NBA Playoffs: Wade gives last full measure of devotion, then Pierce wins it for Boston

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Celtics_Pierce.jpgDwyane Wade has carried the weight of the Miami Heat franchise — and carried underachieving teammates — through 82 games. He carried them through the first two games of their playoff series with the Celtics, averaging 27.5 points per game while nobody else averaged more than 10.

He did it again in game three, for more than 47 minutes, dragging his team toward victory. Then his body gave way. He had to be helped off the court with 11.7 seconds left due to leg cramps. He had given the last full measure of devotion to his team.

Sitting on the bench with his calf seizing up, Wade got to watch Paul Pierce show he has a little something left, a 21-foot pull-up jumper that gave Boston a 10-98 win and a 3-0 series lead.

This series is over folks. Nothing to see here, move along.

Oh, sure, they’ll play one more on Sunday (maybe, maybe even a game 5) but this one is done. The Celtics are moving on to face the Cavaliers in the next round (what, you think Chicago’s coming back in that series? Wow, you really are a dreamer).

This one was a pretty entertaining game, close throughout. The Heat were close with the Celtics, but if Miami had one flaw it was turnovers. The 16 they committed helped Boston to 21 fast break points, and giving the Celtics easy transition baskets is giving them life. Can’t do that if you want to win.

Wade again was bordering on superhuman — 34 points on 14 of 26 shooting, 8 assists, a couple of steals. At halftime he probably sold beer and hot dogs at the concession stand. He carries that franchise.

He got a little help from Michael Beasley for a change – 16 points on 7 of 11 shooting and six rebounds. Too little, too late, but it was his best game of the series by far.

Pierce had 32 after the game winner, and every Celtics starter whose name does not rhyme with Gherkins scored in double digits.

This series is all but done. Celtics fans, start thinking of ways to stop LeBron (and good luck with that). Heat fans, start dreaming of July 1. Tune in and watch game four if you must, but this battle has decided the war.

Watch highlights of LeBron James’ playoffs, Finals run

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LeBron James was dominant — the clear best player on the planet — when the Cleveland Cavaliers needed him most. That’s the reason Cleveland got its first major sports title in 52 years.

It’s the dead part of the NBA season — training camps don’t even open for a month — so why not enjoy a look back at LeBron’s amazing run to a legacy-defining NBA ring. Like you don’t have 15 minutes for this. What are you going to do, watch more preseason football?

It’s Joel Embiid’s turn to swat a little kid’s shot (VIDEO)

TARRYTOWN, NY - AUGUST 03: Joel Embiid #11 of the Philadelphia 76ers poses for a portrait during the 2014 NBA rookie photo shoot at MSG Training Center on August 3, 2014 in Tarrytown, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
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It’s a summer tradition — tall NBA players swatting away the shots of young kids at camps/clinics.

Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid has yet to step on an NBA court — this fall, finally? — but he is part of the youth tradition now, destroying this young man at the Sixers Beach Bash event Saturday.

This summer Embiid has arm wrestled Justin Bieber and looked good working out in an empty gym, and to add to that list here is Embiid overpowering an average guy at Beach Bash then throwing it down. The man at least provided a little more resistance than a chair.

Harrison Barnes reveals his engagement on Twitter (PHOTO)

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 22:  Harrison Barnes #8 of the United States drives against Argentina during a USA Basketball showcase exhibition game at T-Mobile Arena on July 22, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The United States won 111-74.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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Despite the Warriors’ loss in the Finals, it’s been a good summer for Harrison Barnes. He signed a four-year, $94 million deal in Dallas and won a gold medal with Team USA at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. And maybe best of all, he got engaged on Saturday night, as he revealed on Twitter:

Congrats to Barnes and his new fiancée.

Report: Mo Williams considering retirement, could be waived by Cavs

CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 22:  Mo Williams #52 of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks on during the Cleveland Cavaliers 2016 NBA Championship victory parade and rally on June 22, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)
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Shortly after winning a title with the Cleveland Cavaliers, veteran guard Mo Williams picked up his $2.2 million option for next season, choosing to take the guaranteed money on the table for him rather than test free agency at age 33. But he might not be with the Cavs this season — the Cleveland Plain Dealer‘s Joe Vardon reports that Williams is considering retiring from playing due to lingering knee problems, and the Cavaliers could waive him under the stretch provision in the coming days.

Williams, 33, a 13-year veteran and former All-Star who played a supporting role in the Cavs’ 2016 NBA championship, is strongly considering retirement, multiple sources told cleveland.com.

From Williams’ side of this, he battled a left-knee issue for most of last season while playing in just 41 regular-season games, as his playing time dwindled once Irving returned from knee surgery and the coaching staff chose to stick with Matthew Dellavedova as Irving’s backup.

Sources said his balky knee, desire to coach — especially younger players and children — and the obvious chance to go out as a champion are weighing heavily upon him.

Vardon reports that the Cavs are considering stretching him before the August 31 deadline, but are holding off for now because they want to leave open the possibility of a trade with another team to take on his salary. Either way, it looks as though Williams is done after 13 seasons in the NBA.