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CONFETTI BENCHED
08-25-2018, 04:10 AM
Post: #1
CONFETTI BENCHED
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There were still a few seconds left on the clock when the Golden State Warriors stormed off their bench to begin a celebration that wasn’t guaranteed.

They couldn’t wait any longer.

They had reached their destination: dynasty.

Stephen Curry scored 37 points Alex Wood Los Angeles Dodgers Jersey , Kevin Durant added a triple-double and another NBA Finals MVP trophy and the Warriors won their second straight title and third in four years Friday night, 108-85 over the Cleveland Cavaliers to complete a sweep and perhaps drive LeBron James from his home again to chase championships.

Love `em or hate `em, there is no denying them.

”That’s how you know we’re a great team, is when everybody’s coming after us,” Durant said. ”Whether it’s opponents, whether it’s different coaches panning for us, whether it’s the fans, the media that hate us, it feels good when you’re the team that everybody’s gunning for. It makes us better.”

No team is better.

Golden State. Golden standard.

Overcoming obstacles all season long, the Warriors won their fourth straight finals matchup against James and Cleveland with ease.

”Looking at this playoff journey, we knew it wasn’t going to be as easy as last year,” Curry said. ”Then the challenges that faced us. In October we wanted to be back in this moment, and a lot went into it. It’s a great feeling to be back here.”

It was the first sweep in the NBA Finals since 2007, when James was dismissed by a powerful San Antonio team in his first one. His eighth straight appearance didn’t go well either, and now there’s uncertainty where the superstar will play next.

James, who said he ”pretty much played the last three games with a broken hand” after injuring himself in frustration following Game 1, finished with 23 points and spent the final minutes on the bench, contemplating what went wrong and maybe his next move.

Following the game, he sat quietly in his corner locker with a towel draped over his head. He arrived at his postgame news conference with a large black brace on his right hand and explained the injury was ”self-inflicted” following an overtime loss in Game 1, which included a reversed official’s call and teammate J.R. Smith dribbling out the clock to end regulation.

”I had emotions of you just don’t get an opportunity like this on the road versus Golden State to be able to get a Game 1, and I let the emotions get the best of me,” James said. ”Pretty much played the last three games with a broken hand Seahawks Sebastian Janikowski Jersey , so that’s what it is.”

Act IV between the Warriors and Cavs featured a drama-filled Game 1. But from there on, Durant, Curry, Thompson, Draymond Green and the rest of this California crew showed why they’re the game’s gold standard.

And they may stay that way.

Not wanting to give the Cavs or their fans any hope despite the fact that no team has ever overcome a 3-0 deficit in the NBA playoffs, the Warriors built a nine-point halftime lead when Curry ignored a closeout by James and dropped a 3-pointer.

Then the league’s best team tightened the screws on Cleveland in the third quarter, outscoring the Cavs 25-13 and prompting Golden State fans to begin those drawn-out ”War-eee-orrss” chants that provide a perfect musical accompaniment to their 3-point barrages.

By the start of the fourth, the only question was whether Curry would win his first NBA Finals MVP or if it would go to Durant for the second year in a row.

And again, it was Durant, who added 12 rebounds and 10 assists – more satisfaction and validation for a player who couldn’t beat the Warriors so he joined them.

After surviving a rougher-than-usual regular season and beating top-seeded Houston in Game 7 on the road in the West finals, the Warriors pushed aside James and joined an elite group of teams to win multiple championships in a four-year span.

Only Bill Russell’s Boston Celtics, the ”Showtime” Lakers and the Los Angeles squad led by Kobe and Shaq, and Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls have been as dominant in such a short period of time.

The Dub Dynasty.

The path to this title was more precarious than the first two for coach Steve Kerr and the Warriors, who overcame injuries, expectations, a built-to-dethrone-them Rockets team and the brilliance of James, who may have played his final game in Cleveland.

The 33-year-old, who came back to the Cavs and ended the city’s 52-year championship drought in 2016, is expected to opt out of his $35.6 million contract and become a free agent.

”I have no idea at this point,” he said when asked if he played his final game for the Cavs. ”The one thing that I’ve always done is considered, obviously, my family. So sitting down and considering everything Raiders Ryan Switzer Jersey , my family is a huge part of whatever I’ll decide to do in my career, and it will continue to be that.”

James averaged 34 points, 8.5 rebounds and 10 assists in the series, but as has been the case in the past, he didn’t have enough help.

Another Summer of LeBron is officially underway and there are already teams stretching from Philadelphia to Los Angeles hoping to land the three-time champion, who may have to go elsewhere to put together a cast strong enough – and as James made clear this week, smart enough – to bring down the Warriors.

Right now, Golden State is on another tier and with Durant expected to re-sign with them in weeks and Curry, Thompson, Green and the rest still young and hungry, their reign could last much longer.

