Kevin Durant had 26 points Vinny Curry Color Rush Jersey , nine rebounds and six assists, and the Golden State Warriors beat San Antonio 110-97 on Thursday night for a 3-0 series lead over the Spurs, who were still reeling from the death of Gregg Popovich’s wife, Erin.
Golden State can close the first-round series with a win Sunday afternoon in San Antonio in Game 4.
The Spurs were playing a day after the death of Erin Popovich, who passed away after battling an undisclosed long-term illness. Erin and Gregg Popovich were married four decades and had two children and two grandchildren.
San Antonio did not air a video tribute or hold a moment of silence for Erin in an apparent attempt to make the game as routine as possible for its players, but that was impossible.
Coach Popovich was not in his customary position roaming the sidelines, choosing instead to be with his family. San Antonio assistant Ettore Messina coached the team in Popovich’s place.
76ERS 128, HEAT 108
MIAMI (AP) – A masked Joel Embiid scored 23 points in his postseason debut, Marco Belinelli and Dario Saric each added 21 and Philadelphia beat Miami to take a 2-1 lead in their Eastern Conference first-round series.
Ben Simmons finished with 19 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists for the 76ers, who won for the 18th time in their last 19 games and reclaimed home-court advantage. Embiid went on a personal 7-0 run in the fourth quarter to help Philadelphia extend its lead to 14, and send many in the crowd to the exits.
Goran Dragic scored 23 points for Miami, which got 19 from Justise Winslow and 14 from Josh Richardson.
Game 4 is Saturday afternoon.
PELICANS 119, TRAIL BLAZERS 102
NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Nikola Mirotic scored a career playoff-best 30 points to go with eight rebounds Andrei Svechnikov Jersey , three steals and a block, and New Orleans beat Portland to take a 3-0 lead in their first-round playoff series.
Anthony Davis had 28 points, 11 rebounds, three steals and two blocks for New Orleans, which can advance past the first round of the playoffs for the first time since 2008 with one more victory.
The 6-foot-10 Mirotic, acquired in a midseason trade after DeMarcus Cousins’ season-ending Achilles tear, made 12 of 15 shots, scoring on everything from quick-release 3-pointers to cutting dunks and fast-break layups.
Damian Lillard scored 20 for Portland, but also missed nine of 14 shots. CJ McCollum scored 22 and Al-Farouq Aminu added 21, but Portland trailed by double digits for most of the first half and all of the second.
Game 4 is Saturday.
General manager Ryan McDonough says Trevor Ariza was the first player the Phoenix Suns targeted in free agency, speaking with him and his wife via FaceTime from a car one minute after free agency began.
The Suns spent virtually all of their cap space on the 14-year veteran NBA forward, who agreed to a one-year, $15 million contract. On Friday, he was introduced as the newest member of a team that believes it is close to turning the corner after years of losing.
”They are a young team with a lot of talent that don’t know how to win http://www.49ersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-weston-richburg-jersey ,” Ariza said.
The 6-foot-8 forward will go from Houston, the team with the best record in the NBA last season, to the Suns, who had the worst and haven’t made the playoffs in eight years.
”We need his defensive ability and versatility, his shooting ability,” McDonough said, ”but I think as much as anything, maybe more than anything, we need his leadership and his winning pedigree.”
When the Suns had their first interview with new coach Igor Kokoskov, they asked what free agent out there would fit the team’s needs.
”I swear the first words out of his mouth was Trevor Ariza,” McDonough said.
Ariza, who turned 33 last Saturday, played for the Rockets the past four seasons. Before that, there were stops in Washington http://www.dolphinsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-josh-sitton-jersey , New Orleans, Houston (the first time), the Los Angeles Lakers, Orlando and the New York Knicks. He averaged 11.7 points per game last season, shooting 37 percent from 3-point range. He’s a career 35 percent 3-point shooter averaging 10.5 points per game.
Ariza has made the playoffs nine times and is looking to show the young Suns, with talents such as Devin Booker, Josh Jackson and this year’s No. 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton, what it takes to succeed.
”In order to be a great team you have to be selfless,” Ariza said. ”You have to be a real live dog to come out there and compete every night. In order to get better, you’ve got to give to your team. If you give to your team, everybody sees it, everybody feels it, and it makes the next person next to you want to give to you.”
James Jones, the Suns’ vice president for basketball operations http://www.buccaneersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-m.j.-stewart-jersey , said Ariza ”speaks to exactly what we’re looking for.”
”He’s a guy that every time he steps on the court and laces them up, goes out there to try to win,” Jones said. ”It’s not just game day. It’s practice. It’s the way he approaches the game, the way he approaches the off days, film, just everything.”
Ariza credited the Suns’ approach for his signing.
”Phoenix was the most aggressive team, and the team that showed the most interest,” he said, ”and, as human beings, we all want to feel appreciated and wanted. When a team just shows that much appreciation with what you do, naturally you’re just attracted to something like that. I understand that this is a situation we have to build to win.”
Ariza has played with Kobe Bryant and James Harden, and he’s looking to help Booker on his drive to be among the best.
”I get to see another extremely talented player to grow,” Ariza said. ”If he needs anything from me Jerome Baker Color Rush Jersey , somebody to talk to about different situations, I’ve been around these types of players. The shoes that he’s walking in, or the places that he’s going to go, I’ve seen. So any kind of advice I can lend him, I’m always available to (do) that.”
He also gets to play with Ayton, the 7-foot-1 phenomenon drafted No. 1 overall.
”I think he’s an amazing player,” Ariza said. ”He’s got unbelievable touch. He can get up and down the court. He seems to be a monster on the court. I’m excited to play alongside of him and try and make him better.”
Notes: As for a new contract with Booker, McDonough said the two sides have had productive talks and will continue to talk through the weekend. Booker is expected to get a maximum five-year, $158 million contract that kicks in next year. … the Suns signed all four of their draft picks – Ayton, Mikal Bridges, Elie Okobo and George King. All were expected in the Suns’ Las Vegas Summer League opener Friday night.