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Cavs, Warriors ready to chase in NBA’s sprint to the finish

LeBron James had a trophy in his hands and a smile on his face. That was Sunday at the All-Star Game, when James again rose above the NBA's best in winning a game and MVP honors. What he really wants is to be celebrating in the postseason, not midseason. The NBA's sprint to the finish begins Thursday with James riding high but starting again from back in the pack as Cleveland tries to catch Toronto and Boston in the Eastern Conference. "We just added four new guys before the break, and we have a lot of work to do," James said. "So I really don't like to think that too far ahead. But obviously winning championships is what it's all about. That's what this league is all a...Keep on reading: Cavs, Warriors ready to chase in NBA’s sprint to the finish.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: 2 hr. 41 min. ago Related News

LeBron James helps spark new All-Star Game era

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com LOS ANGELES -- Before tipoff at the 2018 All-Star Game, LeBron James took the courtside mic and thanked the fans and the city for showing out. Two hours later, when he accepted the Kia All-Star MVP trophy, he was barely audible, his throat too scratchy to explain what just happened. Well: To quote an ex-All-Star and noted philosopher Rasheed Wallace, both teams played hard. Those words were never used to describe recent All-Star Games, especially the last two, when defense (196 and 192 points for the winning teams) and the competitive spirit took an extended break, embarrassingly so. The league’s midseason showcase absorbed a rather well-deserved thrashing from fans and even players themselves. Nobody was fooled. Something had to change and someone had to volunteer to be the game-changer. And so, on Sunday (Monday, PHL time), the NBA season took on an 83rd game, as in a real game, thanks to commissioner Adam Silver’s willingness to fix what was broken and LeBron’s desire to set the tone for the most meaningful All-Star Game in years. The players gave the Staples Center crowd the usual acrobatic thrills associated with the game, naturally, but also some spills. As in, bodies on the floor. Every player who checked in did so with a strut and a mission to make a February game feel like June, or close enough, and not just during the close finish, either. Virtually from the start, when LeBron soared and swatted a cross-course pass just minutes into the game, this atmosphere had an edge. As Kevin Durant said: “We just wanted to change the narrative of the All-Star Game being a joke.” It was Team LeBron 148, Team Stephen 145 in the new format where sides were chosen regardless of conference and captains were assigned by fan vote. This created a new and fresh mix of players, intriguing tandems and raised overall interest for the game. It also helped that prize money, $100,000 to each winning player, was increased and lent a financial incentive. Yet it wouldn’t have mattered if layups went unchecked and jumpers were uncontested. Everything had to fall in line, and everyone had to cooperate. And that’s what led to this, a game decided by defense when it truly mattered, with LeBron and Durant swamping Stephen Curry beyond the three-point line on the final possession, keeping Curry and his team from getting a potential game-tying shot off as time expired. This is what the NBA needed, a more representative effort and result from the collection of the game’s finest players. It was a much cleaner look and it’s not a stretch to say the format and intensity rescued the All-Star Game from itself. “The hope is that, as we go forward, it gets even better than this,” said Kyrie Irving. “The game started to get away and we took it personally.” It’s hardly a surprise that LeBron was the force of change. His 29 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists in the win earned him his third Kia All-Star MVP trophy, yet those numbers didn’t accurately reflect how involved he was for four quarters. He lost his voice because of constant yelling and instructing and prodding his teammates to finish the job. He actually influenced both teams; his own by motivating them to play harder, and Team Stephen’s by issuing a challenge. Here’s the final sequence, dictated by LeBron: - His step-back three-pointer tied the score at 144; - He switched onto James Harden and forced the league’s scoring leader to badly miss a 3-pointer; - He put his team up for good on a driving layup on a give-and-go, thanks to a pair of timely passes from Irving and Russell Westbrook; - His double-team with Durant on Curry deep in the corner was the finishing touch. LeBron encouraged his team to apply a full-court press to end the first half -- has that ever been used in an NBA Game, let alone an All-Star Game? -- and simply took charge throughout. It was a personal mission to keep folks intrigued and interested. This was his game, his tempo, his personality taking over. “I believe I can make an impact and make a difference,” he said. At 33, and winning his first All-Star MVP in a decade, LeBron helped launch a standard that the game badly needed and, if this spirit holds true in the coming years, he’ll serve as the torch-bearer for a new age All-Star Game. Just one more productive layer to his lengthy legacy. “We all know how great a player he is,” said Team LeBron coach Dwane Casey. “I’m jealous of [Cavs coach Ty Lue] that he has someone like that. But tonight, he was on our team. He’s a joy to coach. He reiterates exactly what should be said, the right things. No BS. In the huddle, defensively, he got the guys jacked up and juiced as far as wanting to get a stop.” There was help; Durant was LeBron’s teammate for the first time in an NBA-sanctioned game and scored 19 points (the two were Olympic teammates in 2012). Irving rejoined LeBron after bolting from the Cavs last summer and they connected on the game-winning shot. Paul George was terrific defensively and chipped in 16 points. If not for Team LeBron winning, the MVP could have gone to DeMar DeRozan, who returned to his hometown and dropped 21 points (but threw an errant pass in the final seconds). Or maybe Damian Lillard, who matched DeRozan’s 21. Or Joel Embiid, a first-timer who supplied a big blocked shot right before LeBron’s layup. Therefore, an exhibition game that had grown stale and suffered from lapses and a lack of energy suddenly has a new beginning. East vs. West doesn’t exist anymore, and players purposely feeding a specific player so he can win MVP, and maybe no more matador defense, either, at least not for 48 minutes. It’s a small sample size, and the game must prove itself each year, but this is a push from LeBron and Silver into the right direction. The only possible tweak, perhaps next year, will be with televising the team selection. But that’s a nit-pick. This worked out well. “The format was great,” James said. “I think the fans did a great job of reacting to it in a positive way. It definitely worked out for everyone., not only for the players, not only for the league, but for the fans, everybody. It was a great weekend and we capped it off the right way.” Veteran NBA writer Shaun Powell has worked for newspapers and other publications for more than 25 years. You can e-mail him here or follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports7 hr. 41 min. ago Related News

