Boston bound: LeBron pushes Cavs to Game 7 vs. Celtics

first_imgVolcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding China population now over 1.4 billion as birthrate falls “It feels good just to be able to play for another game,” James said. “Like I’ve always said, Game 7 is the best two words in sports. … We should relish the opportunity and have fun with it.”This series, in which home court has meant everything, will have a fitting conclusion Sunday at TD Center, where the Celtics are 10-0 this postseason.“We have one game to be able to compete for a championship, and what more could you ask for?” James said. “If I’d have told you at the beginning of the season we only needed one game to make the NBA Finals, we’d take it.”George Hill added 20 points, and Jeff Green 14 for the Cavs, who lost Love in the first quarter after he banged heads with Boston’s Jayson Tatum.Terry Rozier paced the Celtics with 28 points, and Jaylen Brown had 27.ADVERTISEMENT Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Winfrey details her decision to withdraw from Simmons film MOST READ James scored 46 points and preserved his reign atop the Eastern Conference for at least one more game as the Cleveland Cavaliers shook off losing All-Star Kevin Love with a head injury and beat Boston 109-99 on Friday night to force a decisive climax to this back-and-forth series.James, playing in perhaps his final game for the Cavs in Cleveland, delivered another sensational performance — he added 11 rebounds and nine assists while playing all but two minutes — to avoid elimination and delay any decisions about where he’ll continue his remarkable career next season.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown“Greatness,” Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. “Gave it his all. We needed that, especially with Kevin going down. He delivered. He carried us home as usual.”The king is not dead, and he still has a chance to make his eighth straight NBA Finals. Cavs All-Star Love sustains head injury in Game 6 LATEST STORIES As Love stayed down, the Cavs huddled around him. He was helped off and walked to the bench unsteadily before heading to the locker room for further treatment and evaluation.The Cavs announced an hour later at halftime that Love wouldn’t return. His status for Game 7 is uncertain.The real possibility that James was playing his last game in Cleveland hung over the game — and this city — in the hours leading to tip-off. Everyone had an opinion on what James will do next and that discussion filled the sports talk radio airwaves, bars and barber shops.The 33-year-old has said several times since coming home in 2014 that he wants to retire with the Cavaliers, but fans are uneasy because he can opt out of his $35.6 million contract this summer and test free agency.And, of course, he left once before in 2010, bolting for Miami.James has said he’ll sit down with his family after the season ends to plot his next move, and he’s already being courted in Philadelphia, Los Angeles and New York who can only dream about adding him to their rosters.For now, though, he’s only going to Boston.TIP-INSCeltics: Own a 37-0 record when leading a series 2-0. … Dropped to 1-4 in Game 6s over the last four postseasons. … Coach Brad Stevens praised James for his consistency, and ability to exceed expectations. “Nobody else has what he has on his shoulders playing the game,” he said. “I think that the way in which he’s done that and all of the years now that he’s made The Finals and gone deep into the playoffs, it’s unbelievable.”Cavaliers: Improved to 6-2 in elimination game since 2015. … James’ teams are 5-2 in Game 7s. … This was the seventh 40-point game for James this postseason. Michael Jordan also had seven, one off Jerry West’s record set in 1965. … James passed Karl Malone (2,062) for sixth place on the career postseason rebounds list. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Dave Chappelle donates P1 million to Taal relief operations Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours The Celtics were still within seven in the final three minutes before James made consecutive 3-pointers, punctuating the second by pounding his chest with both fists and screaming along with 20,562 others.Just for good measure, he added a three-point play and then was taken out of the game to a rousing ovation and chants of “Cavs in 7!”“Just a lot of heart, a lot of grit, being resilient,” James said.Boston’s improbable run through the postseason without injured stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward will now take the Celtics back home, where they play with more intensity, togetherness and before fans hungry to see an 18th title banner raised to their arena’s rafters.Love went out with a head injury in the first quarter, forcing Lue to juggle his rotations and keep James on the floor longer than he wanted to. The three-time champion played the first 35 minutes without a break and then endured the final eight while nursing a sore lower leg.Backed by a sea of towel-waving fans wearing white “Cleveland Whatever It Takes” T-shirts, James did just that to push the series to Boston, where he has had some of his biggest moments on the renowned parquet floor.In 2014, he had 45 points, 15 rebounds and five assists in Game 6 for Miami, which went on to win Game 7 and the NBA title. He also scored 45 in a Game 7 loss for Cleveland in 2008, and now has a chance to boost his stunning resume further if he can get the Cavs to a fourth consecutive Finals.James has also had some bitter memories in Boston. He lost Game 6 in the East semifinals in 2010 to the Celtics and was soon on his way to joining the Heat.The game began ominously for the Cavs as Love was forced to leave following his violent collision with Tatum.Love and Tatum were away from the ball and didn’t see each other until it was too late. They banged heads and both immediately dropped to the floor with Love raising his left arm as if to signal he needed help. Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Weinstein rape trial Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James (23) drives as Boston Celtics’ Marcus Smart (36) defends during the second half of Game 6 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals Friday, May 25, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)CLEVELAND — LeBron James chose Boston as the place he’ll play next.Game 7 is on. And any talk about James’ future is on hold.ADVERTISEMENT View commentslast_img read more

