Miami Heat forward LeBron James remains frustrated that he had to come out of Thursday night’s opener of the NBA Finals after cramping, but he expects to be fully recovered on Sunday for Game 2.
James took 2 1/2 bags of intravenous fluids after the game and will take extra supplements in preparation. The San Antonio Spurs won Game 1 110-95 in the best-of-seven series.
Because of an air conditioning failure in the AT&T Center, the on-court temperature reached 90 degrees, sapping many of the players on the court. No one was more drained than James, who left the game with 7:55 remaining and the Heat trailing by two points.
“For obvious reasons, I was angry, I was disappointed in myself,” James said. “I did everything that I needed to do to prepare for this game, prepare for this moment and to feel like my body failed me.
“I was angry in the fact that I couldn’t help my team get over the hump. In a huge Game 1, I wanted to make a statement.”
James tried to come back briefly but left for good with under four minutes remaining. He finished with a game-high 25 points.
According to arena officials, the air conditioning issues have been fixed and it should be up and running for Game 2.
—Not long after the Spurs apologetically announced the AT&T Center air conditioning unit was operational, Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra lobbied for the NBA to consider fining the team if there is a repeat of Game 1’s cooling failure.
“It was an extreme unfortunate situation for both teams,” Spoelstra said Friday.
—The overnight rating for ABC’s telecast of Game 1 of the NBA Finals was down 2 percent compared to last year, according to Sports Business Daily.
Thursday’s game earned a 10.4 overnight rating.
—Chicago Bulls forward Taj Gibson called his slain nephew the “future of our family” at the funeral for the 6-year-old on Friday in New York.
Prince Joshua “P.J.” Avitto was stabbed to death on Sunday in an apartment elevator.
Among the 1,500 friends, relatives and mourners who attended the service at St. Paul Community Baptist Church in East New York was Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau.
—The Minnesota Timberwolves officially named team president Flip Saunders as their head coach.
Saunders joined the Timberwolves’ front office last year and previously coached the team from 1995-2005.
Saunders, who guided the team to the 2004 Western Conference finals, will also remain in his role as the team’s president of basketball operations.
—The Philadelphia 76ers plan to build a practice facility in New Jersey, according to the Associated Press.
A source told AP that the Sixers will combine their business and basketball operations in the facility in Camden.
—The New York Knicks could be worth up to $3 billion, according to Albert Fried & Company.
The research company announced it revised Madison Square Garden’s price target, making its stock price worth nearly $85 per share.
Analyst Rich Tullo wrote that he believes the Knicks are now worth between $1.4 billion and $3 billion after the revision was made. The value is based on percent premiums of recent sales prices paid for franchises such as the Los Angeles Clippers at $2 billion, the Milwaukee Bucks at $550 million and New Orleans Pelicans at $338 million.
- Kevin Durant requests trade from Nets, wants to play for Heat or Suns
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- Spurs trade Dejounte Murray to Hawks for Gallinari, two first-round picks
- P.J. Tucker signs with 76ers on three-year, $30 million contract
- Collin Sexton Next Team Odds, Pacers’ Odds Increase by 15%
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