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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spurs bank on Parker for Game 1 win

Tim Duncan overcame a slow start to finish with 20 points and 14 rebounds, Tony Parker banked in a desperation jumper on a broken play with 5.2 seconds left and the Spurs withstood James’ triple-double to beat the Miami Heat 92-88 on Thursday night in a thrilling Game 1. Parker ended up with 21 points after referees reviewed his shot to make sure it just beat the shot clock, giving San Antonio a four-point edge in a game that was close the whole way.

James leads Heat to Game 3 victory

LeBron James scored 29 points and had 14 rebounds, and the Miami Heat rallied from a 10-point second-half deficit to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 91-85 in Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Sunday night in Miami. James hit a free throw with 16.2 seconds left to make it a two-possession game, the Thunder immediately turned it over and Miami escaped to grab a 2-1 lead in the best -of-seven title series.

NBA Finals attract huge ratings

The NBA Finals’ Game 2 drew the highest preliminary television rating since 2004. The Miami Heat’s 100-96 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night on ABC earned an 11.8 overnight rating. The network said Friday that was up 12 percent from last year’s series between the Heat and Dallas Mavericks. Game 2 of the 2004 finals between the Detroit Pistons and Los Angeles Lakers drew a 12.3 overnight rating. Ratings represent the percentage of U.S. homes with televisions tuned into a program. Overnight ratings measure the country’s largest markets. Game 3 is at 5 p.m. Sunday in Miami, also on ABC. – Associated Press

James gets Miami even with Oklahoma City in NBA Finals

OKLAHOMA CITY – This was Eastern Conference toughness. This was Pat Riley hammer-and-anvil basketball. This was LeBron James finally asserting his brutish and ridiculously unstoppable toughness. Stealing the momentum of the NBA Finals with three consecutive games coming up in Miami, the Heat defeated the Thunder 100-96 on Thursday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena to tie the best-of-7 series at 1-1.

It’s an eye-opening experience in OKC

The Miami Heat have been here before. For the Oklahoma City Thunder, the NBA finals will be an eye-opening experience. All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook (pictured) said Sunday he’s “just going with the flow,” and he doesn’t think he’ll really grasp it all until Game 1 arrives Tuesday night in Oklahoma City. He’s not the only one. The finals will disrupt the Thunder’s routine, forcing them to abandon their practice facility and work out at the arena downtown. They’ll also be surrounded by hundreds of additional media members. Despite the heightened emotions and potential distractions, coach Scott Brooks thinks the Thunder will handle things well and be ready to play come Tuesday night. – Associated Press

Mavericks stop Heat to move within one win of title

DALLAS – Dirk Nowitzki thrust both arms in the air, a sea of blue screaming around him and the Dallas Mavericks finally ahead in the close NBA finals. Now it really is “now or never” for LeBron James and the Miami Heat.

Wade content with lead

DALLAS – A chance for another championship ahead of him, Dwyane Wade refused to look back. No, he said, the answer as quick and forceful as his first step to the basket. He doesn’t consider that the Miami Heat should have a 3-0 lead in the NBA finals.

Heat take 2-1 finals lead over Mavericks

DALLAS — Dwyane Wade kept soaring and scoring, doing everything he could to get the Miami Heat a crucial win toward an NBA title. Chris Bosh and Udonis Haslem provided the final push to seal the key victory. Bosh made a 16-foot, go-ahead jumper from the baseline with 39.6 seconds left and Haslem pestered Dirk Nowitzki the rest of the way as the Heat held on for an 88-86 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday night for a 2-1 lead in the NBA finals.

Carryover from Miami Heat’s Game 2 collapse in NBA finals a key question

DALLAS – Dwyane Wade knows in the NBA finals, collapses can carry over. He was in the Dirk Nowitzki role five years ago, summoning a desperate charge to rescue a team that was down but refused to go out. A furious fourth-quarter rally saved the Heat from a 3-0 deficit and they never looked back, winning four straight to beat Dallas.

Big Three part of the Big Collapse

MIAMI – It was simply the biggest collapse on the biggest stage, and even the Big 3 were utterly helpless to stop it. In a six-minute span that caved in on Miami like a massive sinkhole Thursday night, the Heat saw their NBA championship hopes turn perilous. Dallas 95, Miami 93.

Mavs shock Heat with late run

From up by 15 points with 7 minutes left, to losing home-court advantage in the NBA finals. In a season of challenges for the Miami Heat, here comes the biggest task — recovering after blowing a chance to take a two-game lead over the Dallas Mavericks.

Mavs, Heat clash in NBA finals

MIAMI – LeBron James and Dwyane Wade joked often, smiled easily, answered thoughtfully. A few minutes later, Dirk Nowitzki bounded up to a podium and offered a big “How we doin’!” to the assembled media.

Slouch weighs in on Dirk, LeBron and the NBA finals

So, will Pat Riley regain his rank as smartest hair-and-tan in sports? Or will Mark Cuban – a.k.a. “When I Die, I Want To Come Back As Me,” a.k.a. Smarmy Is As Smarmy Does, a.k.a. Greed Is Good – finally get the crowning achievement of his post-pubescent life? The Heat-Mavericks NBA finals are here. We are also here to tell you about them:

In brief: Sea Dogs win Memorial Cup

Jacob DeSerres made 34 saves and the Saint John Sea Dogs won the Memorial Cup for the first time in their history, beating the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors 3-1 on Sunday night in Mississauga, Ontario. Simon Despres (pictured), Zack Phillips and Jonathan Huberdeau scored for Saint John, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League champion. Riley Brace scored for tournament host Mississauga.

Lakers force Game 7

LOS ANGELES — Buckle up, Boston and L.A. These epic NBA finals are going to Game 7. Kobe Bryant made sure of it, with plenty of help from the rest of the revitalized Los Angeles Lakers. Bryant scored 26 points, Pau Gasol added 17 points and 13 rebounds, and the Lakers emphatically extended the NBA finals to a decisive seventh game with a 89-67 victory over the Boston Celtics in Game 6 on Tuesday night.

Lakers’ title a milestone for Bryant, Jackson

ORLANDO, Fla. – Kobe Bryant pulled Phil Jackson close, embracing his coach and looking him straight in the eyes. After all they’d been through, this was their moment, their championship, their time. This was the one to top all the others. The one without Shaq.