The NBA Conference Finals
NBA CONFERENCE FINALS - CAN WARRIORS FORCE A GAME 7? CAVS WHACK RAPTORS, HEAD BACK TO NBA FINALS
Ladies and gents, we're all about to find out what kind of "stomach" the Golden State Warriors have in this Game 6 (and maybe even in a Game 7 if we get there Monday night) 'cause any team that wins a league-record 73 regular-season victories and doesn't win it all just ain't gonna get treated like royalty in the future ... right?
WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS - GOLDEN STATE at OKLAHOMA CITY
Thunder leads series 3-2; Saturday at 9 p.m. ET, TNT
Let's cut right to the proverbial chase here: The defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors already have lost playoff games this round by 28 and 24 points at Oklahoma City - and dare we say Steve Kerr's club showed little-if-any heart in those two tilts.
Okay, it's quite possible that two-time MVP Stephen Curry was not 100 percent for Game 3/Game 4 but he showed lots of life in the 120-111 win/cover in Game 5 at home the other night (Kerr joked that his star guard is at "91 percent" right now) en route to his team-best 31-point game. Now, Curry must show he's unafraid to go to the hoop (see lefty lay-in the other night in traffic) plus he must gun up seven-to-10 made trifectas plus G-State - pegged a 2-point underdog for now - must be quicker on "D" to double Kevin Durant (40 points in Game 5) and Russell Westbrook (31 points on 28 shots).
EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS - CLEVELAND 113, TORONTO 87
Cavaliers win series 4-2
Long live The King.
If you listened to any of the pre-Game 6 sound bites than you caught Cleveland's LeBron James saying he had to "attack more" and play his "A game" ... mission accomplished, indeed!
James' stat line - 33 points, 11 rebounds and 6 assists was dandy stuff - but he became the energizer in this closeout game North of the Border and it didn't hurt matters that the Cavs shot a blistering 17-of-31 from beyond the three-point arc. In all, the Cavaliers posted 22 assists and 6 blocked shots and played a focused brand of basketball that wasn't evident in those Game 3 and Game 4 losses in Toronto.
So, it's back to a sixth straight NBA Finals for James - two titles in Miami but four Finals losses in his glorious career. Hey, what would June hoops be without Mr. James? Maybe we'll never know.
Here's how the Eastern Conference Finals went between the Cavaliers and the Raptors (home teams in CAPS below):