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NBA-National Basketball Association roundup
(Fri, 29 May 2015 16:18:30 PDT)
Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson, who had taken a knee to the head in Wednesday night's series-clinching win over the Houston Rockets, was diagnosed with a concussion after seeing a neurologist Friday. The team said Thompson has been ruled out indefinitely. Thompson threw up and experienced other "concussion-like symptoms" late Wednesday night after he was unintentionally kneed in the head by Rockets forward Trevor Ariza in the fourth quarter of Game Five, his father, Mychal Thompson, told ESPN.

Dwight Howard suspended for 1 game after foul upgraded (The Associated Press)
(Fri, 29 May 2015 15:37:08 PDT)
Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard was suspended without pay for one game Friday after getting his fourth flagrant foul point in the postseason. The foul in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals was ruled a common foul during the game, but was upgraded to a flagrant foul 1 after a review about the league office. ''That means I have to play 81 games hard, not 82,'' Howard said.

Warriors' Klay Thompson diagnosed with concussion, no timetable for return (Ball Don't Lie)
(Fri, 29 May 2015 14:42:04 PDT)


Warriors guard Klay Thompson diagnosed with concussion (The Associated Press)
(Fri, 29 May 2015 14:26:23 PDT)
The initial hit caused Klay Thompson plenty of pain. The final diagnosis delivered another blow to him and the Golden State Warriors as they prepare for the NBA Finals. Two days after he got kneed in the head by Houston's Trevor Ariza, the Warriors said Friday that Thompson has a concussion and will not return to practice until he is symptom free.

Warriors guard Thompson diagnosed with concussion
(Fri, 29 May 2015 13:53:07 PDT)
Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson has been diagnosed with a concussion, the NBA team announced Friday, and will not play again until he completes the league's concussion protocol. Golden State produced the best record in the NBA this season at 67-15. The Warriors are back in the NBA Finals for the first time since 1975, when they beat Washington for the title.

Howard hit with one-game ban to open next season
(Fri, 29 May 2015 10:11:10 PDT)
Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard was suspended for one game by the NBA on Friday for accumulated flagrant fouls in the playoffs, but he won't serve the ban until next season. A review by the league office upgraded a foul he committed on Golden State guard Andre Iguodala in a loss Wednesday from a common foul to a flagrant foul, the move involving unnecessary contact with his forearm to the neck of his rival with 3:35 to play in the fourth quarter of a 104-90 defeat that ousted the Rockets from the NBA playoffs. The victory gave the Warriors a four games to one triumph in the best-of-seven Western Conference final and sent Golden State into the NBA Finals against Cleveland that open Thursday at Oakland, California.