Shorthanded Bolts stay alive, stun Gin Kings

BOCAUE, Bulacan — Fighting for survival, Meralco dug deep......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: NewsFeb 18th, 2018Related News

Familiarity helped Meralco’s Ballesteros in career game vs Ginebra

BOCAUE --- Familiarity was the key for Jason Ballesteros when Meralco met Barangay Ginebra at Philippine Arena. Facing former Gilas teammates and now-Ginebra big men Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar on Sunday, it was like old times once again for the former San Sebastian Stag as he outwitted his younger counterparts on his way to a career-best 17 rebounds with seven points to boot. "I was just lucky," Ballesteros said in Filipino. "In a way, I know how they play because we were teammates before at Gilas." But it was more than luck for Ballesteros as his tireless effort was crucial in the Bolts' 84-82 escape act over the Gin Kings, a victory that kept them in the hunt for a ...Keep on reading: Familiarity helped Meralco’s Ballesteros in career game vs Ginebra.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Feb 18th, 2018Related News

Thompson, Kings quickly set sights on ROS after crucial loss to Bolts

BOCAUE --- Scottie Thompson would have wanted Ginebra to have formalized its entry to the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals with a victory over Meralco at the cavernous Philippine Arena on Sunday. Instead, the Bolts claimed the rematch of last year's finals, 84-82, to stay alive in the playoff race and complicate matters for the Gin Kings. "We really needed this game. This would have assured us in the playoffs, but because of what happened, we need to work harder in our next game," he said in Filipino. The do-it-all guard gave his all as always, and his efforts were mirrored in the stat sheets with 17 points, 13 rebounds, and five assists. Despite his gaudy numbers, T...Keep on reading: Thompson, Kings quickly set sights on ROS after crucial loss to Bolts.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Feb 18th, 2018Related News

