we’ve played in the series, to close it out. We’re going to need energy, effort, focus from every guy that steps foot on the floor for 48 minutes.”

James could be a free agent at season’s end. If he leaves Cleveland for a second time, the Cavs’ run of four straight Finals would almost certainly end. They could seek to trade Love and rebuild if that domino falls.

“These four years have been great,” Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. “It’s not over. It’s not over. But, I mean, I wouldn’t trade it in for anything in the world.”

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