Dwight Howard gets 1-game suspension after Game 5 flagrant upgraded (Ball Don't Lie)
(Fri, 29 May 2015 09:34:33 PDT)
Dwight Howard's 2014-15 season ended on Wednesday night. As he learned Friday, though, being done playing doesn't mean you can't still get suspended. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball] A league review of the offensive foul Howard committed on forward Andre Iguodala late in the fourth quarter of the Golden State Warriors' Western Conference finals-ending victory over the Houston Rockets in Wednesday's Game 5 — ruled a common foul on the floor — should have been called a flagrant-1. A retroactive upgrade of the foul means increases the number of "flagrant points" that Howard accrued during the postseason from three to four — you get one point for a flagrant-1 and two for a flagrant-2, and Howard had already committed a pair of flagrant-1s in the postseason. League rules stipulate that when you pass three flagrant points in the postseason, you've got to sit out your next game ... even if your next game doesn't come until next season. Here's Howard's forearms-up screen on Iguodala, the play in question: And here's the announcement of the upgraded penalty, from NBA President of Basketball Operations Rod Thorn: The incident, which was upgraded from a common foul to a Flagrant Foul 1 upon league office review, occurred when Howard made unnecessary contact with his forearm to the neck area of Golden State Warriors guard Andre Iguodala with 3:35 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Warriors’ 104-90 win over the Rockets on May 27 at Oracle Arena. Howard will serve his suspension in the first game of the 2015-16 NBA regular season for which he is eligible and physically able to play. This constitutes something of a makeup call from Thorn and the league office, who elected not to upgrade the flagrant-1 that Howard received for striking Warriors center Andrew Bogut in the face during Houston's Game 4 win : The decision to let that foul stand as called on the floor seemed curious on its merits; Thorn offered Howard the benefit of the doubt as to whether he maliciously intended to hit Bogut, which A) is the kind of thing you can't really know and B) doesn't render Bogut's chops unsocked. But it did allow Howard to suit up for a closeout game, avoiding any outcry from Rockets fans that the league tipped the scales against the continuation of their comeback by removing one of their two best players from the lineup. Howard led the Rockets with 18 points, 16 rebounds, four blocks, two steals and one assist in 42 minutes of work in Game 5. But with James Harden suffering through an unbelievable, historically miserable night , that wasn't enough to once again stave off elimination. In the final analysis, then, the Rockets got beat without any missing-superstar caveat, and justice eventually got served. Thorn also announced that the league rescinded the technical fouls that Howard and Bogut received in the second quarter of Game 5, which at one point looked like they would result in a one-game suspension for Dwight . That doesn't mean much for Howard at this point, but it clears Bogut's postseason rap sheet — no T's, no flagrants — as he gets set to protect the paint against LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and the Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2015 NBA Finals. - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more.

Why Bulls management could never accept Tom Thibodeau's success (Yahoo Sports)
(Thu, 28 May 2015 22:38:15 PDT)
The Bulls tried to humiliate Tom Thibodeau after firing him. In doing so, they shed more light on the franchise's screwed-up culture.

Warriors' Thompson better after blow to head: father
(Thu, 28 May 2015 19:40:31 PDT)
(Reuters) - Golden State guard Klay Thompson was recovering well from a blow to the head that caused headaches and vomiting and should be ready for the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, his father has said. Thompson suffered concussion-like symptoms after he received a knee in the head during Golden State's Western Conference-clinching victory over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday.

NBA-Warriors' Thompson better after blow to head - father
(Thu, 28 May 2015 19:33:13 PDT)
Golden State guard Klay Thompson was recovering well from a blow to the head that caused headaches and vomiting and should be ready for the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, his father has said. Thompson suffered concussion-like symptoms after he received a knee in the head during Golden State's Western Conference-clinching victory over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday.

Thompson's father says son 'on track' to return for finals (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 28 May 2015 18:05:59 PDT)
Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson is feeling better and on track to return for the NBA Finals next week after taking a knee to his head from Trevor Ariza that caused ''concussion-like symptoms.'' That's according to Thompson's father, former NBA player Mychal Thompson. Mychal Thompson said his son vomited a couple of times and he had to drive him home after the Warriors eliminated the Houston Rockets in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals on Wednesday night. Asked to describe the difference in his son's status a day later, Mychal Thompson said ''Antarctica to the jungles of Brazil.'' He said his son should be cleared to play at some point before Game 1 against Cleveland next Thursday night.

Sources: Pelicans interviewed Vinny Del Negro for coaching job (Yahoo Sports)
(Thu, 28 May 2015 17:34:11 PDT)
Warriors assistant Alvin Gentry and former Rockets and Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy are considered frontrunners for the position.

And now, we wait: Cavs and Warriors get time to rest (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 28 May 2015 17:09:18 PDT)
Golden State coach Steve Kerr was chatting with assistant Luke Walton a few minutes before what became the Warriors' clinching victory in the Western Conference Finals, and a realization popped into his head. ''You know what we do now?'' Kerr asked, somewhat rhetorically. The NBA Finals won't start until June 4, meaning both the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Warriors will have more than a full week to rest, recover, scout and plan for Game 1 of the title matchup.

