Wednesday, 18 July, 2018

LeBron James, Kevin Durant look to their next contracts after NBA Finals

LeBron James, Kevin Durant look to their next contracts after NBA Finals LeBron James, Kevin Durant look to their next contracts after NBA Finals
Kristopher Love | 09 June, 2018, 10:56

Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors are closing the curtain on LeBron James' chances at a second ring with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

It was the Warriors third NBA title in four straight NBA Finals - all against Cleveland. His eighth straight appearance didn't go well either, and now there's uncertainty where the superstar will play next.

Steph Curry made it a very close fight, though, as the two-time season MVP also notched a Finals-record 9 triples in a 33-point performance in Game 2 and dropped a game-high 37 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, 3 blocks and 7 three-pointers in an eye-popping full line in Game 4. Durant made four of them in Game 3, and Curry and James have also done it in this series. He played through blurry vision, a twisted ankle and a busted hand suffered in the aftermath of Game 1, a self-inflicted injury that wasn't revealed until the series was over.

After surviving a rougher-than-usual regular season and beating top-seeded Houston in Game 7 on the road in the Western Conference finals, the Warriors withstood an overtime scare in Game 1 and joined an elite group of teams to win multiple championships in a four-year span. The team that took the court in the Finals - with Hill and Hood and Larry Nance Jr and Jordan Clarkson - was significantly different than the team that began the season.

A James slam dunk had Cleveland ahead 39-38 halfway through the second quarter, but Golden State responded to lead 61-52 at half-time and eased to victory from there. But if LeBron and his team can win a game and gain some momentum, they could make this series interesting for a return to Oakland this weekend.

Where will James - a once-in-a-generation player - find the kind of talent to match his own?

En route to the championship-clinching blowout, Golden State's two former league MVPs stood out in major ways.

That set up another reunion with James and the Cavs. Went 16-1 in the Playoffs. It's only happened six other times in National Basketball Association history - the last being when the Lakers won three titles in a row from 2000 to 2002.

Klay Thompson, who did not score in the first half, scored 10 points to lead Golden State to an 86-65 lead after three quarters. The Bay area team did it in convincing fashion, leading by as many as 21 points at the end of the third quarter, then toying with the Cavaliers the rest of the game, silencing the home crowd. For the entire postseason, James shot 34% on over five attempts per game.

"Hubie was injured when he bumped his knee on a table during pregame", ESPN said in a statement. The 84-year-old Brown was replaced on the radio broadcast by Jon Barry.