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Louis Williams Drops 36 in Beat-down of Cavaliers

Louis Williams Drops 36 in Beat-down of Cavaliers

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(CLEVELAND,Oh.) -- The Toronto Raptors smacked down the Cleveland Cavaliers as Louis Williams came in off the bench and paced the Raptors to a 110-93 victory, Saturday.

Williams put up 36 points, completing 9 of 19 from the field including three from beyond the arc.

"The thing was that [my teammates] saw that I had a hot hand and they kept coming to me," Williams said. "Just created a spark off the bench."

No shot had as much impact as the three he drained at the first half buzzer that gave Toronto a 56-54 lead.

From there it was all downhill for the Cavaliers according to LeBron James.

"[Williams] changed the game, when he came into the game," James said. "We lost the tempo that we had."

The Cavaliers began the season as the favorites to win it all. Hyped up as the new Big 3; which includes, James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving, the Cavaliers currently sit at 5-7. 

"We're a very fragile team right now, we were a fragile team from the beginning," James said. "Any little adversity hits us, we just shell up."

 

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LeBron Powers Cleveland to Win Over Nuggets

LeBron Powers Cleveland to Win Over Nuggets

Christian Petersen/Getty Images(DENVER) -- Behind a near triple-double from LeBron James, the Cleveland Cavaliers snapped a brief two-game skid with a 110-101 win over the Denver Nuggets on Friday. James scored a team-high 22 points while also dishing out 11 assists and pulling in seven rebounds.

Cleveland (2-3) led by 18 after the first quarter, which included nine total assists. The Cavs had just six assists in the their last game, a 100-102 loss to Utah. Despite only scoring two points in the period, James did have six assists by himself. As a team, the Cavaliers dished out 25 assists in the win.

"We were in tune defensively from the beginning and ... sharing the ball," James said. "We were locked in. I was very pleased with that."

Cleveland led by as many as 21 points in the second half, but the Nuggets (1-4) were able to claw their way back into the game. Randy Foye, who led Denver with 28 points, hit a layup with six minutes left in regulation to cut the deficit to 96-88. Less than 90 seconds later, it was a six point game.

Dion Waiters then stole a pass from Wilson Chandler and dunked it home at the other end, stopping the Denver momentum and giving the Cavaliers a 100-92 lead. Despite being outshot from the floor, Cleveland was 24-of-33 at the foul line while the Nuggets went just 10-of-15.

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Knicks Spoil James’ Return to Cleveland

Knicks Spoil James’ Return to Cleveland

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images(CLEVELAND) -- LeBron James' first game back in Cleveland as a member of the Cavaliers didn't have a fairy tale ending.Carmelo Anthony scored a game-high 25 points to help the New York Knicks beat the Cavaliers 95-90 Thursday night, ruining James' homecoming.With 2:58 left in the game, the Cavaliers went on a 8-2 run to cut the Knicks' lead to three. But Anthony's jumper with 25.9 seconds to play made the score 92-87, ultimately sealing the deal for New York.James finished the game with 17 points on 5-for-15 shooting while also grabbing five rebounds and dishing out four assists. Kevin Love had a team-high 19 points and 14 rebounds in his first game as a Cavalier.James, who left the Cavaliers for Miami in the summer of 2010, re-signed with his home-state squad this summer. Since then, the team has acquired a multitude of new faces including Kevin Love, Mike Miller, and Shawn Marion.Before the game, thousands of fans gathered in downtown Cleveland to celebrate King James' return. There was a free concert featuring Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons in a parking lot across from Quicken Loans Arena.Tickets for the game were selling for more than $10,000 a pop on the secondary market and celebrities such as a Michael Strahan, David Beckham, and Justin Bieber all attended.James will now have to wait until Nov. 10, when New Orleans comes to town, to get another chance for his first win in Cleveland this season.

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Shawn Marion and Pacers Meet

Shawn Marion and Pacers Meet

Dallas Mavericks/NBA(NEW YORK) -- Shawn Marion met with the Indiana Pacers on Monday and had a face-to-face meeting with the team president, Larry Bird. The sit downs came after Bird urged the free-agent forward to play next year in Indianapolis after losing Paul George to a compound leg fracture.

Marion had been rumored to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers and play with Lebron James, which is still a possibility. The Cavaliers however are restricted to only pay the big man a league minimum salary of $1.4 million per season while the Pacers will be granted a $5.3 million disabled player exemption due to George's injury.