Bolts get back at Ginebra in the PH Arena to stay alive in the All-Filipino

BOCAUE, Bulacan --- Meralco and Ginebra delivered another classic at the Philippine Arena here. However, unlike Game 7 of the 2017 Governors' Cup Finals, it was the Bolts that took a crucial win Sunday, walking away with an 84-82 win to stay alive in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup. Jason Ballesteros played hero for Meralco, scoring the go-ahead putback in the final 36 seconds after Chris Newsome and Reynel Hugnatan failed to find the bottom of the net for the Bolts. He also secured a crucial rebound on the other end and drilled one of two free throws with 17 seconds to go to help Meralco pull through. Japeth Aguilar missed a game-winning triple for the Gin Kings to end the contest. "It's just great effort from the guys just knowing the circumstances that had we lost today, we're out of the tournament," head coach Norman Black said. "The guys just came out there and played to get the win," he added. Coming out of nowhere, Ballesteros played 31 minutes and finished with seven points and a career-high 17 rebounds for Meralco. Meanwhile, Garvo Lanete led the Bolts in scoring with 19 points and Anjo Caram dropped 16, also a career high. Hugnatan and Newsome drilled 12 points apiece for the Bolts who are now tied with TNT and Blackwater for 9th place with identical 4-6 records. As for Ginebra, the Gin Kings failed to punch their ticket to the playoffs and are currently stuck in 6th place with a 5-5 mark. Japeth Aguilar led the way for the barangay with 20 points while Scottie Thompson added 17 and 13 rebounds.   The Scores: MERALCO 84 — Lanete 19, Caram 16, Hugnatan 12, Newsome 12, Ballesteros 7, Salva 5, Amer 4, Bono 4, Canaleta 3, Faundo 2, Sedurifa 0, Tolomia 0. GINEBRA 82 — Aguilar 20, Thompson 17, Slaughter 12, Mercado 10, Caguioa 6, Cruz 5, Tenorio 5, Devance 4, Mariano 3, Ferrer 0, Manuel 0. Quarters: 15-20, 45-38, 67-64, 84-82.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 18th, 2018Related News

Bolts need this one

THE stake is always high every time Meralco and Barangay Ginebra collide at the Philippine Arena. The Bolts and the Gin Kings had their last three games of their 2017 Governors’ Cup best-of-7 finals showdown staged at the huge arena in Bocaue, Bulacan. The Gin Kings beat the Bolts in….....»»

Source: Journal JournalCategory: NewsFeb 17th, 2018Related News

2 Kings lead World past US 155-124 in Rising Stars game

LOS ANGELES — Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic got the NBA’s All-Star weekend off to a running start......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: SportsFeb 17th, 2018Related News

Sacramento youngsters lead World past US in NBA Rising Stars game

LOS ANGELES --- Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic got the All-Star weekend off to a running start in the World's latest victory over the NBA's young Americans. Hield scored 29 points with five 3-pointers, and his Sacramento Kings teammate won the MVP award with 26 points and seven 3-pointers in the World team's 155-124 victory over the U.S. team in the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday night. The annual showcase of the NBA's top rookies and second-year players again served as the opening to the three-day All-Star festivities, which are being held in Los Angeles for the record sixth time. But this show was headlined by two shooting stars from the upstate rivals of the homet...Keep on reading: Sacramento youngsters lead World past US in NBA Rising Stars game.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Feb 17th, 2018Related News

Rockets stave off Kings rally for 10th straight win

HOUSTON — James Harden had 28 points, nine rebounds and nine assists, and the Houston Rockets fought off a late rally to get their 10th straight win, 100-91,.....»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: NewsFeb 15th, 2018Related News

James scores 37 in Cavs win

LOS ANGELES -- LeBron James scored 17 of his 37 points in the third quarter as the new-look Cleveland Cavaliers outgunned the Oklahoma City Thunder 120-112 on Tuesday night. Cleveland held strong in the third quarter then took command in the fourth to post their second consecutive win since trading….....»»

Source: Journal JournalCategory: NewsFeb 14th, 2018Related News

James erupts for 37 points as Cavs silence Thunder

LeBron James scored 37 points, and the new-look Cleveland Cavaliers got a much different result this time against the Oklahoma City Thunder in a 120-112 victory......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: NewsFeb 14th, 2018Related News

