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NBA Finals Game 7 Preview: Who Takes The Crown?

Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals was an instant classic. The best part about it is that NBA fans get one more game to enjoy between two teams that are clearly the best in the world right now.

But who comes out on top?

There's two ways to look at Game 6. Either the Spurs choked away a title, or the Heat simply clicked at the right time and played with desperation and a surprisingly helpful home crowd. Yes, LeBron James came alive in the 4th quarter, but he was hardly the most important player in the game.

It wasn't Ray Allen, of the game-tying three, either. It certainly wasn't Chris Bosh, whose block may have prevented him being traded this offseason. It wasn't Mike Miller, of the one-shoe three-pointer. And it wasn't Dwyane Wade, who spent time in the locker room and the bench with various injuries.

No, it was actually Mario Chalmers, whose scoring kept the Heat in the game in the first half while the Spurs' Tim Duncan went absolutely buckwild. And when Duncan disappeared late in the game, it was an open window for LeBron to come back and claim glory.

But the problem for the Miami Heat is that they may not be able to count on another huge performance from Chalmers. The Spurs have been glad to allow James to get his points, and have committed to shutting down Miami's shooters instead. Ray Allen went off in a Game 5 loss, but his scoring came in bunches once the game was pretty much out of hand. Hardly anyone contributed for the Heat in an ugly Game 3 loss, and that goes double for the loss in Game 1. The Heat have won games this series when they've gotten big performances from three players minimum, and they'll need some combination of Wade, Allen, Bosh, or Chalmers to help out LeBron Thursday night or else they will have to watch San Antonio celebrate in South Beach.

As for the Spurs - well, they really had this one in the bag, and will need to be mentally tough to get up for a deciding Game 7. It's unlikely Duncan will score 27 points in the first half again, and Tony Parker must be running out of circus shots at this point. But the Spurs have an advantage over Miami, which is that they can create shots via the playmaking of Parker, the inside game of Duncan, and the deadly shooting of about 6 different guys that have gone bonkers at points, including Danny Green and Gary Neal. A fast start from San Antonio may be the punch in the mouth that makes Miami finally lay down.

It's been six games of huge scoring runs, and whichever team closes hottest will undoubtedly prevail. But the Spurs had Game 6 in hand after a huge closeout to the first half, and only lost the game thanks to taking the foot off the gas and some incredibly lucky bounces for Miami. If they start the 3rd quarter with a sizable lead, it's unlikely that LeBron will have multiple chances to hit threes, or that Ray Allen will just happen to get a rebound his way with the game on the line. San Antonio has been the better team about 75% of the time this series, and the smart money is on them pulling it out.

But Miami still has LeBron James. And if LeBron's headband is gone and his game shows up, no one in the world has a chance against him. He's got a 40-point explosion in him, and if he has the killer instinct from the opening tip, there's no one who can affect a game like LeBron. He's had huge blocks, rebounds, and assists this series, and if he can couple that with a strong shooting performance, he gets to hoist another trophy.

My pick? I say San Antonio runs away at some point, and it's up to LeBron to drag his team back.

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Cam Newton Says Practicing Celibacy Has Made His Mind Stronger

It might be the offseason for Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, but that doesn't mean the game is over just yet. Part of his time off includes engaging in self-made challenges and this month, the athlete has decided not to get down in the bedroom.

The fashionable athlete shared the details behind his challenges on The Late Late Show with James Corden. The 29-year-old broke down his twist on New Year's resolutions with his latest challenge possibly taking the cake for being the hardest thus far.

"Every month I try to challenge myself in many, different ways," the Atlanta native started. He pledged to veganism for the month of February and dedicated the third month of the year to nothing less than chastity. "And then March, I hope this is an adult crowd — it looks like it is — no climax."

Newton's revelation was met by exclaims from the crowd and of course from Corden himself. "It's challenging," the father of three responded. "For me, doing certain things that challenge me in the off-season that I can't necessarily do, so now when the season comes along it makes my mind stronger; I feel like if I go back and I say "I did those things," I'm mentally stronger."

Newton subtly teased the notion of celibacy on his Instagram account earlier this month with a photo of a flower.

Some of his challenges have stuck around longer than a month, like his journey with veganism. We can only wonder what challenges April will bring.

Check out the full interview up top.

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Ex-Basketball Player, Cliff Dixon, Killed While Celebrating His Birthday

Cliff Dixon, former basketball player and Kevin Durant’s longtime friend, was fatally shot in an Atlanta strip mall Wednesday (March 20), while celebrating his 32nd birthday.

