General Admission

Miracles are only made by God

By Al S. Mendoza

 

THE tyranny of deadline forced me again to write this just hours before Game 4 of the NBA Finals would begin between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors.

It was to be played on Saturday (June 9 PHL Time) at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.

NBA rules require that in a best-of-seven title playoffs, the first four games will be split to two games apiece played on home court of each team.

The first two games played at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, saw the Warriors score back-to-back wins over the Cavs.

Game One was a super thriller.

The Warriors prevailed in overtime 124-114 but not after J.R. Smith blew a potential game-winner.

The score was tied at 107 after Cav George Hill sank the front end of two charities off a foul by Klay Thompson.

Smith grabbed Hill’s miss and there were but 4.7 ticks remaining.

The lane was traffic-free and the rim was just feet away from Smith.

But Smith, a 30-year-old veteran of four NBA teams, dribbled away beyond the arc at right quarter court to the horror of even his mother.

When Smith realized his gaffe, his pass to Hill at the right corner got buzzed by time. Overtime.

The entire Cleveland team didn’t recover from Smith’s blunder and the Warriors easily outscored them in the five-minute extension 17-7 for that 124-117 overtime win.

Cleveland, still reeling from that Game One boo-boo, got bludgeoned in a horrible Game Two rout 122-103 before Golden State made it a commanding 3-0 lead with another masterful 110-102 Game 3 victory.

No team has ever rallied from 0-3 to win an NBA crown by 4-3.

While two-time MVP Stephen Curry starred for the Warriors with his record-setting nine triples in Game 2, it was Kevin Durant’s time to unleash his masterpiece in Game 3.

Durant, acquired last year from the Oklahoma Thunder and the 2017 Finals MVP when Golden State won its second crown in three years, fired a career playoff-high of 43 points on Thursday.

The 6-foot-11 forward, who could dribble his way into the lane like a point-guard, was 15-of-23 in field goal shooting and an astonishing 6-of-9 from the three-point territory. He grabbed 13 rebounds and issued 7 assists as well.

Durant’s heroics were more than enough to cushion the impact of Curry’s mere 11 points behind shooting hands that were as cold as ice.

Curry, who was scoring 20-plus points in the first two games, was 3-of-16 from the field and sank just one of 10 threes in his most anemic showing in a championship showdown.

But then the question:  Did Golden State proceed to win yesterday’s Game 4 for a third NBA crown in four years via a sweet sweep?

Or did Cleveland survive?

If miracles do happen, then we’ll see LeBron James and the Cavs going to Oakland for Game 5 on Tuesday, June 12.

A long shot that can only happen by God’s will.

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