John L.

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Thunder Defeat Warriors to Push Them to Brink of Elimination

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma City Thunder routed the Golden State Warriors, 118-94, on Tuesday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena to take a commanding three games to one series lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference finals.<p>The defending champion Warriors, who with 73 regular-season victories …

Russell Westbrook

Golden State Warriors Walking Fine Line Between Confidence and Hubris

OKLAHOMA CITY — Before they became aware of the full scope of the uproar over the kick that felled Steven Adams, while they were merely digesting how an impending blowout loss to Oklahoma City would leave the Golden State Warriors in a 2-1 Western Conference Finals deficit, Stephen Curry and …

Golden State Warriors

Kevin Durant Comments on NBA's Decision to Not Suspend Draymond Green

While many were critical of the league's decision not to suspend Golden State Warriors power forward Draymond Green, Kevin Durant wasn't among those surprised by the news.<p>Speaking Tuesday, the Oklahoma City Thunder star discussed how he expected the NBA to allow Green to play in Game 4 of the …

Kevin Durant

Cavaliers Haven't Lost Control, but They've Given Raptors Reason to Believe

TORONTO — LeBron James is a man of many and varied talents. Playmaker. Scorer. Leader. Pitchman. On Saturday night, he was a jukebox.<p>One moment, he was singing a cheesy 1980s pop song. Minutes later, he was quoting a Jay Z lyric.<p>So, no, the first sign of playoff distress did not seem to be having …

Jay-Z

Golden State Warriors Facing Terrifying New Brand of Adversity vs. OKC Thunder

The Golden State Warriors have been down before, but never like this.<p>A 133-105 demolition by the Oklahoma City Thunder has the defending champions in a 2-1 hole that feels distinctly deeper than any the Warriors have faced before. Golden State trailed earlier in this series after dropping the …

Golden State Warriors

Cavaliers can’t afford disappearing acts from Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love

The Cleveland Cavaliers have been living a charmed life over the past several weeks. They swept aside their first two opponents in this year’s playoffs, the Detroit Pistons and Atlanta Hawks, and then comfortably beat the Toronto Raptors by a combined 50 points in the first two games of the Eastern …

Kevin Love

Our favorite NBA impersonator took LeBron's Game 3 flop to the next level

Brandon Armstrong, aka B.A., is the best NBA impersonator on the internet, so there was no way that he was going to let LeBron James slide after his Game 3 flop against the Raptors.<p>Like always, Armstrong didn’t disappoint.<p>Working out with the Michigan State basketball team, Armstrong took James’ …

Toronto

Draymond Green Can List All 34 Players Taken Ahead of Him in 2012 NBA Draft

Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green has turned into one of the best players in the NBA, but back when he was coming out of Michigan State, it was questioned whether he would succeed in the NBA.<p>In fact, Green dropped all the way to the Warriors in the second round of the 2012 NBA draft—at pick …

NBA

Amico: Lesson for Cavs? Gotta earn it

Well, the Cavaliers just stunk.<p>It was bound to happen. And the Cavs made sure it did.<p><b>Kevin Love</b> was horrible.<p><b>Kyrie Irving</b> was horrible.<p><b>Tristan</b> …

Cleveland Cavaliers

Twitter Reaction: LeBron's Oscar-worthy Game 3 flop vs. Raptors

Sportsnet Staff <br>May 21, 2016, 11:21 PM<p>Sportsnet Staff May 21, 2016, 11:21 PM<p>First, there was a forgettable turn hosting <i>Saturday Night Live</i>. Then, …

Lebron James

Is This as Good as It Gets for the Toronto Raptors?

You know it's been an unusual night for the Toronto Raptors when Bismack Biyombo is the BMOC—the Big Man On the Court.<p>Thrust once again into Dwane Casey's starting lineup in place of the injured Jonas Valanciunas, Biyombo came through with 26 rebounds—a franchise record and career high—to lead the …

Toronto

Heart, Head and Wallet Destinations for NBA's Top 2016 Free Agents

The internal struggle of NBA free agency is real, or will be once the calendar flips to July. Come summer, a top-heavy class will have to battle with impulses that can lead players in competing directions.<p>Some will follow their hearts, be it to their ancestral roots, back to the teams with which …

Kevin Durant

Are the Cleveland Cavaliers This Good or Is the East That Bad?

The Cleveland Cavaliers have begun the postseason a perfect 10-0, just one win away from tying the NBA record of most consecutive wins to begin a postseason—an impressive accomplishment no matter how you frame it.<p>Still, critics have already pointed to the relatively low talent level of their …

Cleveland

OKC Needs Durant to Be Better Than He's Ever Been If Warriors Are to Be Derailed

OAKLAND, Calif. — Three days to rest.<p>Three days to master the triple-team defenses being thrown at him.<p>Three days to alter his legacy.<p>Kevin Durant heads home to Oklahoma City with a lot to do during this three-day stretch without a game in the Western Conference finals.<p>If Durant plays better than …

Kevin Durant

Magic Johnson Remembers the First and Only Time He Talked Trash to Michael Jordan

