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Submitted by Jim Hurley’s Network on Wednesday, June 10, 2015 at 12:00 AM

THE NBA FINALS UPDATE:
CAVALIERS GRAB 2-1 SERIES LEAD
WITH HANG-ON-FOR-DEAR-LIFE 96-91 WIN …
THE BASEBALL NOTEBOOK:
HOW ABOUT A NO-HITTER AND A 3-HR NIGHT TOO? …
PLUS HERE'S THE BEST
"UNDER-THE-RADAR"
STARTING PITCHERS SO FAR IN '15

Can you imagine what East 4th Street in Cleveland will look like when/if the Cavaliers go on and win this year's NBA Finals!
Last night there was some serious partying in the streets following Cleveland's 96-91 win over the 2-point favorite Golden State Warriors in Game 3 of this best-of-seven set – okay, so maybe the frenzied fan base knew the stat that in past NBA Finals that were tied at one game apiece the Game 3 winner went on to win 84 percent of those series but we prefer to think that Northeast Ohio is simply cuckoo for a pro sports championship after 51 dry years so forgive the premature celebrations, if you would.

The fact of the matter is LeBron James and the Cavs threw yet another monkey wrench into the Warriors' title plans – keep in mind Golden State was the -220-to-$100 betting favorite prior to the start of this wacky series – and so let's take a few moments in this here-and-now Jim Sez column to push across some important points with a reminder that we'll have a Game 4 Preview in tomorrow's column space.

But first this key reminder …
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will be banging out more winners in these NBA Finals as we continue to rock-n-roll on big-time this hoops post-season!
So just go online right here at www.jimhurley.com or call our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 each/every day of these NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and

Cleveland Cavaliers (Game 4 is Thursday night) and cash in once again.
Plus get all the Major-League Baseball winners every day when you check with us … America's #1 Handicapper is gonna stay hot all month long!

NBA FINALS
CLEVELAND 96, GOLDEN STATE 91 – Cavaliers lead series 2-1
We wanted to title last night's Cavs' win as a production of "The King and I" with the "I", of course, being guard Matthew Dellavedova – but be sure you know who still gets the marquee treatment as "King James" once again willed this injury-riddled Cleveland club to the winner's circle and his 40 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists only told part of the story.
James – who now has scored more points than anyone in league history in the first three games of an NBA Finals with 123 – played a whopping 46 minutes and probably handled the ball 90 percent of the time when the Cavs had possession.

In this first-ever NBA Finals home win, James had a real-live sidekick – Dellavedova filled up the stat sheet with 20 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists -- but it was all those dive-jobs to the floor that got everyone juiced up (including James) and so a Cavaliers' club playing these days without Kevin Love and without Kyrie Irving now are just two "W's" away from copping a title and they may have to do without defensive whiz Iman Shumpert (shoulder) for Game 4 – we'll let you know that in tomorrow's Jim Sez.

On the flip side, the Warriors dug themselves a 20-point hole in Game 3 and then rallied back in maddening fashion with MVP Stephen Curry scoring 17 of his team-high 27 points in the final quarter but where was his sense of urgency in the first three quarters and why has fellow "Splash Brother" Klay Thompson (see 34 points in vain in Game 2) suddenly gone AWOL with a 6-of-16 FG shooting night for just 14 points on Tuesday night?

If you really want to know, this Warriors club has slogged its way to this point in the Finals – blowing big leads in a batch of pre-Finals games were the norm and not the exception and now here this team plays tentative ball and, dare we say, even appeared a bit scared for much of last night's first three quarters. Throw in the fact that Golden State head coach Steve Kerr – save for getting David Lee (11 points and 4 rebounds in 13 minutes last night) into the action – has yet to figure out how to handle Cleveland's size as Cavs' C Tristan Thomas had 13 more rebounds in Game 3 and the Warriors' front line minus Lee was invisible.
Where are the adjustments, coach Kerr?

 Now, here's the Warriors-Cavaliers series in game chart form (and note that all home teams are in CAPS below):

DATE

WINNER

SPREAD

LOSER

SCORE

6-4

GOLDEN ST.

- 5.5

Cleveland(OT)

108-100

6-7

Cleveland

+ 7.5

GOLDEN ST.(OT)

95-93

6-9

CLEVELAND

+2

Golden St.