”We’ve got a lot o When Detroit outfielder JaCoby Jones came to the plate in the seventh inning of a tie game Thursday afternoon, he was well aware he was struggling at the plate after striking out in his first two at-bats against the Twins.

He chose to focus on something else – the walk-off home run he hit against the Kansas City Royals nearly two months ago – and came through again.

Jones hit Lance Lynn’s 3-1 fastball over the wall for the final two runs in Detroit’s 3-1 win.

”I knew I had some success in big late-game situations earlier this year, so I tried to take something from that,” said Jones, who was hitting .135 in his last 10 games. ”I was just looking for a fastball I could drive.

”I’ve really been pressing, so I tried to be more relaxed – the way I was earlier in the year when I hit that homer against the Royals,” he said. ”That’s the type of thing that can get you right out of a slump.”

Detroit won the last two games of the series to improve to 23-17 at Comerica Park. The Tigers, who play their next eight games on the road, are 10-20 away from home.

”This is our place, and we have done a great job of playing here,” Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. ”Now we’ve got to take this momentum onto the road.”

Michael Fulmer (3-5) improved to 5-0 in five career starts against the Twins. He pitched seven innings, allowing one run on five hits and a walk with four strikeouts in ending a three-start winless streak.

”It’s about time Calvin Ridley Jersey ,” said Fulmer, who won for the first time this year at home. ”Everything felt great out there. Even when they got a run in the first, it was off good pitches that were where I wanted them.”

Joe Jimenez pitched the eighth and Shane Greene threw the ninth for his 17th save.

Lynn (4-5) took a shutout into the seventh but ended up allowing three runs on five hits and a walk. He struck out nine in 6 2/3 innings.

”I wanted to pitch the seventh,” Lynn said. ”When all is said and done, it is a loss. I need to be better next time.”

The Twins took a first-inning lead for the second day in a row. With one out, Eddie Rosario doubled and scored on Eduardo Escobar’s base hit.

After that, the game belonged to Fulmer and Lynn. After six innings, the Twins still led 1-0 with four hits to Detroit’s three.

John Hicks, though, led off the bottom of the seventh with his first career triple, a line drive to the right-centerfield gap.

”That’s a good place to get a triple, and when I got to second base, I looked out there and they still hadn’t picked up the ball,” Hicks said. ”I figured I should be able to make it to third at that point.”

Niko Goodrum followed with a sacrifice fly to tie the game. With two out, Lynn hit Jose Iglesias, and Jones hit Lynn’s 114th and final pitch over the wall.

”There were a lot of big smiles after that home run,” Gardenhire said. ”It was good to see JaCoby get one.”

The homer was the first Lynn had allowed in his last six starts.

”I have to get us out of that inning,” he said. ”I didn’t do that, and it cost us the win.”

Detroit’s three-run seventh came one day after the Tigers scored four in the eighth inning of a 5-2 win.

”It is fun to watch these guys play right now in the late innings,” Fulmer said. ”As a starting pitcher, I’d appreciate a few more first-inning runs, but this is great.”

SANO DEMOTED

After the game http://www.bengalsauthorizedshops.com/au...ice-jersey , Twins manager Paul Molitor announced Miguel Sano had been optioned to Fort Myers of the Class-A Florida State League. Sano, an All Star in 2017, is hitting .203, including .148 in his last seven games. He last played in the FSL in 2013.

”We’re going to get him down there and give him an opportunity to get things back on track,” Molitor said. ”We don’t feel like we’re getting what we need from him, and he’s going to have to get down there and get to work.”

CASTELLANOS STRUGGLING

With Miguel Cabrera out for the season, Nicholas Castellanos is expected to become Detroit’s key hitter. Castellanos is hitting .133 in his last 10 games and is hitless in his last 18 at-bats, but Gardenhire doesn’t plan to interfere.

”I try not to have many deep conversations with that young man because most of what he says goes over my head,” Gardenhire joked. ”Every time we get talking, I leave with my head spinning.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Twins: 1B Joe Mauer, who has been out since May 19 with a neck strain and concussion symptoms, is expected to return to the lineup on Friday. . Along with the Sano move, the Twins optioned OF Jake Cave to Triple-A Rochester.

Tigers: Cabrera was scheduled to have his ruptured bicep tendon repaired Thursday. The team expects him to be ready for spring training. … C James McCann returned to the lineup after missing three games with the flu.

UP NEXT

Twins: Travel to Cleveland for a three-game weekend series. Kyle Gibson (1-4, 3.45) faces Cleveland’s Corey Kluber (10-2, 1.99) in Friday’s opener.

Tigers: Start a three-city, eight-game road trip with a weekend series against the White Sox. Mike Fiers (5-3, 4.01) will start for Detroit on Friday against Chicago’s Reynaldo Lopez (2-4, 3.26).



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