Booed no more, Warriors owner relishing NBA Finals berth (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 28 May 2015 15:52:08 PDT)
Wearing a black NBA Finals cap and white team T-shirt, Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob waved to a cheering crowd at Oracle Arena as confetti fell all around. Lacob, booed off the same floor three years ago, couldn't help but smile after the Warriors eliminated the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference finals Wednesday night. In fewer than five years as owner, Lacob has led the franchise to a place it hasn't been since 1975: the NBA Finals.

Rockets looking forward after elimination (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 28 May 2015 15:50:01 PDT)
The Houston Rockets reached the Western Conference finals for the first time in 18 years before being eliminated in five games by the Golden State Warriors. Harden was the MVP runner-up to Golden State's Stephen Curry after scoring 27.4 points a game to finishing second in the NBA. ''But as I've said all year long, we don't win the division, we don't win 56 games, we don't have home court, we don't beat the Clippers in Game 7 if it wasn't for James.'' Harden carried the team in the regular season when Howard sat out 41 games with injuries and helped the Rockets to a 56-26 record and the second seed in the Western Conference.

Chicago Bulls fire head coach Tom Thibodeau (Ball Don't Lie)
(Thu, 28 May 2015 15:37:45 PDT)
The Chicago Bulls fired head coach Tom Thibodeau on Thursday, bringing an end to years of palace intrigue within United Center and weeks of speculation that the increasingly contentious relationship between the Bulls' front office and the hard-charging and remarkably successful coach had run its course after five seasons. Thibodeau exits Chicago with a career regular-season record of 255-139 , giving him the seventh-highest winning percentage among coaches who have spent at least three years on the bench. He led the Bulls to three 50-win seasons — including the best record in the NBA in each of his first two campaigns, winning Coach of the Year honors after the 2010-11 season — and five consecutive playoff berths. He did this despite being without MVP point guard Derrick Rose for the bulk of the last three seasons due to injury, working without other key contributors missing time, and consistently having to make the best out of shuffled-up benches after management allowed valuable rotation players to exit, stage left . He developed the likes of Luol Deng, Joakim Noah and Jimmy Butler into All-Stars, coaxed game-saving play out of castoffs like Nate Robinson, D.J. Augustin and Aaron Brooks, and, after being elevated to a top job following his much-praised stint as the defensive coordinator for Doc Rivers' championship-winning Boston Celtics, popularized a style of defense that helped usher in revolutionary changes on both sides of the ball. [Slideshow: Coaches sent packing despite winning ] He also clashed, frequently , with Bulls general manager Gar Forman and vice president of basketball operations John Paxson on a number of issues — his tendency to heap massive and perhaps inadvisable workloads on some players, chiefly Deng, Butler and Noah; his reticence to utilize young pieces like Tony Snell, Doug McDermott and, at times, Nikola Mirotic; the organization's decision not to bring back trusted Thibs lieutenant Ron Adams, now brilliantly running the defense for Steve Kerr's Finals-bound Golden State Warriors; and, reportedly, many others. Based on the Bulls' statement announcing Thibodeau's dismissal — with two years and approximately $9 million remaining on the contract extension he received in the fall of 2012 (and apparently didn't formally sign until six months later ) — that ever-widening rift between the coach and the front office had finally become too vast for even the longest-lasting period of prosperity since Jordan left to soan. “The Chicago Bulls have a history of achieving great success on and off the court," wrote Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf in the team's statement. "These accomplishments have been possible because of an organizational culture where input from all parts of the organization has been welcomed and valued, there has been a willingness to participate in a free flow of information, and there have been clear and consistent goals. While the head of each department of the organization must be free to make final decisions regarding his department, there must be free and open interdepartmental discussion and consideration of everyone's ideas and opinions. These internal discussions must not be considered an invasion of turf, and must remain private. "Teams that consistently perform at the highest levels are able to come together and be unified across the organization — staff, players, coaches, management and ownership," he continued. "When everyone is on the same page, trust develops and teams