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NBA News and Notes June - 11

NBA News and Notes June - 11

NBA Today - June 11
Mon, Jun 11, 2007
By Associated Press

SCOREBOARD

Monday, June 11

No games scheduled.

STAR

Sunday

-Tony Parker, Spurs, scored 30 points to lead San Antonio to a 103-92 win over Cleveland.

LEARNING FROM HISTORY

San Antonio has a two games to none lead in the NBA Finals after its 103-92 win over Cleveland on Sunday night. In the 2005 finals, the Spurs won the first two games against Detroit but had to go seven to win the title. Last year, Miami lost Games 1 and 2 in Dallas before going home to Florida and winning three straight and then beating the Mavericks on their home floor for their first championship.

THREE-HEADED MONSTER

Tony Parker scored 30 points, Manu Ginobili had 25 and Tim Duncan added 23 and San Antonio took a two games to none lead in the NBA Finals with a 103-92 win over Cleveland on Sunday night. The Spurs' Big 3 combined for 43 points - 10 more than the Cavs - in the first half.

SITTING UNPRETTY

Cleveland's LeBron James played less than three minutes in the first quarter of Sunday night's game because of foul trouble. The Spurs built a 28-point lead in the first half en route to a 103-92 win over the Cavaliers and a two games to none lead in the NBA Finals. James finished with 25 points after being limited to 14 in his finals debut.

BETTER NEWS

Denver guard J.R. Smith remained hospitalized Sunday after being thrown from his vehicle during a crash Saturday night, but his injuries aren't believed to be as serious as first thought. Smith and a passenger, Andre Bell, 21, of East Orange, were seriously injured Saturday when the sport utility vehicle Smith was driving went through a stop sign and overturned after colliding with a car at about 5:30 p.m. in Millstone Township, state police said.

CHARGED

Denver reserve forward DerMarr Johnson was charged with resisting arrest and interfering with police during a disturbance outside a nightclub. Police said they used a taser to calm the 6-foot-9 player. Johnson and two women were arrested, booked and released early Saturday.

SPEAKING

''Spurs by a bunch,'' - San Antonio p.a. announcer Stan Kelly announcing the halftime score to the AT&T Center crowd on Sunday night. The Spurs had a 58-33 lead through the first 24 minutes.

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Re: NBA News and Notes June - 11

Cavs look overmatched
June 11, 2007

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -LeBron James trudged to the bench, two quick fouls ruining his plans of a better start to Game 2 than he had in the opener.

And Cleveland's hopes of evening the NBA finals went right along with him.

What followed was roughly 21 of the most one-sided minutes in finals history, with the Spurs rolling to a 25-point halftime lead in a 103-92 victory over the Cavaliers on Sunday that left them halfway to a fourth championship.

The Cavs are playing for their first - and they're not doing it well.

``I got two quick fouls and it definitely didn't work in our team's favor,'' James said. ``I wanted to be out there to try to help my team win, and being in early foul trouble definitely hurt us.''

James made the first basket of the game, but two quick fouls and a spot on the bench quickly followed.

At least he had a good seat for San Antonio's impressive show.

``They came out the way we were supposed to come out,'' center Zydrunas Ilgauskas said. ``They got all the loose balls again. Before we know it we were down 20 points.

``We got that feeling like the whole game we were running uphill with a hundred-pound bag around our backs.''

Up in Cleveland, fans packed into Quicken Loans Arena and donned special glasses for a 3-D HD viewing of the game.

Maybe they would have preferred blinders instead. Because this one wasn't worth witnessing for a Cavs fan, no matter how it was viewed.

The Cavs trailed by as many as 28 points in the first 24 minutes, barely avoiding the largest halftime deficit in a finals game. Boston had a 30-point bulge in its romp over the Lakers in 1985.

``It's accepted that maybe a team comes out shooting the lights out and things aren't going well for you,'' reserve guard Eric Snow said. ``You can accept it if you're meeting that intensity level, if you're matching it. If you're not doing that, you're not truly giving yourself a chance. That was the thing that was upsetting to me because as a team we weren't doing that.''

Cleveland shot 27 percent in the half and allowed San Antonio to hit 55 percent. The Cavs were outrebounded 30-19, missed seven of eight 3-point attempts and were only 10-of-18 at the free throw line. By the time it was over, San Antonio had a 58-33 lead.

That's not the way Cleveland had been doing things for most of the postseason. The Cavs had been struggling mightily in the third quarters, getting outscored 24-14 in Game 1 after they trailed by only five points at halftime.

The Cavs were outscored only 31-29 in the third quarter Sunday, but that left them with an 89-62 deficit heading to the fourth.

With James on the bench, Cavs coach Mike Brown was unable to find a combination that could provide much scoring early in the game. But offense has never been Cleveland's strength, anyway.

What has to disappoint Brown is the rebounding and defense, because the Cavs were among the league's best in both categories during the regular season. But the Spurs have been superior in both during this series.

And James has been unable to get started until it's too late. He was 0-of-7 in the first half Thursday, then shot just 4-of-11 in 15 minutes during the first half of Game 2.

``We as a group have to do a better job of starting the games better,'' Brown said. ``Because our first five minutes of the game - and it's hard for the average fan to see - but we're making mental errors that we haven't made all throughout the playoffs.''

Just as they did in the opener, the Cavs had a strong fourth quarter, but that did little more than make the score closer than the game really was. They got as close as eight points in the final minutes.

Cleveland did erase a 2-0 deficit against Detroit in the Eastern Conference finals, and Miami did the same against Dallas last year in the NBA finals. So there is still reason for the Cavs to think they can come back.

First, they need to show they can get started.

``We have to make adjustments,'' guard Daniel Gibson said, ``and be prepared for them coming out with that first blow, withstanding it, and giving them everything we have.''

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