EuroBasket Day Two Roundup: Fear Germany, fear Kaman

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Day two and not a lot of surprises, we’re starting to see the cream separate itself. But there are some big tests out there to come yet.

German 76, Italy 62: This should sound pretty familiar to Mavericks fans — Dirk Nowitzki is always going to be good, the question is how much help will he get. He got it Thursday, with 17 points, 17 boards from Chris Kaman. Italy tried to stay in this with threes, but was just 6-of-25 from deep (24 percent). In a big game Andrea Bargnani  was 3-for-14 shooting, and Raptors fans just nod.

Spain 87, Portugal 73: Spain won for the second day in a row behind Pau Gasol, who dropped 20 and had 9 boards — good news for Lakers fans. Spain won for the second day in a row with Ricky Rubio being basically a no-show (5 points, 4 boards and 2 assists) — look away Timberwolves fans. Spain is now 2-0, but they have yet to be challenged. And that will not change Friday with Great Britian. But tests are coming.

Serbia 92, Latvia 77: Nenad Kristic (you remember him, right Oklahoma City?) led Serbia with 23. He has more offensive game than he got to show off in OKC. Serbia is 2-0 and looking pretty good.

Turkey 90, Great Britain 61: Turkey is 2-0 and I’m trying to read to much into that because it’s two games against not the toughest competition, but they could be good. They have a balanced team. Britain does not, it has Luol Deng, who had 22 points and 8 boards, but he can only do so much himself.

France 85, Israel 68: Tony Parker has 21 points and 8 assists and this is two games in a row that France has had plenty of offense and looked good. France also got an impressive game up front from Boris Diaw.

Russia 65, Georgia 58: This was great because you could feel the rivalry. For the second game in a row Andrei Kirilenko was the best player on the floor and scored 20 points. Zaza Pachulia was 3-for-11 shooting, which held Georgia back.

In other action: Bosnia Herzegovinia 94, Montenegro 86; Bulgaria 68, Belum 65; Greece 81, Finland 61 (Greece is now 2-0); Lithuania 97, Poland 77 (Lithuania is 2-0); Macedonia 78, Croatia 76.

Charles Barkley tells Shaq he had to ride the coattails of Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade (VIDEO)

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Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley can sometimes get into it on TNT’s programming surrounding NBA games, but Tuesday night after the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Boston Celtics in Game 4, 112-99, was something different.

The two got testy — even more so than usual — as Barkley and Shaq traded insults.

Most notably, O’Neal went after the fact that Barkley only once made the NBA Finals, while Chuck told Shaq he had to ride the coattails of Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade to get his rings.

It felt at least partially real, especially if you watch Ernie Johnson’s reaction during the back-and-forth.

Via Twitter:

Game 4 was more interesting, but a 30 minute special where Chuck and Shaq actually do move the furniture and throw down might draw more viewers than these playoffs.

Here’s Kyrie Irving going nuts on the Celtics in the third quarter of Game 3 (VIDEO)

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Kyrie Irving went crazy on the Boston Celtics on Tuesday, scoring 23 points in the third quarter while simultaneously saving the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 4. Thanks to his efforts, the Cavaliers now have a chance to head back to Boston on Thursday for an elimination Game 5.

If you were unable to watch Irving go bananas as LeBron James struggled with foul trouble, it truly was a dazzling display. Cleveland scored a whopping 40 points in the third quarter alone, and Irving seemed energized by a rolled ankle he suffered in the period.

So without further ado, let’s take a look at how Kyrie got the Cavaliers’ groove back.

Via Twitter:

Not bad, not bad. If you like that sort of thing.

What I really like is this move that came in the fourth quarter.

I just fell out of my chair, someone help me up.

Cleveland beat Boston, 112-99. They now lead the series, 3-1.

Watch LeBron James miss a wide open dunk against the Celtics in Game 4 (VIDEO)

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LeBron James did not have a good first half on Tuesday night against the Boston Celtics. The Cleveland Cavaliers star had four fouls in the first half, the first time that had ever happened according to ESPN.

Things were not going well for James when he went up for a dunk with nary a defender in front of him and he still wound up being unable to convert the bucket.

This is something you don’t see every day.

Via Twitter:

Of course, thanks to a 23-point quarter by Kyrie Irving the missed dunk didn’t seem to mean much. LeBron’s playoff entry to Shaqtin’ A Fool will be duly noted.

Meanwhile, the Kyrie Irving saved the Cavaliers in Game 4 with a 42-point effort. The Cavaliers beat the Celtics, 112-99, and will have a chance to close the series Thursday night in Boston in Game 5.

Kyrie Irving scores 23 in third quarter, saves Cavaliers in Game 4 win over Celtics

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The Boston Celtics led by as many as 16 points, but Kyrie Irving‘s 23-point third quarter sparked a Cleveland Cavaliers comeback that the visiting squad could never match. With LeBron James struggling early, Irving’s incredible play helped Cleveland grab a win in Game 4, 112-99.

James was the big storyline as the game opened, as the King again struggled with scoring. James got himself into foul trouble hilariously early, racking up his fourth foul in the second quarter. It was the first time in his career that James had four fouls in the first half, and it hamstrung the Cavaliers.

Boston continued their effective play on offense, seemingly less predictable with Isaiah Thomas out with a hip injury. Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder were the stars for the Celtics, but after an incredible Game 3 performance Marcus Smart failed to deliver.

Irving’s big third quarter was of course the main storyline of the game, with the star guard going nuts on Celtics defenders with a bevy of crossovers, twisting layups, and pull up 3-pointers. He did all this after rolling his ankle, seemingly using the adrenaline to fight off both injury and a series tie at 2-2. Irving’s 23-point quarter fueled a 40-point period for Cleveland, helping them turn the tables and take a 7-point lead going into the fourth.

LeBron seemed to reactivate off Irving’s stellar play, and he wound up scoring 34 points on 15-of-27 shooting, adding six assists, five rebounds, a steal and a block. Irving finished with 42 points, going 4-of-7 from 3-point range to go along with four assists and three rebounds.

Boston was led by Bradley, who scored 19 points but went just 1-of-7 from 3-point range. Crowder added 18 points, eight rebounds, and four assists. Al Horford dropped 16 points, seven assists, and three rebounds.

Cleveland now has a chance to put us out of our misery and close this series in Boston in Game 5 on Thursday.

If the Cavaliers do close, the big questions that remain will be whether LeBron can perform steadily and if the Cavaliers have what it takes on defense to slow down the Golden State Warriors.