The All-Star forward has said he wants to play for a contender if he does wind up leaving the Dallas Mavericks, where he has spent the last five seasons. Last season, the 36-year-old averaged 10.4 points per game and 6.5 rebounds per game.

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Bill Self: Wiggins Looking Forward to Minnesota

Bill Self: Wiggins Looking Forward to Minnesota

Christian Petersen/Getty Images(OVERLAND PARK, Kan.) -- Cleveland Cavaliers No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins doesn't mind that he's being traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Wiggins joined his former Kansas head coach Bill Self this weekend at a basketball camp in Kansas City and did not speak with reporters about the pending trade that would send him to Minnesota.

Self spoke to reporters about what was said between Wiggins and himself.

"When all this trade stuff started, I talked to Andrew and Andrew told me, 'I hope I get traded,'" Self said. "And I'm like, 'No you don't.' And he said, 'Coach, I do. It's better for me, knowing my personality and what I need to do, to go somewhere where I'm forced to be something as opposed to going in there where they're going to be patient with me and I'm going to be a piece.'"

Self said that playing with an All-Star like LeBron James could only help Wiggins' career, but longterm, Wiggins is best suited to be in Minnesota.

"Even though in a weird way everybody would love the opportunity to play with LeBron because you're guaranteed winning," Self said, "for the longevity of his career, he needs to develop that mindset to be the guy, for him to be great, and I think being Minnesota will help him do that."

The trade between the Cavaliers and Timberwolves that will also send former No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett and a future 2015 first-round draft pick for Love cannot be completed until Aug. 23.

"I think he's handled everything great. He's excited," Self said. "I think the whole thing that's been blown out of proportion a bit is that he's been in limbo. He's known since the summer that he'd be traded. It's OK. In some ways he's looking forward to going to Minnesota."

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ESPN: Ray Allen Says He Will Play Next Season

ESPN: Ray Allen Says He Will Play Next Season

Chris Trotman/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Guard Ray Allen has told people close to him that he willl play next season instead of retiring, according to ESPN NBA Insider Chris Broussard.

Broussard also reports that while the Cleveland Cavaliers are the favorites to land Allen, the 39-year-old hasn't made up his mind on where he'll play.

Allen, the NBA's all-time leader in 3-pointers made, played the last two seasons with LeBron James and the Miami Heat. During that time he averaged 10.3 points and 2.8 rebounds while connecting on 40 percent of his 3-point attempts.

Allen has won two championships in his 19 NBA seasons and will only play for teams he considers title contenders.

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LeBron James Says He’s Not Going Anywhere

LeBron James Says He’s Not Going Anywhere

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images(AKRON, Ohio) -- It was a big party for LeBron James on Friday in his hometown of Akron.

James spoke before his annual charity event here for schoolchildren about returning to Cleveland and said even though he's signed for two-years with an option to opt out after next season, he plans on staying.

"My No. 1 goal is to win a championship here; it'd be the greatest achievement in my life," James said. "I don't plan on going nowhere. I don't have the energy to do it again."

James said even with the addition of Kevin Love in two weeks to go along with All-Star guard Kyrie Irving and former Heat teammates Mike Miller and James Jones that nothing will come easy.

"Even with the veterans we've brought in, even if we're able to acquire Kevin Love two weeks from now, it's still going to be a process," James said. "I know that firsthand. It was a process when I was in Cleveland. It was a process in Miami. It's going to be a challenge."

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Dwyane Wade: Had a Feeling James Was Leaving Miami

Dwyane Wade: Had a Feeling James Was Leaving Miami

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Heat forward Dwyane Wade wasn't surprised when his former teammate, LeBron James, told him that he'd be going back to Cleveland to play with the Cavaliers.

Wade said on Friday that he supported whatever decision James' was going to make, but had a feeling he'd be headed back to Cleveland.

"Yeah, I went to sleep knowing," Wade told reporters. "He called me the next day. But I knew then. Obviously he still had to say the final yay or nay, but I knew. I could tell."

"As his friend, I'm just supportive," Wade continued. "As crazy as that might sound, I'm supportive of my friends doing what makes them happy. Obviously, same thing with him in this situation. You've gotta do what makes you happy -- selfishly do what makes you happy. The decision to go back home was that."

The Heat brought in free agents Luol Deng, Josh McRoberts, and Danny Granger.  The team also resigned All-Star and two-time NBA champion Chris Bosh.

"It was a different summer for us," Wade said. "It's no secret, obviously; it's been a change in how we looked the last four years by losing LeBron to Cleveland. I think our ownership has done a great job so far of trying to not replace but recover from that. The only thing we do as a franchise and as players is we move forward."