can grow and succeed together. Unfortunately, there has been a departure from this culture. To ensure that the Chicago Bulls can continue to grow and succeed, we have decided that a change in the head coaching position is required. "Days like today are difficult, but necessary for us to achieve our goals and fulfill our commitments to our fans. I appreciate the contributions that Tom Thibodeau made to the Bulls organization. I have always respected his love of the game and wish him well in the future.” Forman struck a similar "times have changed" tone in his remarks. "When Tom was hired in 2010, he was right for our team and system at that time, and over the last five years we have had some success with Tom as our head coach,” he wrote. “But as we looked ahead and evaluated how we as a team and an organization could continue to grow and improve, we believed a change in approach was needed." That's a significantly more verbose farewell than the Bulls offered to the last head coach they fired, Thibodeau's predecessor, Vinny Del Negro: Vinny Del Negro's firing email was much more, um, succinct. pic.twitter.com/SLXsztZYfn — jon greenberg (@jon_greenberg) May 28, 2015 "Some success" sure seems to damn Thibodeau with faint praise considering what he accomplished in his half-decade in Chicago. The bigger issue, though, appears to be the repeated invocation of phrases like "organizational culture" and "trust," and — more to the point — the emphasis on "invasion of turf," "internal discussions" and privacy. That would seem to indicate that the public rebuke that the Bulls organization received on national television from ESPN's Jeff Van Gundy — for whom Thibodeau served as lead assistant during his stints with the New York Knicks and Houston Rockets — didn't set especially well with the front office. Thibodeau, for his part, thanked the Bulls for the opportunity to coach them in a statement released to Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski: "I want to thank, and will deeply miss, our incredible fans and the entire city of Chicago. I also want to thank my staff and all of the talented players and their wonderful families who have honored me and the Bulls by their effort, love, dedication and professionalism. I appreciate the opportunity that Jerry Reinsdorf gave me. We are proud of our many accomplishments, fought through adversity, and tried to give our fans the full commitment to excellence they deserve. I love this game and am excited about what’s ahead for me with USA Basketball and the next coaching opportunity in the NBA." With the long-rumored separation now complete, both the Bulls and Thibodeau will move on. Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg, who played for the Bulls from three years between 1999 and 2002, is considered by many to be the organization's top target for the job. Thibodeau, meanwhile, is expected to draw interest from the New Orleans Pelicans, who have recently interviewed Van Gundy and met with Warriors assistant Alvin Gentry about their vacancy, and from the Orlando Magic, although former Bulls and Milwaukee Bucks coach Scott Skiles is reportedly the front-runner for that position. On one hand, you'd expect a playoff-contending roster in a major market to be a significant draw for coaching candidates, and for a well-decorated coach to be an attractive candidate for any organization in need of a new sideline stalker. It will be interesting to see, however, whether a messy resolution from which neither the Bulls nor Thibodeau seem to emerge unscathed will give prospective suitors of either cause for concern and a reason to be cautious in their pursuits. - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more.

AP Source: Contract talks between Wade, Heat at impasse (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 28 May 2015 15:28:52 PDT)
For the first time, the relationship between Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat seems murky at best. Contract talks between Wade and the Heat are at ''an impasse'' and the three-time NBA champion is preparing himself for possibly leaving the team this summer, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press on Thursday. Wade has said many times, including in an end-of-season interview with AP, that he wants to remain with the Heat for the remainder of his career.

What next for Clippers after season of promise ends?
(Thu, 28 May 2015 13:55:47 PDT)
By Mark Lamport-Stokes LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - As the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors prepare to battle for the NBA championship, the Los Angeles Clippers can only reflect on what might have been after a season of rich promise ended abruptly. A year after their playoff hopes were rocked by a racism scandal that left previous owner Donald Sterling with a life ban from the NBA, the Clippers seemed set to make a run at a title as they made a stirring start to the postseason.

