The Cleveland Cavaliers became the first team to lock down a spot in the NBA Finals with a 113-87 victory over the Toronto Raptors. This was the first time in the series that a home tam had lost a game. The Cavaliers won Game 1, 2 and 4 in Cleveland while Toronto had surprisingly held serve winning Games 3 and 4 in Toronto. The Cavaliers built a 6-point lead 31-25 after the 1st quarter and just continued to add to it. They extended the lead to 55-41 going into halftime and that was pretty much the end of it for Toronto. The Raptors where able to cut into the Cavaliers lead in the 3rd quarter, but the 2 points they knocked off the lead wasn’t enough to get them back in the game. The Raptors outscored the Cavaliers 33-31 in the 3rd quarter, but that cut the Cleveland lead to 12 points at 86-74. The Cavaliers where able to pull away in the 4th quarter as they outscored the Raptors 27-13 to get the game to it’s final score of 113-87.
LeBron James led the way with 33 points for the Cavaliers. Kyrie Irving scored 30 points and had a team high 9 assists while Kevin Love scored 20 points and grabbed a team high 12 rebounds. J.R. Smith also scored in double figures adding 15 points as four of the five Cavaliers starters scored in double figures. The Cavaliers where an impressive 17 of 31 (54.8%) from behind the 3-point line in the game.
It seems for the raptors when Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan play well they win those game. Well both Lowry and DeRozan shot 50% from the floor. Lowry had 35 points while DeRozan added 20 points. Lowry shoot 11 of 22 from the field and was 6 of 12 from behind the 3-point line and 7 for 7 from the free throw line. DeRozan was 9 of 18 from the floor and made both free throws he shot; he did miss his only 3-point attempt of the game. Lowry and DeRozan also tied for the team lead in assists with 3 apiece while Bismack Biyombo grabbed a team high 9 rebounds.
This is the second straight season that Cleveland will represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals, but this is the 6th consecutive trip to the NBA Finals for LeBron James. He went four seasons in a row with the Miami Heat and then of course these last two seasons with the Cavaliers. The other seven players to accomplish this feat where all members of the 1950’s and 1960’s Boston Celtics dynasties. Those seven other players are Bill Russell, Sam Jones, K.C. Jones, Satch Sanders, Tommy Heinsohn, Frank Ramsey, and Bob Cousy.
The last year James did not play in an NBA Finals was 2010 – which marked Kobe Bryant’s last title with the Los Angeles Lakers. LeBron played in another Finals in 2007 with Cleveland, and sports a record of 2-4 so far – both titles coming with the Heat.
In the 6th round of the NFL draft the Baltimore Ravens took Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds. The Ravens will look to use Reynolds as a return man and wide receiver. Of course the issue when you draft any player from a service academy is they have a commitment to that branch of the service. Of Friday at his graduation speech at the Naval Academy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter said Reynolds can defer his military service to play in the NFL. This was considered the final step in allowing Reynolds to play for the Ravens. It was two weeks ago when Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus submitted a request where he “strongly recommended” that Reynolds be cleared to join the NFL after a standout college career. Mabus recently said he couldn’t think of “a better ambassador for the United States Navy or for the United States military than Keenan Reynolds.” Reynolds finished his college career as the FBS’ all-time leader in total touchdowns (88), rushing yards by a quarterback (4,559) and points scored (530).
While the Ravens got some good news with Reynolds they also had an issue this week as the NFL forced Baltimore to cancel one week of organized team activities and fined both the team and coach John Harbaugh on Thursday for violating off season rules. The Ravens acknowledged the punishment by releasing a statement on Thursday. It’s being reported that the Ravens were fined $343,057 and Harbaugh was fined $137,223. Apparently the rule that was broken was when the Ravens put rookies and first-year players in pads for a five-minute period at a recent rookie mini-camp. This is the second time in six years that the NFL has punished the Ravens for violating off-season rules. In 2010, Baltimore had to cancel the final week of OTA’s, after six players complained to the players’ union about late meetings and two others reported being held too long on the field after practice. I honestly didn’t know that either of these things would be a violation. I thought that it was just part of your job as an NFL player, but what do I know. This punishment was similar to what the Seattle Seahawks received in 2014. The team was fined $200,000 and Carroll was hit with a $100,000 fine. The Seahawks also lost two days of mandatory mini-camp for violating non-contact rules in the off-season.
It seems like there’s been talk of Julio Urias being brought up to the major for quite a while now. Well last night it finally happened as Urias made his major league debut for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Urias started against the New York Mets and it was quite the debut performance a lot of people expected. The Dodgers had announced that they would keep Urias to 85 pitches in this start and he did get close to that total, but it was in just 2 2/3rd innings. Urias gave up 5 hits, 3 runs (all earned) while walking 4 and striking out 3. Urias pitch count reached 81 in his short outing. Urias wasn’t involved in the decision; a 6-5 win for the Mets.
Dick Calmus was the last teenager to start a game for the Dodgers back in 1963 and he didn’t get out of the 1st inning. I’m sure there are a lot of people out thinking that it was Fernando Valenzuela. While Valenzuela did pitch for the Dodgers as a teenager it was out of the bullpen; he actually didn’t start a game for Los Angeles until he was 20 years old. Felix Hernandez was the last teenager to make a start in the majors. Hernandez started for the Seattle Maruners on August 4th 2005 against the Detroit Tigers. Hernandez pitched 5 innings gave up 1 run, 3 hits with 2 walks and 4 strikeouts. With the way starting pitchers are handled now they may be a big gap between Julio Urias and the next teenage starter.