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LeBron James to Wear No. 23 for Cavaliers

LeBron James to Wear No. 23 for Cavaliers

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- LeBron James tweeted on Sunday that he'll go back to wearing No. 23 this season as he makes his return to Cleveland.

When James left Cleveland in 2010, fans burned his No. 23 jersey, but now they'll have to go out and buy another one.

"23 it is! It's only right I go back. 2·3=6 We still family 6. #HomeTeam #StriveForGreatness," James tweeted.

James switched to his Olympic No. 6 with the Miami Heat, but decided to switch back after the league did not retire the number for Michael Jordan.

James has led the league jersey sales for six of the 11 seasons he's played in the NBA.

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Cavaliers’ David Blatt Says Team Won’t Trade Andrew Wiggins

Cavaliers’ David Blatt Says Team Won’t Trade Andrew Wiggins

Jost West/Getty Images Sport(NEW YORK) -- With rumors flying that the Cleveland Cavaliers could now shift their attention to acquiring Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star Kevin Love, head coach David Blatt says the team will not trade Andrew Wiggins in any potential deal for Love.

"There's no reason or cause for worry on his part because Andrew's not going anywhere, as far as I know and as far as the club has expressed," Blatt told reporters Saturday.

Wiggins was the number one overall pick by the Cavaliers in the NBA Draft last June. Many see him as a potential franchise player, and the team is reluctant to give him up.

"I would think for a guy like Andrew, to have the opportunity to play with arguably one of the best players of all time, and to learn from him and to be tutored by him and to play alongside him -- which he will -- I gotta think that's a tremendous boost to his confidence and his comfort level and probably his motivation," Blatt told reporters.

Love is reportedly "intrigued" by the idea of playing with James in Cleveland, but it remains to be seen if the Cavaliers can bring him on board without giving up Wiggins.

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Lebron James Is Headed Back to Cavaliers

Lebron James Is Headed Back to Cavaliers

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- LeBron James is headed back to Cleveland, the four-time MVP announced on Friday in an article he wrote for Sports Illustrated.

James spent seven seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers before leaving for Miami in 2010. Following his departure, James made four NBA finals appearances and took home two NBA titles, with help from Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, for the Miami Heat.

The Heat made a last-pitch effort to lock in James Wednesday when team president Pat Riley met with James and his agent, Rich Paul, in Las Vegas.

Paul did most of the talking during this free agency process, compared to 2010. He also met with the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks and Phoenix Suns.

James joins a young Cleveland roster that includes Kyrie Irving, Anderson Varejao, and this year's number-one overall pick, Andrew Wiggins.

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Lebron James Opts out of Contract, Set for Free Agency

Lebron James Opts out of Contract, Set for Free Agency

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Here we go again. Lebron James' agent, Rich Paul, has informed the Miami Heat that James will opt out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

While NBA fans may be salivating at the idea of landing arguably the best player in the NBA, opting out of his deal does not necessarily mean he will leave the Heat.

James had until June 30 to opt out of the final two years of his deal. He had $42.7 million remaining on his deal.

A four-time NBA MVP, James is one of the most transcendent players in the NBA and all of sports. In 11 NBA seasons, James has averaged 27.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 6.9 assists per game.

James spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He infamously chose to play for the Heat during the summer of 2010.

Now 29, James went to four-consecutive Finals with the Heat, and won two titles.

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Spurs Stomp Heat, Take 3-1 Finals Lead

Spurs Stomp Heat, Take 3-1 Finals Lead

Andy Lyons/Getty Images(MIAMI, Fla.) -- Kawhi Leonard had 20 points and 14 rebounds while playing tremendous defense against LeBron James to help San Antonio dominate the Heat in a 107-86 win in Game 4 of the NBA Finals. The Spurs now take a 3-1 lead in the series and are one win away from a world championship.

"I'm pleased that they performed as well as they did while we've been in Miami, and that's about as far as it goes," said San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich. "Now we've got to go back home and play as well or better."

For the second straight game, San Antonio dominated, leading by as many as 24 points in the third quarter. The Spurs shot 57.1 percent from the floor as a team, including 9-for-21 from three-point distance. Miami, who had not lost at home this postseason prior to Game 3 on Tuesday, shot just 45 percent in the loss.

Despite 28 points from LeBron James, 19 of which came in the third quarter, the Heat were unable to find an answer defensively. Now they must do what no team has ever done, win an NBA Finals after trailing 3 games to 1. 