96-91

Now, let's get you the NBA Playoffs Pointspread Breakdown chart with all 16 teams that have participated in this year's post-season:

TEAM

W

L

T

PCT

New Orleans

3

1

0

.750

Washington

7

3

0

.700

Chicago

8

4

0

.667

Brooklyn

4

2

0

.667

CLEVELAND

10

7

0

.588

Houston

10

7

0

.588

San Antonio

4

3

0

.571

LA Clippers

7

7

0

.500

Memphis

5

5

1

.500

GOLDEN ST.

8

10

0

.444

Atlanta

6

10

0

.375

Milwaukee

2

4

0

.333

Boston

1

3

0

.250

Portland

1

3

1

.250

Dallas

1

4

0

.200

Toronto

0

4

0

.000

 

  • Note that NBA Betting Favorites are 33-43-1 ATS (against the spread) with one pick 'em game for a .434 winning rate since the start of this year's playoffs.

 

THE BASEBALL NOTEBOOK
Prior to last night's Major-League Baseball action, you would have been hard-pressed to find more than a few New York Mets' fans who knew anything at all about San Francisco Giants RHP Chris Heston … but they know 'em now!

Heston – who struck out 11 batters, walked no one but did hit three batters -- no-hit the Mets in a 5-0 win at Citi Field on Tuesday night and truth is he got plenty of help from home plate umpire Rob Drake (extra-wide strike zone) but still Heston only allowed two balls out of the infield and he put his name next to Sandy Koufax who, believe it or not, is the only other MLB pitcher with a no-hitter who fanned the final three batters to face 'em.

In fact, the Giants now have thrown no-hitters in each of the last four years and the last time any other franchise could boast that fact it was – you got it – the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1962-65 when the aforementioned legendary Koufax threw all four of the team's no-hitters during that time frame.


Meanwhile, Koufax wasn't the only great baseball name of the past to get invoked last night as Cincinnati Reds' Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench had one of his records tied when current Cincy 1B Joey Votto walloped three home runs in an 11-2 win against Philadelphia. Only Votto and Bench have enjoyed three-homer games while wearing a Reds uniform – and look up now and Votto has 13 HR and 35 RBI and suddenly it doesn't seem like a "lost season" for the All-Star Game hosts.

Okay, so we know you've all been following this year's Major-League Baseball season very closely but has it dawned on you that there's some real spiffy starting pitching from some unlikely sources? Here's a look at some stellar under-the-radar starters this 2015 campaign:

MIKE PELFREY, Minnesota – The one-time Mets' teaser has become an integral part of this Twins' rotation with a 5-2 record and 2.28 ERA. In fact, Pelfrey – fresh off Sunday's 2-0 home win against the Milwaukee Brewers – has allowed more than two earned runs just twice in 11 starts. The 6-foot-7 right-hander is not a strikeout pitcher (just 34 in 67 innings) but take note that he's allowed just three home runs. If Pelfrey's a 15-game winner with the Twins this season, then Paul Molitor's club will be in the thick of things all year long in the American League Central.

A.J. BURNETT, Pittsburgh – One year after going a rotten 8-18 in a single-year stay in Philadelphia, this 38-year-old righthander has been born again with his second stint with the Pirates. Burnett exited Monday's 2-0 home loss against Milwaukee with a 6-2 record and a dandy 2.11 ERA. Burnett – who owns a 70-to-23 K-to-BB ratio this year – has been brilliant for the Buccos and that loss to the Brewers snapped the righty's six-game personal winning streak.

JAKE ARRIETA, Chicago Cubs – The 29-year-old right-hander never gets much mention when it comes to discussing MLB's best starting pitchers but he will enter tonight's start in Detroit with a 5-4 record, a 3.04 ERA and 75 Ks with just 14 BB. Arrieta surrendered just one earned run on six hits in last Thursday's 2-1 win in Washington where he fanned eight Nationals. All this talk in Chitown regarding new Cubs LHP Jon Lester, but it's Arrieta's steadiness that's helped the Cubbies playing .545 ball these days.

NOTE: There's more NBA Finals coverage in the next edition of Jim Sez!