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Luol Deng Responds to Ferry

Luol Deng Responds to Ferry

Christian Petersen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Miami Heat forward Luol Deng responded to a recent scouting report that Hawks general manager Danny Ferry read during a June conference call.

Ferry and the Hawks pursued Deng before he signed with Miami last season and apologized on Monday for the racial comments he made in a letter that he sent to Hawks co-owner Michael Gearon Jr.

Deng released a statement on Tuesday.

‘HE HAS A LITTLE AFRICAN IN HIM’

“Ultimately, I’m thankful to be with an organization that appreciates me for who I am and has gone out of its way to make me feel welcome.”

“These words were recently used to describe me. It would ordinarily make any African parent proud to hear their child recognized for their heritage.

“I’m proud to say I actually have a lot of African in me, not just ‘a little.’ For my entire life, my identity has been a source of pride and strength. Among my family and friends, in my country of South Sudan and across the broader continent of Africa, I can think of no greater privilege than to do what I love for a living while also representing my heritage on the highest stage. Unfortunately, the comment about my heritage was not made with the same respect and appreciation.

“Concerning my free agency, the focus should purely have been on my professionalism and my ability as an athlete. Every person should have the right to be treated with respect and evaluated as an individual, rather than be reduced to a stereotype. I am saddened and disappointed that this way of thinking still exists today. I am even more disturbed that it was shared so freely in a business setting.

“However, there is comfort in knowing that there are people who aren’t comfortable with it and have the courage to speak up. In the same way a generalization should not define a group of people, the attitude of a few should not define a whole organization or league.

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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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Miami Heat Re-Sign Dwyane Wade

Miami Heat Re-Sign Dwyane Wade

Miami Heat/NBA(MIAMI) — The Miami Heat has re-signed guard Dwyane Wade, the team announced on Tuesday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Dwyane has been the franchise cornerstone for this team since the day he arrived 11 years ago,” Heat president Pat Riley said in a statement. “He has shown his commitment to the Heat many times over the course of his career and has always been willing to sacrifice in order to help build this team into a champion. This time is no different. I am ecstatic to have him back in the fold and I am confident that Dwyane, as always, will be leading this team as we look to contend for NBA Championships.”

Miami originally selected Wade out of Marquette with the fifth overall pick in the 2003 NBA draft. In 11 seasons with the Heat, Wade has averaged 24.3 points, 6.0 assists, 5.0 rebounds per game. The 10-time All-Star has won three NBA championships during his tenure.

The Heat also announced on Tuesday the signing of free agent forward Luol Deng.

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ESPN: Heat Re-Sign Center Chris Andersen

ESPN: Heat Re-Sign Center Chris Andersen

Brian A. Westerholt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Even without Lebron James suiting up for the Miami Heat next season, the team is committed to putting together a winning team as they’ve re-signed center Chris Andersen.

Andersen’s new deal is worth two years and will pay him $10 million.

In two seasons with the Heat, the 36-year-old Andersen has resurrected his career with Miami. He’s established himself as a reliable big man off the bench who has earned crunch time minutes with the team in the regular season and the playoffs.

In 72 games for the Heat this past season, Andersen averaged 6.6 points, 5.3 rebounds per game, and 1.3 blocks in 19.4 minutes per game.

Despite the free agent departure of James, the Heat have not been quiet this offseason. They’ve brought in Luol Deng, Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger. The team has also resigned Chris Bosh, Andersen, and are expected to bring back Dwayne Wade and Udonis Haslem.

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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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Heat Make Moves In Free Agency

Heat Make Moves In Free Agency

iStock/Thinkstock(MIAMI) — Free agent forward Danny Granger has agreed to a two-year contract with the Miami Heat worth $4.2 million, according to ESPN.

The 31-year-old Granger split time last season between the Indiana Pacers and the Los Angeles Clippers, where he averaged 8.2 points and 3.2 rebounds per game.  His best season came during the 2008-09 campaign, where he averaged 25.8 points and 5.1 rebounds per game for the Pacers.

The Heat also has agreed to sign a deal with free agent forward Josh McRoberts. In seven seasons in the NBA, the 27-year-old has averaged 5.7 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. He has suited up for the Portland Trail Blazers, Pacers, Los Angeles Lakers, Orlando Magic and Charlotte Hornets.