Tim Duncan surpassed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the most career playoff minutes (8,869) as well as Magic Johnson's all-time record for double-doubles in the postseason (158). Duncan has helped bring San Antonio all four world titles in franchise history, the most recent of which in 2007. He can add a fifth to his resume on Sunday when the team returns to San Antonio.

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Spurs Dominate Heat to Win Game 3 of NBA Finals

Spurs Dominate Heat to Win Game 3 of NBA Finals

Andy Lyons/Getty Images(MIAMI) -- The San Antonio Spurs hit 19 of their first 21 shots en route to a 111-92 destruction of the Miami Heat in Game 3 of the NBA Finals Tuesday.

The Spurs now lead the best-of-seven series two games to one.

The Spurs shooting may have not been as hot after their first 21 shots, but it still was good. San Antonio finished the first half hitting a Finals-record 75.8% of its shots.

"I don't think we'll ever shoot 76 percent in a half ever again," Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said.

Kawhi Leonard, who scored 18 points combined in Games 1 and 2, had a career-high 29 points in the win.

"I just was able to get into a rhythm tonight," Leonard said to ESPN. "In Game 1 and 2 I got in some foul trouble so I was getting subbed out pretty early. Tonight I got in a rhythm and knocked down shots early."

The Spurs also turned Miami over 20 times, which led to 23 points.

LeBron James and Dwyane Wade each had 22 points in the loss.

Game 4 is Thursday night in Miami. Tip-off is scheduled for 9 p.m. Eastern. You can watch the match-up on ABC.

 

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James Scores 35, Heat Tie Series

James Scores 35, Heat Tie Series

Andy Lyons/Getty Images(SAN ANTONIO, Texas) -- After two days of taking criticism for missing the final four minutes of a Game 1 loss, LeBron James scored 35 points and added 10 rebounds as Miami defeated San Antonio 98-96 in Game 2 of the NBA Finals. The Heat have won 13 straight postseason games after a loss, evening the series at one game apiece.

"What happened on Thursday was Thursday," said James after the win. "My whole focus was how I was going to try to help this team even this up and just try to make some plays."

One play he made was an assist to Chris Bosh for a go-ahead three at the 1:18 mark of the fourth quarter. That gave Miami a 95-93 advantage that they would not relinquish. A Dwayne Wade layup on a broken play upped the lead to five with nine seconds remaining to seal the deal.

The back-and-forth affair saw San Antonio lead by as many as eight points, and hold a one-point lead heading into the fourth quarter. While nursing an 87-85 advantage, both Tim Duncan and Tony Parker missed a pair of free throws midway through the frame. James followed with a three-pointer to take the lead and regain momentum.

Duncan finished the game with 18 points and 15 rebounds for the Spurs while Parker had a team high 21 points. Four different players for the Heat scored in double-figures. Game 3 is Tuesday night in Miami.

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Gatorade Issues Apology to LeBron, Electrical Malfunction Fixed

Gatorade Issues Apology to LeBron, Electrical Malfunction Fixed

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- An electrical malfunction left the air conditioner within the AT&T Center useless, causing temperatures within the arena to reach the nineties during Thursday night's Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs.

Heat All-Star LeBron James suffered cramps in the fourth quarter that kept him out the final four minutes of the game in San Antonio's 110-95 win.

Following the game, Gatorade tweeted, "Our athletes can take the heat," but issued a statement to ABC News on Friday.

"Our apologies for our response to fans’ tweets during last night’s Heat vs. Spurs game.  We got caught up in the heat of the battle. As a longtime partner of the Miami Heat, we support the entire team," a Gatorade spokesperson said.

The electrical failure was fixed on Friday morning and the Spurs Sports & Entertainment issued a statement regarding the issue.

"The electrical failure that caused the AC system outage during Game 1 of the NBA Finals has been repaired.  The AC system has been tested, is fully operational and will continue to be monitored.  The upcoming events at the  AT&T Center, including the Romeo Santos concert tonight, the Stars game on Saturday night and Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday, will go on as scheduled.  We apologize for the conditions in the arena during last night’s game."

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Spurs Top Miami, and Beat the Heat, in Game 1

Spurs Top Miami, and Beat the Heat, in Game 1

Chris Covatta/Getty Images(SAN ANTONIO, Texas) -- The San Antonio Spurs outscored Miami 36-17 in the fourth quarter, and battled an air conditioner issue to boot, to defeat the Heat 110-95 in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. An electrical malfunction left the air conditioner within the AT&T Center useless, causing temperatures within the arena to reach the nineties.