LPU has just won six games in the last eight days

For the first time ever, Lyceum of the Philippines University is into the Finals of the Philippine Collegiate Champions League. Dropping NCAA Final Four team San Sebastian College-Recoletos on Monday, a rematch in the tournament Finals up against San Beda University now awaits them. And even before their heavyweight bout against the Golden Stags, it’s not like the Pirates have gotten it easy. In fact, it was the complete opposite as they had to play four games in four days, and six games in eight days, just to get to where they are. In the PCCL, the Intramuros-based squad had to go through CESAFI champion University of Visayas last Friday, Southern Luzon kings Naga College Foundation last Saturday, and then Ateneo last Sunday just to get to the semifinals. There, they were then pitted against Baste. LPU passed all of them with flying colors. Extending that to the PBA D-League, where they have tied up with Zark’s Burgers, they defeated Wangs-Colegio de San Juan de Letran a week ago and then beat Mila’s Lechon last Thursday. Yes, from Monday to Monday, the Pirates played six games and won each and every one of them. For head coach Topex Robinson, that’s just a testament to all the preparations they have done. “If you’re gonna ask me if (our players) are physically tired, I don’t think they are. Again, that’s (because) of the work we put in,” he said. That work, according to Robinson, all leads back to conditioning coach Gilbert Malabanan. As he put it, “Coach Gilbert has done a great job in making sure we’re in tiptop shape. Ito na yung games na aani ka sa in-invest mon a conditioning.” He then continued, “I guess we’re also blessed to have good character players na they take care of their selves.” --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 12th, 2018Related News

Rejuvenated Cavs

Released early last week, The Atlantic’s in-depth article on the dysfunction surrounding the Cavaliers is a compelling read. Because it relied on unnamed sources and because no on-record validation followed, however, the reader is left to speculate how much of it was truth, how much was based on facts, and how much was an embellishment […] The post Rejuvenated Cavs appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Source: Bworldonline BworldonlineCategory: NewsFeb 11th, 2018Related News

Gin Kings overwhelm TNT for back-to-back wins

Brgy. Ginebra's big 3 was in full effect Sunday against TNT. Behind their stars, the Gin Kings overwhelmed the KaTropa in the fourth quarter, rolling to a 93-78 win in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup at the Big Dome. LA Tenorio, Japeth Aguilar, and Greg Slaughter each scored at least 20 points as the barangay registered back-to-back wins to improve to 5-4 in the standings. "We said before the game that it was a huge game so now that we've won it, it's a huge win," head coach Tim Cone said. "It's the time in the conference that everyone's scrambling for wins, we're looking at the scores and checking out quotient. It's a verys tressful time for coaches, but our guys stepped up today. we were playing okay in the first half, and we do that, but we knew it wasn't gonna be enough to win the game so we elevated our play in the second half," he added. Down 65-67 with 10 minutes to go, Ginebra got right back on track after two triples from Kevin Ferrer gave the Gin Kings a 73-67 advantage with 8:22 left. It was all Ginebra from that point on as the Gin Kings slowly pulled away from TNT. Tenorio was the star of the show for Ginebra, finishing with 27 points on top of five rebounds and 11 assists. Meanwhile, Aguilar was good for 25 points while Slaughter added 20 points and 14 rebounds. For TNT, the KaTropa have now lost three straight to drop 4-5 in the standings, definitely a dangerous place for the flagship MVP franchise this late in the All-Filipino. Kelly Williams scored 17 points and grabbed 15 rebounds for TNT but it wasn't enough. Jayson Castro also scored 17 to go along with six steals while RR Pogoy finished with 16 points. The Scores: GINEBRA 93 — Tenorio 27, J. Aguilar 25, Slaughter 20, Thompson 9, Cruz 6, Ferrer 6, R. Aguilar 0, Caguioa 0, Caperal 0, Mercado 0, Taha 0. TNT 78 — Castro 17, Williams 17, Pogoy 16, Tautuaa 10, Garcia 8, Paredes 2, Reyes 2, Semerad 2, Tamsi 2, Torres 2, Carey 0, Golla 0. Quarters: 22-18, 44-42, 63-62, 93-78.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 11th, 2018Related News

Ginebra yet to unlock full All-Filipino potential says Greg Slaughter

After losing four of five games in the middle of the All-Filipino, Barangay Ginebra is back in business, winning back-to-back games to make its push for the playoffs. In particular, the big three of LA Tenorio, Greg Slaughter, and Japeth Aguilar are all playing well at the same time. Sunday during the demolition of TNT, all three stars scored at least 20 points, guiding the Gin Kings to an impressive 93-78 win. And while the Gin Kings are starting to roll, now with a 5-4 record, Slaughter, who dropped 20 points and 14 rebounds against the KaTropa, is confident that Ginebra is not near top condition yet. Scary for the rest of the league. "I don't think we're peaking yet. We still got two more tough games ahead of us. We'll just take it one at a time," Slaughter said. "It's a really nice win over TNT, an elite team, but I can still think of more that we could get better at," he added. Moving forward, Slaughter feels like Ginebra can still get more out of its bench. That and the big 3's continued strong play should unlock the Gin Kings full potential in the Philippine Cup. "It may show up in the stat sheet that we scored a lot of points but there's a lot of intangible plays made by our guys off the bench," Slaughter said. "Kevin had two really big threes. Mark had a lot of taps on loose balls. Scottie with the hustle and rebounds, it was just a team effort. Hopefully we could just gel more and get a little more production out of our bench as the season goes on," he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 11th, 2018Related News