Magic Johnson didn’t talk trash on the basketball court very often, and he <i>especially</i> didn’t talk trash to his good friend Michael Jordan. He had …

Magic Johnson

Heat’s reported No. 1 offseason priority: Kevin Durant

When Heat president Pat Riley called re-signing Hassan Whiteside “our No. 1 priority,” that was news to Dan Le Batard of ESPN.<p>According to Le Batard, …

Kevin Durant

Larry Bird Says Current Era May Be Greatest in NBA History

After many former NBA players have taken time to criticize the current era of the sport, Hall of Famer Larry Bird spoke out to praise how the game has evolved into its present form.<p>Speaking to Charles Bethea of the <i>New Yorker</i>, Bird noted the current era of basketball has caused him to rethink some …

Larry Bird

Be Careful, OKC Thunder, You Have the Tiger by the Tail

Getting the Golden State Warriors' full attention is the mother of all mixed blessings.<p>For better <i>and</i> worse, the Oklahoma City Thunder have done it.<p>OKC's truly impressive 108-102 Game 1 victory—marked by attentive defense, resiliency, shrewd lineup decisions and a Russell Westbrook explosion—forced …

Russell Westbrook

To Max or Not to Max: Is Harrison Barnes Worth Leading-Man Money?

Andrew Bogut is among the NBA's ultimate "love him if he's on your team, hate him if he's not" players, and not just because of what he does on the court. In Harrison Barnes' case, Bogut would be a great guy to have in his corner when contract negotiations begin this summer.<p>As Bogut recently told …

Golden State Warriors

The Thunder can’t stop Steph Curry, but maybe it doesn’t have to

Stephen Curry did it again. The reigning two-time MVP scored 28 points against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals Wednesday night, including one sub-two-minute stretch of 15 consecutive points for the Golden State Warriors. Per Elias, it was the 13th time Curry had …

Stephen Curry

Dwight Howard Reveals Why He Couldn’t Coexist With Kobe Bryant

ESPN published a lengthy Q&A that Jackie MacMullan did with Dwight Howard on Thursday, and it touched on a number of subjects that have come up …

Kobe Bryant

Stephen Curry's quirks, explained by Stephen Curry

—<i>Straight from today’s Merc website (MY VERSION)</i>/<p>OAKLAND–Stephen Curry does preposterous, astonishing, prodigiously valuable things on a regular …

Stephen Curry

Cavaliers' Offensive Juggernaut Starts with Decision No Defense Can Handle

LeBron James doesn't want you to label his Cleveland Cavaliers as a three-point shooting team, despite their historic numbers this postseason.<p>He's also not willing to call the Cavs a paint-oriented squad either, even though toasted the Toronto Raptors for a postseason-high 56 interior points in a …

Kyrie Irving

Warriors Regain Series Momentum by Channeling Familiar, Dominant Swagger

In an epic matchup marked by incomprehensible offensive firepower, MVPs on both sides and the defending champs in desperate spot, the Golden State Warriors did the unthinkable in a 118-91 Game 2 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder Wednesday.<p>They made it feel customary. Predictable. Mundane.<p>This was …

Stephen Curry

Will Jeff Hornacek Be Puppet or Puppeteer for Phil Jackson, NY Knicks?

Give New York Knicks team president Phil Jackson this: The man knows how to cast smokescreens.<p>In what can only be described as a shocking turn of events, the Knicks are just about set to hire former Phoenix Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek to be their next sideline-ambler, according to Bleacher …

Phil Jackson

New Cavs Coach Tyronn Lue Set the Tone Early by Telling LeBron James to 'STFU'

When David Blatt was with the Cleveland Cavaliers from the start of the 2014-15 season to the middle of this season, much was made about the reported lack of respect Cavaliers superstar LeBron James showed the coach.<p>Whether James disrespected Blatt publicly or privately, it seemed inevitable that …

Lebron James

Enes Kanter says Thunder deserve more credit

Skip Bayless has earned national notoriety for making bold statements. Last Friday, after his hometown Thunder secured a spot in the Western Conference Finals, the ESPN analyst proclaimed on Twitter that he wasn’t sure Oklahoma City could win “a single game” against the Warriors.<p>Fresh off a 108-102 …

Oakland

Is the Cleveland Cavaliers-Toronto Raptors Series Already Over?

CLEVELAND — After just one game, the Eastern Conference Finals may already be decided.<p>The Cleveland Cavaliers destroyed the Toronto Raptors, 115-84, in the opener of their best-of-seven series Tuesday. The manner in which they performed the execution pointed toward a potential third straight …

Cleveland

Why The Warriors Shouldn’t Panic After Their Home Loss In Game 1

It’s amazing that it took until about the time the Thunder knocked off the Spurs in the second round for most people to consider them real threats to the Warriors, but here we are. With a game in the books, OKC has taken back home-court advantage and delivered a stinging jab in what promises to be …

The Best Defenders in the NBA Conference Finals

The four remaining teams in the NBA conference finals are loaded offensively, but none would've gotten this far without a defensive backbone. Brush aside the flash and the glitter of scoring, and the players who do the dirty work appear.<p>More so than ever, iconic postseason moments are of defensive …

Oklahoma City Thunder