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Report: Dwayne Wade and Udonis Haslem Opt Out of their Contracts

Report: Dwayne Wade and Udonis Haslem Opt Out of their Contracts

Chris Trotman/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The Big 3 just might be sticking together after all. According to reports, guard Dwyane Wade, and forward Udonis Haslem have opted out of their contracts and will become free agents.

On the surface, this might spell gloom and doom for Heat fans, but these moves could allow the team re-sign Lebron James, Chris Bosh, Wade, and possibly another high-level free agent.

Haslem is likely to re-sign with with the Heat, but on a more team-friendly deal. He was due to make $4.62 million next season.

The 34-year-old Haslem has spent his entire 11-year career, and has won three championships during his tenure in South Beach.

Wade is also a career member of the Heat organization. He’s been with the team since they drafted him sixth overall back in 2003, the same year they selected Haslem.

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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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Heats’ Shane Battier to Retire, Ray Allen’s Playing Future Up in the Air

Heats’ Shane Battier to Retire, Ray Allen’s Playing Future Up in the Air

iStock/Thinkstock(SAN ANTONIO) — While the basketball world will wait and see what the future holds for Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh, the Miami Heat will lose forward Shane Battier to retirement while Ray Allen is still deciding his playi…

San Antonio Spurs Win Fifth NBA Championship

San Antonio Spurs Win Fifth NBA Championship

iStock/Thinkstock(SAN ANTONIO) — Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard had 22 points and pulled down 10 rebounds as San Antonio captured their fifth Larry O’Brien trophy with a 104-87 win over the Miami Heat in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Sunday night.

The Heat jumped out to a 16-point lead in the first half, but the Spurs came roaring back, taking the lead for good when Leonard drilled a three with 4:47 left in the second quarter.

The 22-year-old Leonard was named the series MVP. He averaged 17.8 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in the Finals.

The Spurs’ last NBA championship came back in 2007. It marked the team’s fourth title in nine years.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 6/15/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 6/15/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — NBA Finals: San Antonio Spurs 104 – Miami Heat 87 (Spurs Win Series, 4-1)

World Cup: Group E: Switzerland 2 – Ecuador 1 

France 3 – Honduras 0 

Group F: Argentina 2 – Bosnia-Herzegovina 1

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays 5 (41-30) – Baltimore Orioles 2 (35-33) 

New York Mets 3 (31-38) – San Diego Padres 1 (29-40) 

Miami Marlins 3 (35-33) – Pittsburgh Pirates 2 (34-35) – 10 Innings

Chicago Cubs 3 (28-39) – Philadelphia Phillies 0 (29-38)

Detroit Tigers 4 (36-29) – Minnesota Twins 3 (32-35)

St. Louis Cardinals 5 (37-32) – Washington Nationals 2 (35-33)

Kansas City Royals 6 (36-32) – Chicago White Sox 3 (33-37)

Cincinnati Reds 13 (33-35) – Milwaukee Brewers 4 (41-29)

Cleveland Indians 3 (35-35) – Boston Red Sox 2 (31-38) – 11 Innings

Tampa Bay Rays 4 (27-43) – Houston Astros 3 (32-39)

Seattle Mariners 5 (35-34) – Texas Rangers 1 (34-35)

Oakland Athletics 10 (42-27) – New York Yankees 5 (35-33)

Arizona Diamondbacks 6 (30-42) – Los Angeles Dodgers 3 (37-34)

Colorado Rockies 8 (34-35) – San Francisco Giants 7 (43-27)

Atlanta Braves 7 (36-32) – L.A. Angels 3 (37-31)

Golf: Martin Kaymer won the U.S. Open.

NASCAR: Jimmie Johnson won the Michigan 400.

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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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Scoreboard Roundup – 6/12/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 6/12/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — NBA Finals: San Antonio Spurs 107 – Miami Heat 86 (Spurs lead series, 3-1.)