NBA-What next for Clippers after season of promise ends?
(Thu, 28 May 2015 13:29:46 PDT)
By Mark Lamport-Stokes LOS ANGELES, May 28 (Reuters) - As the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors prepare to battle for the NBA championship, the Los Angeles Clippers can only reflect on what might have been after a season of rich promise ended abruptly. A year after their playoff hopes were rocked by a racism scandal that left previous owner Donald Sterling with a life ban from the NBA, the Clippers seemed set to make a run at a title as they made a stirring start to the postseason.

Dose: GSW Eliminate Rockets (Rotoworld)
(Thu, 28 May 2015 05:21:00 PDT)
Ryan Knaus covers the Dubs' Game 5 victory, James Harden's record 13 turnovers, Klay Thompson's potential concussion and much more in Thursday's Dose.

Why the Warriors' dreadful past makes their trip to the NBA Finals that much more special (Yahoo Sports)
(Thu, 28 May 2015 01:31:28 PDT)
The Warriors are headed to the NBA Finals for the first time in 40 years. That's already reason for their fans to celebrate.

Warriors book first NBA finals berth in 40 years
(Thu, 28 May 2015 00:27:46 PDT)
The Golden State Warriors are headed to the NBA finals for the first time in 40 years, eliminating the Houston Rockets to set up a title clash with Cleveland. The Warriors, the best team in the regular season with 67 victories and 15 defeats, pulled away late to beat the Rockets 104-90 and seal a 4-1 series victory in the best-of-seven Western Conference finals. The Warriors are back in the championship series for the first time since 1975, when they swept the Washington Bullets in four games to win the title.

Riley Curry returns to Steph's press conference, sings Big Sean, is cute (Ball Don't Lie)
(Wed, 27 May 2015 23:48:26 PDT)
The rest of you can have Stephen Curry, James Harden, and Klay Thompson. For the discerning fan, the true star of the Western Conference Finals was Steph's young daughter Riley Curry, who dominated the aftermath of the Golden State Warriors' Game 1 victory over the Houston Rockets by serving as the cutest press-conference attendee in recent NBA history . Sadly, Riley did not factor heavily into the next three games, perhaps because many playoff games last well past what we assume to be her bedtime. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr:   The best slams from all of basketball] Yet Riley returned to accompany her father to the podium after the Warriors won Wednesday's Game 5 to clinch the franchise's first NBA Finals appearance in 40 years . While this appearance didn't offer the surprise factor of her Game 1 performance, it was still pretty darn adorable. Take a look: There are a few highlights here, most notably her foray into the curtain at stage left: Hide and Seek going well. pic.twitter.com/rncMRn8fxk — Jared Wade (@Jared_Wade) May 28, 2015 Or when she sang a bar of Big Sean's "Blessings" (via SB Nation), which the Warriors sang on the team plane just before the All-Star break: It seems fairly clear at this point that Riley is the breakout star of the postseason. However, we will soon find out if she has what it takes to show up on the biggest stage. Only the best can handle the pressure of the NBA Finals. You either babble gibberish or go home. - - - - - - - Eric Freeman is a writer for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at efreeman_ysports@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @FreemanEric

Klay Thompson must complete concussion protocol to be cleared for NBA Finals (Yahoo Sports)
(Wed, 27 May 2015 23:47:53 PDT)
Klay Thompson experienced concussion-like symptoms after being kneed in the head by Trevor Ariza.

Warriors G Klay Thompson suffers concussion (The Associated Press)
(Wed, 27 May 2015 23:06:35 PDT)
Golden State guard Klay Thompson has a concussion after getting kneed in the side of the head by Houston's Trevor Ariza. Thompson was injured after he faked a shot and Ariza knocked him to the floor with a knee to the head in the fourth quarter of Game 5 of the Western Conference finals Wednesday night. Thompson received stitches in his right ear and passed a concussion test during the game that would have allowed him to return.