"It was tough on both teams," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "They were pretty dead. We tried to get guys in and out. It was really hot out there."

Miami led 86-79 with just under nine minutes to play in the fourth quarter, but a 15-4 Spurs run turned it into a four-point San Antonio lead. After LeBron James cut the deficit to 94-92, the sweltering temperatures forced the Heat forward out of the game with apparent cramps. The Heat scored just three points in the final four minutes without James as San Antonio won their eighth straight home playoff game.

"After I came out of the game, they kind of took off," James told a pool reporter after the game. "And it was frustrating sitting out and not be able to help our team."

Danny Green scored 11 of his 13 points in the final frame, including three 3-point baskets, leading a San Antonio charge that saw them close the game on a 30-9 run. Tim Duncan had 21 points and 10 rebounds to pace the Spurs while James led all scorers with 25 points. 

NBA President of Basketball Operations, Rod Thorn, said after the game that the conditions on the court were not harmful to the players. Thorn also stated that officials expected the air conditioning issue to be resolved in time for Game 2 on Sunday.

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LeBron: We’ll Be Ready For Spurs

LeBron: We’ll Be Ready For Spurs

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images(MIAMI) -- LeBron James isn't fazed by Spurs center Tim Duncan's comments after they beat the Thunder in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals.

Following the win that clinched a trip for a Finals rematch with the Heat, Duncan said: "We're excited about it. We've got four more to win. We'll do it this time."

James and the Heat had an extended practice on Monday as they prepare for their fourth trip to the Finals.

"They don't like us, they don't. I can sense it from Timmy's comments over the last couple of days," James said. "They wanted this, they wanted us and we'll be ready for the challenge."

James is looking for his third NBA title and Dwyane Wade is seeking his fourth.

"They've been preparing for this moment [and] we have as well," James said. "No one is entitled. This is no one's championship. It isn't ours, it isn't theirs, it's two teams fighting for it."

Game 1 is on Thursday in San Antonio.  The Heat beat the Spurs in the NBA Finals in seven games last year.

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Heat Advance to Fourth Straight NBA Finals

Heat Advance to Fourth Straight NBA Finals

Chris Trotman/Getty Images(MIAMI, Fla.) -- It was the same old story in Miami on Friday night as another dominating performance from the Heat led to another appearance in the NBA Finals. Miami defeated Indiana 117-92 in Game 6, clinching their fourth consecutive Eastern Conference Championship.

The Heat became just the fourth team, and third franchise ever, to reach four consecutive NBA finals. The last team to complete the feat was the Boston Celtics (1984-87). Now they look to become the first team since the Los Angeles Lakers (2000-2002) to win three straight NBA Championships.

Both LeBron James and Chris Bosh scored 25 points as Miami knocked out the Pacers for the third straight year in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Heat trailed 9-2 early but went on an 11-0 run to take a lead that they would not relinquish. With the win Miami set a franchise record with their 11th straight home postseason victory.

Indiana, which had led the Eastern Conference for most of the season, got 29 points from Paul George and another 16 from David West. Once again, Roy Hibbert was almost unproductive, scoring just eight points in the loss.

Miami led by as many as 37, their biggest margin at any point during the season. They now await the winner of the Western Conference Finals between Oklahoma City and San Antonio. The Heat beat San Antonio last season and took down the Thunder in 2012 to win their first of consecutive titles.

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George Scores 37, Pacers Stay Alive

George Scores 37, Pacers Stay Alive

Joe Robbins/Getty Images(INDIANAPOLIS) -- Paul George scored 21 of his game-high 37 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Indiana Pacers to a 93-90 do-or-die victory over the Miami Heat Wednesday, in Game 5 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals.

The Heat lead the best-of-seven series three games to two.

"I just felt it. I felt in rhythm. I had to be aggressive," George said. "I tried to come out and be aggressive to start this game off, and I was getting looks. I got hot." That was something Heat forward LeBron James never had a chance to do: James was in foul trouble the entire game; he only played 24 1/2 minutes, scoring a career playoff-low seven points.

Despite the lack of production from James, the Heat hung in. Rashard Lewis scored 18 points, hitting 6-of-9 from 3-point land. Dwyane Wade also had 18 points as well as eight rebounds and seven assists.

The Heat had a chance to win the game at the end when LeBron James drove to the basket and dished the ball to Chris Bosh in the corner for a three, but Bosh's shot clanked off the rim forcing a Game 6.

The series now shifts to Miami Friday night. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. Eastern.

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