MLB: Cincinnati Reds 4 (31-34) – Los Angeles Dodgers 1 (35-33)

Philadelphia Phillies 7 (28-36) – San Diego Padres 3 (28-38)

Colorado Rockies 10 (31-35) – Atlanta Braves 3 (34-31)

San Francisco Giants 7 (43-24) – Washington Nationals 1 (35-30)

Baltimore Orioles 4 (34-31) – Toronto Blue Jays 2 (39-29)

Boston Red Sox 5 (30-36) – Cleveland Indians 2 (33-34)

Detroit Tigers 4 (34-28) – Chicago White Sox 0 (33-34)

Pittsburgh Pirates 4 (32-34) – Chicago Cubs 0 (26-38)

Houston Astros 5 (31-37) – Arizona Diamondbacks 4 (29-40) 10 Innings

Milwaukee Brewers 5 (40-27) – New York Mets 1 (29-37)

New York Yankees 6 (34-31) – Seattle Mariners 3 (34-32)

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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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Scoreboard Roundup – 6/10/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 6/10/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) —  NBA Finals: San Antonio Spurs 111 – Miami Heat 92 (Spurs lead series, 2-1.)

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks 4 (29-38) – Houston Astros 1 (29-37)

Chicago Cubs 7 (26-36) – Pittsburgh Pirates 3 (30-34)

Philadelphia Phillies 5 (26-36) – San Diego Padres 2 (28-36)

Minnesota Twins 4 (30-33) – Toronto Blue Jays 0 (39-27)

New York Mets 6 (29-35) – Milwaukee Brewers 2 (38-27)

St. Louis Cardinals 1 (34-31) – Tampa Bay Rays 0 (24-42)

Kansas City Royals 9 (32-32) – Cleveland Indians 5 (33-32) 

Miami Marlins 8 (34-30) – Texas Rangers 5 (31-34) 

Atlanta Braves 13 (34-29) – Colorado Rockies 10 (29-35)

Boston Red Sox 1 (29-35) – Baltimore 0 (32-31)

Washington Nationals 2 (34-29) – San Francisco 1 (42-23)

New York Yankees 3 (32-31) – Seattle Mariners 2 (34-30)

Los Angeles Angels 2 (36-28) – Oakland Athletics 1 (39-26) 14 Innings

Detroit Tigers (33-27) @ Chicago White Sox (32-33) (postponed; rain)

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Dwayne Wade Fined $5K for Game 2 Flop

Dwayne Wade Fined $5K for Game 2 Flop

Ron Elkman/Getty Images(MIAMI, Fla.) — Miami Heat guard Dwayne Wade was fined $5,000 on Monday for over-exaggerating a foul in Game 2 of the NBA Finals.

The league deemed that Wade “flopped” late in the second quarter when fouled by San Antonio’s Manu Ginobili.

“He took a swipe and he hit me,” said Wade before the fine was announced. “It was a late call by the ref, but he called it.”

The incident occurred with 4:09 to play in the second quarter. Ginobili took the ball nearly 35 feet from the basket. Wade embellished the contact, drawing a foul, and made both resulting free throws. Ginobili was relegated to the bench with his third foul of the half.

The Heat went on to win the game by two points, 98-96, evening the series at one game apiece.

Game 3 is Tuesday night in Miami.

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Rick Fox Says He’ll Be ‘Impressed’ If Miami Heat Get Three-Peat

Rick Fox Says He’ll Be ‘Impressed’ If Miami Heat Get Three-Peat

Thomas Northcut/Digital Vision(NEW YORK) — Rick Fox understands what it takes to get to an NBA Finals four years in a row, having been part of the last NBA team to win three titles in a row with the Los Angeles Lakers from 2000-2002. Fox said if the Miami Heat win the championship again this year, he’d give the team props.

“Their margin for error when it comes to health is really narrow,” Fox told ABC Sports Radio on Monday. “If they win and they make it through, I’ll be extremely impressed having played into June for four straight years in a row.”

Reflecting on his own wins, Fox said that he enjoyed the second NBA title with the Lakers in 2001 the most because the team clicked on all cylinders.

“It was the purist run to a championship,” Fox said.  “We almost went undefeated and we knew what we were doing.  We were on a high level of aptitude with the triangle, it was effortless.”

Fox, who studied radio and television during his time at North Carolina, also weighed in on Rashad McCant’s controversy, where the athlete admitted he had tutors write many of his term papers during matriculation and barely went to class.

“What was demanded of us was to be student athletes first,” Fox said.  “That’s not the experience I had or the experience of any of my teammates would tell you they had.”

“He’s a bit of an outlier in that respect and in my estimation a liar in the other,” he continued. “It’s unfortunate that he’s taken that route.”

Fox is currently staring in Off Season, available on Vimeo and on Demand. He also stars in VH1′s Hit the Floor, which airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

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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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