Scores, results, news, LeBron James attends Cleveland v Boston, Boston Celtics def Cleveland Cavaliers, Oklahoma City Thunder beat Dallas Mavericks, Josh Giddey, latest, updates

8 Min Read

The Boston Celtics fought off a spirited challenge from short-handed Cleveland Monday, beating the Cavaliers 109-102 to take a commanding 3-1 lead in their NBA Eastern Conference semi-final series as Oklahoma City leveled their series with Dallas in a wild finish.

Jayson Tatum scored 33 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and Jaylen Brown added 27 points for the Celtics, who will try to finish off the best-of-seven series at home on Thursday (AEST).

Get on Board the NBA Finals | Every game of the NBA Finals LIVE on ESPN, available via Kayo. New to Kayo? Start Your Free Trial Today >

The Cavaliers were dealt a heavy blow when Donovan Mitchell, who had averaged more than 35 points over the six prior games, was ruled out with a calf injury, joining starting centre Jarrett Allen on the sidelines.

NBA superstar LeBron James, who led the Cavs to their only NBA title back in 2016, was sitting courtside with his agent Rich Paul, but with Mitchell absent the Cavs ultimately didn’t have enough firepower.

James’ attendance was somewhat notable given he can opt out his contract with the Los Angeles Lakers and become a free agent in the summer.

The superstar was initially drafted by the Cavs and spent seven seasons there before a move to Miami in 2010.

But James returned in 2014 and led Cleveland to its first NBA championship in 2016.

The Cavs kept the pressure on, taking the lead briefly on Darius Garland’s driving basket early in the third quarter — their first lead since the first quarter.

But the Celtics quickly reasserted themselves and led by 10 going into the final period.

Cleveland, on the back of 30 points from Garland, pulled within five points three times in the final four minutes, but Brown, fed by Tatum, connected on a three-pointer with 1:09 to play that effectively sealed it.

Tatum starred for Boston. (Photo by Nick Cammett / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)Source: AFP


‘Usually don’t get drafted’: Bronny James’ surprise reveal turns heads

NBA Rumour Mill: All-Star set to be shopped around amid trade link; contender’s brutal $313m call

‘Finished throwing up’: Knicks roasted over ‘massacre’; epic half-court shot as Nuggets explode

“It’s a game of runs,” Tatum said after the Celtics struggled to put the depleted Cavaliers away.

“It’s not going to be perfect every single time. They’re going to make shots, but it’s our job to figure it out.”

The Celtics, winners of a league-best 64 regular-season games, used a 12-0 scoring run to take charge in the first quarter, Tatum scoring 16 points in the period.

Boston led by as many as 13 in the second quarter but Tatum cooled off and Cleveland, buoyed by 11 of their 15 three-pointers in the first half, battled back, twice cutting the deficit to one point before going into the break down by five.

The Celtics caught a break early in the second quarter, when Brown was called for only a common foul, rather than a flagrant, after he fell backwards into Max Strus and grabbed Strus’s ankle as the Cavs player — himself struggling to stay upright — stepped over his head.

Cleveland coach J.B. Bickerstaff was more concerned at the fact that Boston went to the free-throw line 24 times compared to Cleveland’s seven.

“I’ll be honest with you, I was disappointed with the way the whistle blew tonight,” he said.

“I thought our guys deserved much better, the way that they were competing, they were attacking the paint, they were getting after it.

“We’re not asking for anything more, but we’re asking for equal and I don’t think we got an equal opportunity at it tonight from that standpoint.”

Tristan Thompson of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Luke Kornet of the Boston Celtics. Photo by Nick Cammett / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFPSource: AFP


Western Conference top seeds Oklahoma City head home tied 2-2 with the Mavericks after a furious fourth-quarter rally carried them to a 100-96 victory in Dallas.

Oklahoma City trailed most of the night in the face of a stout Dallas defensive effort that included a franchise playoff-record 13 blocked shots.

But the Thunder broke through in the fourth quarter, tying it at 86-86 on Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s fadeaway jump shot with 4:02 to play.

Rookie Chet Holmgren followed with a three-pointer that gave the Thunder the lead for good.

Dallas had the deficit down to one point with 10.1 seconds left, after Luka Doncic made one of two free throws – reflecting Dallas’ miserable 12 of 23 from the line, including six-of-11 in the final term.

But Holmgren and Gilgeous-Alexander each made a pair of free throws and the Thunder closed it out.

“We just stuck to it,” said Gilgeous-Alexander, who scored 22 of his 34 points in the second half.

“We just plugged away, took it possession by possession and eventually the game turned for us.”

Luka Doncic and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had a heated battle.Source: Getty Images

Holmgren finished with 18 points and Luguentz Dort had 17 for the Thunder, who made 23 of their 24 free-throws and withstood a triple double of 18 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists from Dallas star Luka Doncic.

P.J. Washington led Dallas with 21 points but star guard Kyrie Irving was held to nine.

Doncic said it wasn’t a defensive breakdown that cost the Mavs but too many mistakes in the “little details.”

He called it “unacceptable” that Dallas made just 12 of their 23 free-throws, and the Mavericks also coughed up 14 turnovers leading to 19 Thunder points.

Australia’s Josh Giddey was again stuck on the bench for most of the game, playing just 12 minutes and managing five points on 2-of-8 shooting to go with two assists, a steal and a block. He copped a brutal rejection from Derrick Jones Jr in the first half and missed a wild half-court buzzer beater in another tough night.

But his playoff struggles were downplayed by coach Mark Daigneault, who said: “Josh was a positive tonight in the game. We won the minutes he was on the court tonight.”

Source link

Find Us on Socials

Share this Article
Leave a comment