Warriors eliminate Rockets, end 40-year NBA Finals drought (The Associated Press)
(Wed, 27 May 2015 22:54:57 PDT)
After a generation of wishing and waiting, the Golden State Warriors have finally arrived on basketball's biggest stage again. Stephen Curry had 26 points and eight rebounds, Harrison Barnes added 24 points and the Warriors advanced to the NBA Finals for the first time in 40 years with a 104-90 victory over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night. ''Why not us?'' Curry said to a roaring, golden-yellow shirt wearing crowd after the Warriors received the Western Conference trophy from Alvin Attles, the coach of their last championship team in 1975.

James Harden sets NBA playoff record for most turnovers in single game (Ball Don't Lie)
(Wed, 27 May 2015 22:44:46 PDT)
In Game 4 of the Western Conference finals, James Harden turned in the playoff performance of his career to help his Houston Rockets stave off elimination. In Game 5, though, the Rockets' superstar made the wrong kind of history. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball] Harden, one of the sport's most talented ball-handlers and playmakers, committed an almost unthinkable 13 turnovers in Houston's season-ending loss to the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday. That sets a new NBA record for most cough-ups in a single playoff game. Former New Jersey Nets guard John Williamson held the previous high-water mark, giving it away 11 times in a loss to the Philadelphia 76ers in a first-round playoff game back in 1979. He became the first player to turn the ball over more than 10 times in a playoff game since ... himself, in Game 4 of Houston's 2013 first-round playoff series against his former team, the Oklahoma City Thunder. Only five other players in the last 30 years have reached double-digit turnovers in a playoff game — LeBron James (twice), Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Penny Hardaway and Kevin Johnson. (At least Harden's in excellent company, I guess.) "It's tough to lose like this, especially on myself — I put so much pressure on myself to be really good every single night," Harden told reporters after the game. "And in some cases, you're not going to do that. You're not going to be good. Tonight was a case." Harden set the grim mark with 7:18 remaining in the fourth quarter while trying to capitalize on a Warriors miss by pushing the ball down the floor in transition, only to lose the handle as he drove to the paint: Harden's disappointment after the miscue was unmistakable and, of course, understandable. This was a career year for the bearded baller, one that saw him lead the league in total minutes, total points and free throws made and attempted, and finish second in the NBA in scoring with a career-high 27.4 points per game. He made his third straight All-Star appearance, earned his second consecutive First-Team All-NBA berth and finished second in Most Valuable Player voting to Warriors superstar Stephen Curry after carrying a Houston club plagued all season long by injuries to key contributors to its first division championship and highest win total since Hakeem Olajuwon's heyday. As he prepared to help lead Team USA to a gold medal at last summer's FIBA World Cup, Harden made it clear that he believed himself to be "the best all-around basketball player in the NBA," then did his damnedest to back up that big talk. He took on an even bigger offensive role after Chandler Parsons joined the Dallas Mavericks in free agency, held himself more accountable defensively, and came through with monster performances in beating the Dallas Mavericks, finishing off a remarkable comeback against the Los Angeles Clippers, battling the Warriors to a near-standstill in Games 1 and 2 in Oakland and avoiding a sweep back in Houston. "Look, James didn't play well, but as I've said all year long, we don't win the division, we don't win 56 games, we don't have home court, we don't beat the Clippers [on our] home court in Game 7 if it wasn't for how James played all year long," Rockets head coach Kevin McHale said after the loss. For a season this good to have an ending this bad ... well, it was pretty damn mind-boggling. "He had a tough go tonight," McHale said. "There's just, you know, nothing else you can say about it, man. Sometimes you go out there, and you're trying your best, and things just don't work out." Harden's final turnover, unlucky No. 13, came in the closing minute of the game, when he unceremoniously dribbled the ball off his foot and out of bounds: It put an ignominious end to a galling night that barely featured more points (14) than turnovers, that saw him miss nine of his 11 field-goal attempts, and that, just moments before, had been well punctuated by a depressing airball on a deep 3-point try: There are some — OK, in the basketball social media world, there are many — who will chalk Harden's nightmare performance up to a curse laid down by an independent rapper with a gift for dance crazes, tweet-signing and, clearly, self-promotion. But there were also tangible elements contributing to his turnovers on Wednesday ... starting, of course, with the Warriors' defense. "You know, we had a lot of turnovers up high on the floor again, led to runouts," McHale said after his team committed 20 turnovers that led to 31 Warrior points. "[...] We didn't move the ball the way we needed to again tonight. We got a little stagnant. We didn't cut and advance and attack the way we had to against this team. But, you know, give them credit. They have a lot of guys that they can switch stuff [with] and they've been a good, solid defensive team all year long." While multiple defenders saw time on Harden over the course of the five-game series, most notably shooting guard Klay Thompson and small forward Harrison Barnes, it was the Warriors' valuable veteran reserve swingman who saw the bulk of the Harden assignment on Wednesday, and did a whale of a job with it. "Andre Iguodala might have had the greatest six-point game I've ever seen in my life," said Warriors coach Steve Kerr after the game. "We put him on James a lot tonight. We felt like that was ultimately the best matchup. He's played him some during the series. But James is a brilliant player, so difficult to stop, and Andre is as smart a defensive player as I've ever seen. He reminds me of Scottie Pippen. I thought Andre's defense on James was absolutely brilliant, and really the key to the whole game." Harden, for his part, attributed his struggles less to a one-on-one matchup and more to an inability to make plays once he made his way into the paint and found himself surrounded. "You know, [Iguodala's] long, long and athletic, but ... just the crowd," he said. "Just trying to play in the crowd, trying to do a little bit too much and turned the basketball over and gave them easy opportunities in transition. It is what it is." And what it is, unfortunately for Rockets fans, is a sour end to a successful season. Harden hopes, though, that he can take something positive from it as he heads into the offseason. "Just valuing possessions in the postseason," Harden replied when asked what he'll take away from this five-game defeat, and his Game 5 performance in particular. "You know, it's tough. Like I said, the first two games, you take away some of those possessions that we gave away , and it's a different series. Just valuing the ball a lot more, especially if I'm going to be doing a lot of ball-handling. Making sure that I'm not giving away easy baskets. "Tonight's just another case for myself. Thirteen turnovers is unacceptable." - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more.