Ginebra ‘Big 3’ delivers in TNT rout

Ginebra went to its top guns and downed TNT, 93-78, to grab a share of fifth place in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum. LA Tenorio, Japeth Aguilar, and Greg Slaughter formed a terrible trio for the Gin Kings as they frustrated the KaTropa and accounted for almost the entire team's production. Tenorio fired 27 points, 11 assists, and five rebounds, Aguilar had 25 markers, six boards, two dimes, two steals, and two blocks, and Slaughter got a double-double of 20 points, 14 rebounds with four assists, and two rejections. "LA was awesome all night long, Japeth was making brilliant passes to Greg and we love seeing those guys play together, passing to ...Keep on reading: Ginebra ‘Big 3’ delivers in TNT rout.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Feb 11th, 2018Related News

Blazers Lillard reaches half-century mark vs Kings

SACRAMENTO, USA – Damian Lillard scored 50 points in just 3 quarters of action as the Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Sacramento Kings 118-100 on Friday, February 9. The all-star point guard did not play at all in the final quarter after reaching 50 points late in the 3rd quarter. He scored ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsFeb 10th, 2018Related News

Lillard scores 50 in 3 quarters, Blazers beat Kings 118-100

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Damian Lillard scored 22 of his season-high 50 points in the third quarter, and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Sacramento Kings 118-100 on Friday night. Lillard scored at will, making 16 of 26 shots — including eight 3-pointers — and all 10 of his free-throw attempts. He reached the half-century mark by the end of the third period and sat the entire fourth. Lillard, who also had six assists, joined teammate CJ McCollum and Houston’s James Harden as the only players to score 50 points through three quarters this season. Maurice Harkless added 15 points, McCollum scored 13 and Ed Davis had five points and 14 rebounds for Portland, which made 15 3-pointers. The Blazers were coming off an overtime win in Charlotte on Thursday that snapped a three-game losing streak. Lillard, Portland’s lone All-Star this season, scored 15 points during a 17-0 run that closed out the third quarter and put the Blazers up 92-74. He made two 3s during the run and silenced the crowd when he drove the left side of the lane and flipped the ball in with his right hand. Sacramento made five consecutive 3s in the fourth quarter, four by Buddy Hield, and pulled within 107-94 with 4:45 left. Shabazz Napier made a 3-pointer for Portland to stop the Kings’ surge. Willie Cauley-Stein had 19 points and six rebounds, and Zach Randolph added 17 points and nine boards for Sacramento. Lillard had 14 points and made three of Portland’s six 3-pointers in the first quarter. Evan Turner hit an off-balance 11-footer to end the period and put the Blazers up 33-31. After Randolph’s layup over Nurkic pulled Sacramento within 49-47 in the second, Lillard scored nine consecutive points and then added a 17-foot step-back jumper with 1.7 seconds left to put Portland up 62-52 at halftime. TIP-INS Blazers: Lillard’s eight 3-pointers are one shy of his own franchise record, which he matched earlier this season against Houston on Dec. 9. ... Portland improved to 2-1 against the Kings this season. The teams split back-to-back games in November. Kings: Iman Shumpert, who was part of the trade that sent George Hill to Cleveland, arrived for the game but did not suit up. ... Skal Labissiere (left rotator cuff strain) expects to come back after the All-Star break. UP NEXT Blazers: Host Utah on Sunday. Kings: Visit Minnesota on Sunday......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 10th, 2018Related News

LeBron James approves of Cleveland Cavaliers roster revamp

LOS ANGELES, USA – LeBron James on Friday, February 10, welcomed the wave of new players brought into the Cleveland Cavaliers on deadline day as the team bids to reignite their season. The Cavs dominated the headlines on Thursday, February 9, with a sweeping restructure of their roster, bringing in four ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsFeb 10th, 2018Related News