Kurt Helin

First half of Game 6 was a Tristan Thompson dunk party (VIDEO)

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CLEVELAND — When you think Cavaliers’ scoring machine, you think Tristan Thompson.

Okay, maybe not. But he had 11 points in the first half against Golden State in Game 6, and he got them at the rim finishing dunks. He also pulled down 10 boards in the first 24 minutes.

Cleveland led 59-43 at the half and had played harder and smarter than the Warriors.

LeBron James threw down two huge dunks in first quarter (VIDEO)


CLEVELAND — There were questions heading into Game 6 if LeBron James could keep knocking down jumpers.

It doesn’t matter when he keeps getting to the rim for dunks.

LeBron was 4-of-5 shooting in the first (on his way to nine points) and that included a couple of huge dunks in transition. There’s the one above from earlier in the first quarter, and this one from later on.

Cleveland let 31-11 after the first quarter.

Warriors to start Andre Iguodala in place of injured Andrew Bogut; Kevin Love starts for Cavs

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CLEVELAND — Steve Kerr isn’t messing around, he is going straight to the “death lineup.”

The Golden State Warriors are going to start with their best lineup, starting Andre Iguodala in place of the injured Andrew Bogut. The starting five are Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes, Iguodala, and Draymond Green. Through the first four games of the series, the Warriors were +51 when Green was playing center.

Kerr is not worried about wearing down Iguodala.

“He’s one of our best players,” Kerr said pregame. “Especially when you have a guy like LeBron (James) to guard, then we’re going to play him more. Andre’s one of those guys who doesn’t seem to get tired. I’ve played him close to 40 minutes, I think, a couple of times in this series, and didn’t see any ill effects. So I think he’s capable of playing heavy minutes.”

Tyronn Lue is going with his regular starting lineup, which includes Kevin Love at the four. Also starting are Kyrie Irving, J.R. Smith, LeBron James and Tristan Thompson.

Steve Kerr not worried about Draymond Green in Game 6

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CLEVELAND — In Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals — the game after Draymond Green picked up an after-the-fact Flagrant 2 foul for kicking Steven Adams below the belt — Green was timid and terrible. Trying not to pick up another flagrant, Green played a tentative game and was a big part of the reason Golden State lost that game.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr is not worried about a repeat performance.

“I’m not worried about him getting into any trouble,” Kerr said before Game 6 tipped off. “He plays incredibly hard. He plays with passion. He’s also a very, very smart player. He’s well aware of what just happened, and I don’t think he could be goaded into anything like that.”

One year ago to the day the Warriors closed out their first championship in 40 years in this same building.

“Yeah, when they had a chance to celebrate in our locker room, and that left a bitter taste in our mouth,” Cavaliers’ coach Tyronn Lue said. “So we’ve got to come out tonight and be very prepared and ready to fight and play like we’ve been playing in games 3 and 5.”

What did Kerr tell his team pregame?

“No heroics necessary. Just be rock solid,” Kerr said. “Defend like we know we can with a purpose, with physicality. Offensively, take care of the ball, be sharp with your cuts, your passes, shoot with confidence, and that’s it. It’s nothing more than that. Sounds very simple, but for whatever reason, we’ve had a couple games in this series where our defensive focus wasn’t there and where our attention to detail handling the ball wasn’t there.”

DeMarcus Cousins says foot tendonitis gone, he’s also lost weight

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DeMarcus Cousins has plans to spend some of his summer in Rio. Seeing a few sites, but mostly winning a gold medal with Team USA at the Olympics.

Along those lines, Cousins has gotten healthy. He missed the final couple games of the regular season after battling foot tendonitis much of the season. That is in his past now, and he slimmed down, as reported by Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee.

Despite the injury, Cousins was a beast this season: he had 26.9 points, 11.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.4 blocks per game, while shooting over 30 percent from three-point range for the first time in his career. He’s already golfing and hanging out with new coach Dave Joerger, and Cousins should have a monster Olympics because he is the kind of athlete with skill the rest of the world just does not have on its rosters.