Warriors into Finals after 40 year wait
(Wed, 27 May 2015 21:50:07 PDT)
(Reuters) - The Golden State Warriors shook off their bumps and bruises and advanced to their first NBA Finals in 40 years after defeating the Houston Rockets 104-90 to clinch their Western Conference Finals series on Wednesday. Stephen Curry scored 26 points one game after a terrifying fall while Klay Thompson added 20 despite a laceration to his right ear for the top-seeded Warriors. Golden State, who won 67 games during the regular season with rookie coach Steve Kerr, won the best-of-seven series 4-1.

NBA-Warriors into Finals after 40 year wait
(Wed, 27 May 2015 21:37:20 PDT)
The Golden State Warriors shook off their bumps and bruises and advanced to their first NBA Finals in 40 years after defeating the Houston Rockets 104-90 to clinch their Western Conference Finals series on Wednesday. Stephen Curry scored 26 points one game after a terrifying fall while Klay Thompson added 20 despite a laceration to his right ear for the top-seeded Warriors. Golden State, who won 67 games during the regular season with rookie coach Steve Kerr, won the best-of-seven series 4-1.

Warriors clinch 1st Finals in 40 years with rugged Game 5 win over Rockets (Ball Don't Lie)
(Wed, 27 May 2015 21:19:12 PDT)


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