According to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, Dixon had just arrived at SL Lounge when he was shot multiple times in the parking lot. He was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital where he died from his injuries. Police responded to the incident at around 1 a.m. The gunman fled the scene by foot and remains on the loose, Fox 5 reports.

Dixon turned 32 earlier in the week. His final post was promoting his birthday bash.


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We litty tonight @slloungeatl come catch the vibe

A post shared by Cliff Dixon (@cldtoon) on Mar 20, 2019 at 4:21pm PDT

A native of Maryland, Dixon attended Suitland High School where he first met Durant, whose mother ended up taking him in when he was 16 years old. After graduating high school, Dixon attended community college before transferring to Western Kentucky University where he played basketball for two seasons. In 2014, Dixon headed overseas to play ball in Austria.

Durant saw Dixon an “adopted brother. The NBA player's mother, Wanda Durant, extended “deepest condolences & prayers to Dixon’s mother, siblings, friends and loved ones, in a heartfelt statement on Twitter Thursday (March 21). “Our family was an extension of his & we shared wonderful memories. His transition is an incredible loss for all of us who loved him, he will be missed dearly.”

The Durant family extends our deepest condolences & prayers to Cliff’s mother, siblings, family & friends. Our family was an extension of his & we shared wonderful memories. His transition is an incredible loss for all of us who loved him, he will be missed dearly #CliffDixon RIP pic.twitter.com/QuIRt0hIIu

— Wanda Durant (@MamaDurant) March 21, 2019

Dixon was most recently linked to reality star Erica Mena, but the pair split last year. Mena joined Meek Mill, Dave East, and a chorus of others in posting tributes to Dixon on social media.

Read the dedications below.


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Damn that’s fucked up @cldtoon rip! Y’all 2 guys showed me nothing but love since we met! #restwellprime I had some good nights with yall! 🤞🏾🤞🏾

A post shared by Meek Mill (@meekmill) on Mar 21, 2019 at 10:02am PDT


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I Can’t think of no memories with @easymoneysniper or @tdurant And u wasn’t there. We been cool since like 16-17 years old 🤦🏽‍♂️U was just in my session in Atlanta listening to my album this shit super wacc!!!! Rest in heavenly peace bro u ain’t deserve whatever happen to u all we talked about was ball bitches and gettin to it!!!! God bless you cuzo real shit 🙏🏽 @cldtoon @akbar__v hold ya head I know y’all was close ✊🏾

A post shared by Freaky Forever Mugga � FTD ENT (@daveeast) on Mar 21, 2019 at 3:29am PDT


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#EricaMena speaks on the passing of her ex, #CliffordDixon. We're sending our deepest condolences to his loved ones 🙏🏾

A post shared by The Shade Room (@theshaderoom) on Mar 21, 2019 at 1:09pm PDT

Better days.

Rest In Peace, Cliff Dixon. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/p8Q8UwvRVZ

— Timeless Sports (@timelesssports_) March 21, 2019

Rest In Peace to Cliff Dixon who was killed in Atlanta, GA early this morning celebrating his birthday 😔 pic.twitter.com/n4A0e4SXh5

— DC Maryland Virginia (@DMVFollowers) March 21, 2019

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Kobe Bryant Encourages LeBron James To "Keep Pushing" Despite Rocky Season

Following the Los Angeles Lakers' up-and-down season, former purple and gold player Kobe Bryant offered encouraging words to the team and its newcomer, LeBron James.

On an episode of ESPN's Get Up with Mike Greenberg, Bryant said the string of injuries plagued the West Coast franchise. "It's unfortunate because they got hit with so many injuries in rapid succession," he said. "When they were rolling they were playing very well, exceeding people's expectations. Then they got hit with all these injuries, kind of set them back, knocked them off of kilter a little bit. It's hard to reboot that."

"Seasons like this are what make the championships worth it.”

[email protected] on LeBron and the Lakers pic.twitter.com/RyqA6myggd

— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) March 20, 2019

Greenberg then went on to ask if the 20-year vet has any advice to offer James, who joined the legendary franchise in 2018. "Oh, you just got to keep pushing," Bryant said honestly. "Seasons like this are what make the championships worth it."

Much like James' experience with the Lakers, Bryant missed the 2005 playoffs after losing to the Detroit Pistons in the Finals the year before. Injuries and fluctuating rosters caused them to lack focus. However, the Lakers did make their way back into the playoffs that following year.

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