Philippine Daily Inquirer


Cavs finally get some good news as Love, Thompson escape suspension­s


OAKLAND— It’s been called almost everything by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Frustratin­g. A robbery. It’s just Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors and it’s been all sorts of bad for The King and his court.

JR Smith committed a key blunder, a disputed replay overturned a crucial call and a missed free throw dealt the Cleveland Cavaliers an emotionall­y crushing 124-114 overtime loss in a game they could have stolen in regulation. And as if that was not enough bad news, how about the NBA saying the referees bungled two calls that could have given Cleveland a chance to win it all?

On Friday, though, a bit of good news: the NBA determined that Cleveland big men Tristan Thompson and Kevin Love wouldn’t be suspended for Game 2 on Sunday night for their roles in a late-game brawl.

Thompson was called for a flagrant 2 foul against Shaun Livingston in Game 1. The NBA fined him $25,000 for failing to leave the court in a timely fashion and for his interactio­n with Draymond Green but downgraded the foul to a flagrant 1. Love left the bench to argue the flagrant call and was on the court when the altercatio­n started. But the league determined he didn’t warrant a suspension because he returned to the bench immediatel­y.

James scored a playoff career-high 51 points, the most in a finals game in 25 years.

Asked if it was his most frustratin­g loss, James replied, “Because it’s right now I would say yeah. We played as well as we’ve played all postseason and we gave ourselves a chance possession after possession after possession. There were just some plays that were kind of taken away from us. Simple as that.”

A referee video reversal overturned a charging foul on Kevin Durant into a blocking foul on James.

Cavs coach Tyronn Lue called the effort by James “epic” and added, “To do what he did tonight and come out robbed, it’s just not right.”

James also appeared exasperate­d when Smith grabbed a late rebound inside with the game deadlocked and dribbled away from the hoop.

Meanwhile, the NBA’s “Last Two Minute Report” released Friday revealed a missed call on Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green that would have sent James to the line with the chance to put the Cleveland Cavaliers ahead late in Game 1.

With 12.1 seconds remaining and the Warriors up 107-106, Green grabbed James’ arm and affected his freedom of movement. However, the infraction went unnoticed and play continued until Warriors guard Klay Thompson fouled George Hill with 4.7 seconds remaining.

Hill made his first free throw but missed his second, which Green should have been called for a lane violation that would have provided Hill another free throw.

 ?? —USA TODAY SPORTS ?? The NBA says Draymond Green (left) should have been called for a foul on LeBron James late in Game 1.
—USA TODAY SPORTS The NBA says Draymond Green (left) should have been called for a foul on LeBron James late in Game 1.

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