Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 14th 2017 Contents OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA---As a fresh
NBA champions cap sat a tad
off-kilter on his head, Kevin Du-
rant embraced his mother, Wan-
da. Then he moved across the po-
dium and hugged Stephen Curry
before accepting his shiny MVP
trophy, holding out his arms and
hoisting it for everyone to see.
From the Bay all the way to OKC.
Durant capped his spectacular first
season with the Warriors by bring-
ing home that coveted NBA cham-
pionship he joined Golden State last
July so determined to get. He scored
39 points in a fast-and-furious,
finals-clinching 129-120 victory
over LeBron James and the Cleve-
land Cavaliers in Game 5 on Monday
"You can talk about whatever
you want to talk about, but nobody
comes in and cares about the game
works as hard as do I at the basketball
game. You can talk about whatever
happens on the outside, but inside
those lines, I come to bring it every
day," Durant said.
"I work hard, I believe in myself,
I believe in the game, I respect the
game, I love the game, and I knew
at some point in my life that it will
come around for me."
Curry added 34 points, 10 assists
and six rebounds as Golden State
closed out its second title in three
years after squandering a 3-1 lead a
year ago. That stung ever since, and
even Durant understood, because he
gave up the same lead to the Warriors
a round earlier with Oklahoma City.
James, who in 2012 with Miami
beat the Thunder in Durant's only
other finals, wound up with 41
points, 13 rebounds and eight assists.
"I left everything on the floor every
game," James said after averaging a
triple-double in his eighth finals.
Kyrie Irving followed up his
40-point gem in Game 4 with 26
points but shot 9 for 22.
This time, King James gave way to
KD, who was the NBA finals MVP
ten years after being picked second
in the NBA draft behind Greg Oden.
Durant drove left, right and down
the middle, knocked down 3-point-
ers, dished and dunked. He hit a
17-foot fadeaway over James early
in the fourth quarter, then assisted
on a 3-pointer by Andre Iguodala
the next time down as the Warriors
Iguodala, the 2015 finals MVP,
came up big again with his 2017 post-
season-best 20 points off the bench
in a testy, tightly called finale to this
trilogy finals that everyone had
stamped on the calendar from the
moment Durant departed Oklahoma
City to join Curry and Co. last July.
The Warriors won in 2015 before
the Cavs made their historic come-
back last year. Then it was Golden
State's time again, with Durant as
the prized addition.
Sure, the Warriors missed becom-
ing the first undefeated champion,
but 16-1 still gave Golden State the
best winning percentage of any title
team at .941.
Durant shot 14 for 20 and Cur-
ry---the two-time reigning MVP
who took a backseat as the new big
star got acclimated---finished off a
brilliant postseason. Not to mention
a healthy one after his 2016 injuries.
Green stayed on the court in a
game that featured three technicals
on one play 3:08 before half-time.
David West fought for the ball with
Irving, then they got tangled up and
Tristan Thompson entered the fray
and he and West went at each other
face-to-face. West, Thompson and
JR Smith received techs after a replay
Green had sat out this very game
a year ago, suspended because of
flagrant foul point accumulation.
He had 10 points, 12 rebounds and
five assists in this clincher.
With a much-improved bench led
by Iguodala, JaVale McGee, Shaun
Livingston and West, that "Strength
In Numbers" slogan that has become
such a staple the past two seasons
shined all season long, from Durant's
19-game absence late in the regular
season with a left knee injury to as-
sistant coach Mike Brown stepping
in for 11 postseason games to lead
the way while Steve Kerr was ailing.
Golden State used a 28-4 sec-
ond-quarter run to take charge --- just
after it appeared Durant should have
been called for a third foul on a basket
by James---and got to celebrate right
at home in Oakland surrounded by a
deafening home crowd waving yellow
rally towels and holding up phones to
shoot video and photos as the final
minute of the clock ticked away.
The Warriors became the first Bay
Area team to capture a champion-
ship at home since the A's finished
the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 5
of the 1974 World Series.
A year ago, these Warriors fell
short after a record-setting season
that included a 24-0 start and 73 vic-
tories at the end to break the 1995-96
Chicago Bulls' wins mark.
