Cavaliers, Spurs resume NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena
(Sports Network) – The San Antonio Spurs and Cleveland Cavaliers resume the
NBA Finals, as the teams meet for Game 3 of the set tonight at Quicken Loans
San Antonio leads the best-of-seven series 2-0. Game 4 is scheduled for
Thursday at Quicken Loans Arena.
The Spurs looked dominant in Games 1 and 2 on their homecourt. On Sunday, Tony
Parker poured in 30 points on 13-of-20 from the field San Antonio held off the
Cavaliers, 103-92, at the AT&T Center in the second game of the NBA Finals.
Tim Duncan added 23 points, eight assists and nine rebounds for San Antonio,
which won the opener, 85-76. Manu Ginobili scored 25 points and was 11-of-11
from the free throw line in the victory.
LeBron James, who was hampered by foul trouble early in the contest, ended
with 25 points for Cleveland, which trailed by as many as 28 points in the
first half and could never recover despite a late surge. Drew Gooden
contributed 13 points and six rebounds for the Cavaliers, who outscored the
Spurs 30-14 in the fourth quarter to make a run, but it wasn’t enough to
overcome their poor performance in the first three quarters of the contest.
James, who entered the championship round averaging 25.8 points, 8.3 rebounds
and 8.3 assists in this year’s postseason, has been held in check by San
Antonio’s tenacious defense. James is shooting just 35.1 percent from the
field and has collected 19.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists against the
Parker is averaging 28.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.5 assists in the first two
games of the finals, while Duncan, who is a three-time NBA Finals MVP, has
posted 23.5 points, 11.0 boards, 4.5 assists and is shooting and impressive
57.6 percent from the floor.
On the injury front for Cleveland, guard Larry Hughes (partial tear in left
plantar fascia) is questionable for tonight’s contest. Hughes is averaging
11.3 points in the playoffs.
Cleveland is 7-1 as the host in this year’s playoffs, while the Spurs, who are
1-2 all-time in Game 3s of the NBA Finals, are 5-2 on the road in the
San Antonio, which was seeded third in the Western Conference, has advanced to
the NBA Finals for the fourth time in franchise history and is a perfect 3-0
in this round. The Spurs defeated the New York Knicks in five in 1999, the
New Jersey Nets in six in 2003 and the Detroit Pistons in seven in 2005.
The Spurs, who lost in seven to the Dallas Mavericks in last year’s
semifinals, knocked out No. 6 Denver in five games in the opening round,
survived a tough six-game series with the second-seeded Suns and crushed No. 4
Utah, 4-1, in the conference finals. San Antonio is in the postseason for
the 10th straight year.
Cleveland, which lost in seven to Detroit in last year’s East semis, has
reached the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history. James
has stepped up to the next level and has carried the Cavaliers, who were the
second seed in the Eastern Conference, throughout the playoffs. They swept No.
7 Washington, 4-0, in the quarterfinals, beat New Jersey in six in the semis
and surprised the top-seeded Pistons in six in the conference finals.
During the regular season, Cleveland defeated the Spurs twice. The
Cavaliers picked up an 88-81 victory on November 3, 2006 at the AT&T Center
and edged San Antonio, 82-78, on January 2nd in front of their home crowd.