Fiorentina commemorate Astori before emotional return to action

first_img0Shares0000Players and supporter pay tribute to late Fiorentina’s captain Davide Astori before Fiorentina host Benevento at the Artemio Franchi stadium in Florence © AFP / Claudio GiovanniniFLORENCE, Italy, Mar 11 – Fiorentina returned to action on Sunday in a home game on played in a poignant atmosphere, a week after the sudden death of the Serie A side’s captain Davide Astori.Last Sunday’s top-flight fixtures in Italy were postponed after Astori’s body was found in his hotel room ahead of an away game against Udinese. After emotional scenes on Friday night as Roma, one of Astori’s former clubs, beat Torino, and a commemoration on Saturday at the Verona derby, Fiorentina kicked off Sunday’s gamne at their Artemio Franchi stadium against bottom-placed Benevento.For the warm-up, all the Fiorentina players and coach Stefano Pioli wore shirts bearing the number “13” and the name “Astori”.The ground was packed on three sides, only the space reserved for visiting fans was largely empty.One banner in the crowd read “Ciao captain”, another “Our captain forever” and purple smoke from flares to match the colour of Fiorentina’s shirts filled the sky.The screens played a video homage to the club’s late skipper. The flags above the curved stands at either end of the long, narrow stadium flew at half mast.The stadium announcer included “Number 13, forever our captain, Davide Astori” in the line-up.A post-mortem examination found that Astori, who was 31, most likely died from a cardiac arrest linked to the slowing of his heart rate.In a draining week, Fiorentina players and fans as well as stars from other Italian clubs attended Astori’s funeral in Florence on Thursday, including Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and his Juventus teammate Giorgio Chiellini who came to pay their respects to the defender who captained his club and played 14 times for his country.On Sunday, as the Fiorentina and Benevento teams re-emerged for the match, accompanied by mascots in the shirts of Fiorentina or another of Astori’s clubs, Cagliari, all the advertising hoardings round the pitch turned purple and bore only the words “Davide Astori” and the club crest.The pre-match ceremony began with the two sides lining up as Italian star Jovanotti sung his hit “Terra Degli Omini”. Players, from both teams, wept.The Fiorentina players held a long, home-made, banner saying “Ciao Davide”. Both teams had the same phrase sewn on their left shirt shoulders. The words were repeated on many of the banners in the crowd. Others read “Linked forever”, “Florentine forever”, “Ciao Davide” and “True captain, man from another time.”In the top deck of the Curva Fiesole, home of Fiorentina’s Ultras, all the fans held purple, white and red flags spelling “Davide”.Fans remained eerily silent as the teams shook hands, the referee conducted the coin toss and then the players reassembled in the centre circle for a formal silence.As that ended, some in the crowd started a brief “Davide” chant.Before kick off, fans in the main stand released a cloud of purple and white balloons that floated heavenwards.The match finally started six minutes after the scheduled kickoff.The advertising billboards switched to their normal slogans.There remained one more planned commemoration.After 13 minutes, Astori’s shirt number, the action simply stopped, the players and match officials, like the fans, stood and clapped for 60 seconds.The supporters in the Curva Fiesole held up their flags again and, as the clapping ended, they waved them.Eleven minutes later, as the rain began to fall, Fiorentina, who had been applying steady pressure, took the lead.Vitor Hugo, who had stepped into Astori’s place in the centre of defence and wears 31. The reverse of Astori’s number, leapt to meet a high ball and headed it powerfully into the net. Then he grabbed a tee-shirt printed with a picture of Astori and held it up as the crowd applauded.As the rain intensified, the crowd chanted: “un capitano, c’è solo un capitano!” (“One captain, there’s only one captain!”)0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more