Then they got Durant, who after
the buzzer sounded did a little shake
with Curry on the court before they
slapped hands several times. "I'm
happy for him," Curry said. "You've
got to call Kevin Durant a champ."
guardian.co.tt Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Army, Connection get Pro League wins
The Defence Force and W
Connection have joined Mor-
vant Caledonia United and
North East Stars at the top of
the TT Pro League charts at the
end of opening weekend. Either
team scored identical 1-0 wins
against Police FC and MIC-IT
St Ann's Rangers, respectively,
in Couva on Monday night.
The Defence Force unit was
handed the lead when skipper
Jerwyn Balthazar scored as early
as the third minute after making
contact to a free kick from the
Sheldon Clarke, between the up-
rights for Defence Force, failed to
stop an Elijah Belgrave free kick on
57 minutes, but the ball ricocheted
off both uprights before allowing
the glovesman to gather safely on
the second attempt.
The Richard Hood-coached
lawmen, like their Marvin Gor-
don-coached counterparts, wer-
en't as lively as the game that fol-
lowed. They were tactical though
and a draw would have seemed a
fair result between the two very
Police and Defence Force will
next face Morvant Caledonia Unit-
ed and San Juan Jabloteh, respec-
tively from 6pm and 8pm on Friday
at the Ato Boldon Stadium.
W Connection will also return
to play on Friday, with confidence
from their own 1-nil win on Mon-
day night as their new signing
Marcus "Lobo" Joseph snatched
the winner at the death as the
Savonetta Boys narrowly avoided
an opening draw. Joseph, who was
denied no less than five times on
the night by Rangers goalkeeper
Cleon John, including a brilliant
reflex save in the 65th, fired home
the winner from the left.
The 35-year-old John had been
hung out to dry by his defence
which had given their all to the
Rangers shirt but collapsed on a
raid that saw Joseph, a former Cen-
tral FC and Point Fortin Civic star
forward, move free inside the area
to capitalise in the 89th minute.
John wasn't flattened though. The
overlooked Trinidad and Tobago
shot-stopper made three more
saves---his last to match a stop-
page-time strike by Connection
Rangers, coached by Antho-
ny Streete and boasting a few
new additions, had two penalty
shouts---the clearer of them when
forward Anselm "Worm" Jackson
went down under a challenge by
Connection right-back Shaquille
Bertrand two minutes from the
break---but referee Keilon Bacchus
bought none of it.
In the end the 1-0 result stood
and Connection moved into sec-
ond position after one game with a
similar goal differencial to Caledo-
nia, Defence Force and North East
but Caledonia's two goals scored
against Club Sando on Saturday in
a 2-1 win is what puts them ahead
of the others. The Savonetta Boys
will return to play on Friday, trav-
elling to the Mahaica Oval from
6pm to face Point Fortin Civic.
Central FC, the three-time
defending champions, will vis-
it North East Stars at the Arima
Velodrome on Saturday from 8pm,
while must return to the Ato Bol-
don on Tuesday from 6pm against
T&T PRO LEAGUE 2017
Round One Match Day One results
June 12 Defence Force 1 (Jerwyn Balthazar 3') vs Police
FC 0, at Ato Boldon Stadium
W Connection 1 (Marcus Joseph 89') vs MIC-IT St Ann's
Rangers 0, at Ato Boldon Stadium.
June 10 North East Stars 1 (Kevon Villaroel 11') vs Point
Fortin Civic 0, at Arima Velodrome.
June 9 Club Sando 1 (Tyrone Charles 13') vs Morvant Cale-
donia United 2 (Kerry Daniel 29', Sheldon Holder 60'), at
Ato Boldon Stadium;
Central FC 0 vs San Juan Jabloteh 0, at Ato Boldon Stadium.
Round One Match Day Two
Ato Boldon Stadium
Police FC vs Morvant Caledonia United---6pm
San Juan Jabloteh vs Defence Force---8pm
Point Fortin Civic vs W Connection---6pm
North East Stars vs Central FC---8pm
Ato Boldon Stadium
Club Sando vs MIC-IT St Ann's Rangers---6pm
Durant, Curry lead
Warriors to NBA title
LeBron James hugs
Stephen Curry after
Kevin Durant, right, celebrates with his mother, Wanda, as he is named the
2017 NBA finals Most Valuable Player. AP PHOTOS
GSW players, coaches and owners pose for photos after winning the 2017
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