LeBron scores 32, Cavs wallop Warriors 120-90 in Game 3

first_imgTweetPinShare0 Shares CLEVELAND (AP) — Crawling on the floor after a loose ball, LeBron James gathered himself and quickly got to his feet.He stood tall, and so did the Cavaliers.James had 32 points and 11 rebounds and Kyrie Irving added 30 points as Cleveland, pushed for 48 minutes by a delirious, championship-starved crowd, beat the Golden State Warriors 120-90 in Game 3 on Wednesday night to pull within 2-1 in the NBA Finals.On their home floor, where they have been dominant all postseason, the Cavs yanked their season back from the brink following back-to-back blowout losses in the Bay Area.They Cavs did it without starting forward Kevin Love, with little help from their bench and by keeping Stephen Curry penned in.The league’s MVP was mostly MIA, scoring 19 points — two in the first half — on 6-of-13 shooting. Harrison Barnes scored 18 and Klay Thompson 10 for the Warriors, who had won seven straight over Cleveland — the first two finals games by a combined 48 points — and came back to the birthplace of rock and roll looking to party like they did after winning the title in Quicken Loans Arena last year.The Cavs, though, have made this a competitive series after it appeared the Warriors were on the fast track to another crown.“We’ve got to give the same effort on Friday,” James said. “It started defensively and it trickled down to the offensive side.”The Warriors didn’t look anything like the team that won a record 73 games during the regular season or the one that overcame a 3-1 deficit in the Western Conference finals.“We were soft,” said coach Steve Kerr. “When you’re soft, you get beat on the glass and turn the ball over.”Curry didn’t offer any excuses.“I’ve got to play 100 times better than this,” he said, dismissing any notion he’s slowed by injuries. “I’m fine. Not the way we wanted the night to go.”Irving bounced back from two rough games out West, J.R. Smith made five 3-pointers and Tristan Thompson did the dirty work inside, getting 13 rebounds for the Cavs, who improved to 8-0 at home and can level the series with a win in Game 4 on Friday night.Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) and Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) reach for a loose ball during the second half of Game 3 of basketball’s NBA Finals in Cleveland, Wednesday, June 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)The Cavs hardly missed Love, still suffering from a concussion sustained in Game 2. He wanted to play, but is still in the NBA’s concussion protocol and has not yet been cleared to return by league and team doctors.Coach Tyronn Lue started veteran Richard Jefferson and moved James into Love’s power forward spot, giving the Cavs a smaller lineup better equipped to run with the Warriors.The 35-year-old Jefferson gave the Cavs a huge boost in 33 minutes, scoring nine points with eight rebounds.Leading by eight at halftime, Cleveland took control in the third quarter when James and Irving combined on a play that symbolized the Cavs’ resurrection.Scrambling on his hands and knees after a loose ball near midcourt, James got to his feet and whipped a pass to Irving on the left side. Irving returned a lob to James, who leaped high and flushed it with his right hand, a basket that seemed to erase all that went wrong for the Cavs in California.last_img read more

In steel country rumblings of a political earthquake Dems poised to win

first_imgWASHINGTON – Deep in the rust belt, in a Trump-loving district where Democrats were clobbered by 28 percentage points the last time they bothered running a candidate, there are sudden rumblings of a potential political earthquake.Democrats appear to have won a squeaker of a congressional race outside Pittsburgh, pending a possible recount. This despite President Donald Trump promoting tariffs on steel and aluminum and campaigning and having his son campaign in a district he dominated in 2016.The dramatic shift in Pennsylvania’s 18th district is the latest in a series of performances now stirring Democrats’ hopes of a November midterm rout that might help them reconquer Congress.Before the results were known, a Democratic strategist said even a close race would be stunning.“If it’s close or (we win) it’s a shocker,” Joe Trippi said in an interview Tuesday.“Assuming it’s close, it already spells a lot of problems for the Republicans. This is a district Trump won by 20 points. … If it’s close it really spells a big flaw with Republicans that are losing support right now.”Trippi knows something about election shockers. He organized the Democrats’ successful Senate campaign in Alabama last year. He believes Democrats can regain the House of Representatives this fall with a seven- or eight-point swing from 2016 results.Democrats have been doing far better than that in recent races. Statistics compiled by The Canadian Press show roughly 120 Republican-held districts where Democrats came closer in 2016 congressional races than in Pennsylvania’s 18th, the last time they tried competing there several elections ago.The party only needs about two dozen seats to reclaim the House of Representatives. And if Democrats do wrest that chamber away, that gives them power to block Republican bills, gain control of congressional committees and hold public hearings to investigate the Trump administration.That’s why Trippi was merely looking for a close result in Pennsylvania on Tuesday. But it appeared that a 33-year-old former Marine, Conor Lamb, might do better than that for the Democrats: with almost all the ballots counted, he held a wafer-thin lead and declared himself the winner.Republicans spun the result as a fluke.After all, the seat was vacated by a Republican embroiled in controversy. Anti-abortion lawmaker Tim Murphy, who had piled up lopsided election wins or run unopposed over the last decade, recently resigned amid news he had encouraged a lover to have an abortion.Republicans also noted that Lamb ran as an extremely centrist Democrat; he avoided criticizing Trump and his platform stuck to bread-and-butter issues like infrastructure, job training and health care.House Speaker Paul Ryan downplayed the damage — he opined that Democrats will nominate more radical candidates later this year. He noted that Lamb managed to bypass the primary process, and was appointed because it was a byelection.“Both of these candidates ran as conservatives. I just don’t think you’re going to see that across the country,” Ryan said.In fact, Lamb’s positions on health care, gun background checks, safety-net spending, labour rights and abortion choice did skew Democrat.A Democratic campaign arm mocked the Republican leader — tweeting at Ryan: “Hi … your own district is almost twice as competitive as #PA18. You may be in the state of denial, but our sights are set on (your) state.”Trippi says it’s natural for Democrats to run as centrists in difficult districts.It’s the way his candidate Doug Jones ran successfully in Alabama’s Senate race — sticking to the issues, being civil with Republicans, vowing to work across the aisle. As long as elections are bitterly partisan, Trippi says, voters will revert to their natural political tribes; and in places where Republicans outnumber their rivals, he says, that means they wind up with the most votes.The key is to de-tribalize such races, Trippi says.“If everyone moves toward their own tribe then in a place like Alabama — where there’s more Republicans than Democrats — you can’t win,” he said.“Trump is excellent, incredible, the best, at driving people toward their tribe. Either into the Republican tribe or the Democratic tribe. Whatever hot button he’s pushing, he drives people into their corners. That works for them in a place that he won by 20 points… Attacking Trump relentlessly — it may make your supporters feel better. It may even energize them. But it doesn’t help you reach across.”He said Lamb took that approach and on Tuesday, it appeared to have paid off.Election analyst David Byler, wrote Wednesday that there’s no way to spin these results positively for Republicans.“(This) race isn’t a fluke or an outlier,” Byler wrote for The Weekly Standard.“Democrats are the favorites to retake the House and this election was another indicator of how much Trump is hurting Republican candidates.”last_img read more