Sunday, January 21, 2018
Sports

James seeks end to checkered past on parquet

BOSTON — LeBron James saw his share of disappointment in Boston when he was with the Cavaliers. Then he joined the Heat, and things got worse.

Miami is 1-7 on the parquet floor since James arrived to form a trio modeled after the Big Three that hung the Celtics' unprecedented 17th NBA championship banner. James has had a 45-point effort there in a loss, a 42-point effort there in a loss, a 27-point, 19-rebound, 10-assist effort there in a loss.

"I know how much pain this team has given me over the years," James said Wednesday. "I think I guess it's only right that we will be going up there in an elimination game. In order for us to keep our season going, we have to win in their building."

The Heat, down three games to two, need a victory tonight in Boston in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference final to avoid a fourth straight loss to the Celtics, a fifth straight loss in Boston and a second straight year of failed promise from James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

"We plan to win the ball game," Wade said. "Can't listen to the noise. I'm not. I'm sure our team is not."

It was in Boston that James said goodbye to Cleveland, ripping off his jersey as he left the court after Game 6 of the 2010 East semifinals.

But Miami has had even bigger struggles in Boston, winning just once on the parquet since Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen joined forces. The Celtics knocked the Heat out of the playoffs in the first round of the 2010 playoffs, one series before eliminating James' Cavaliers. (The Heat eliminated the Celtics from the playoffs last year, but it needed just one win in Boston.) In all, Miami has lost 15 of its last 16 regular-season games in Boston.

"Why would you think about that? What does it do for you?" Wade said. "You can't say, 'Oh, well, we're down one point and we've lost 15 out of 16 here. We're not going to win.' It doesn't work that way."

Miami gave the homecourt edge to Boston by losing Game 5 on Tuesday 94-90.

So with a win tonight, the Celtics can advance to the NBA Finals for the third time in five years.

"We have one home game left, and that's it in this series," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "We have to understand that, and we have to come with that sense of urgency. Our guys understand that, and I think so does Miami."

Report: Magic, Jackson not talking about front-office job

Try as he might, former Magic guard Sam Vincent isn't having any luck trying to broker a deal to get himself and coaching great Phil Jackson into the Magic's front office, the Orlando Sentinel and other media outlets reported Wednesday.

Vincent, who initially approached the Magic last week, reportedly talked to team brass about Jackson working one week out of every month in Orlando, SI.com reported. In the initial pitch, Vincent would also join the front office and former All-Star Scottie Pippen would be the coach, but the latest proposal had Brian Shaw as coach and Pippen as an assistant.

However, multiple media outlets reported that the Magic, which let go general manager Otis Smith and coach Stan Van Gundy, has not had any contact with Jackson, and the team prefers someone with high-level front-office experience.

The 66-year-old Jackson, who coached the Bulls and the Lakers to a combined 11 NBA titles, has not led a front office. Jackson's interest in the job has been difficult to gauge. Vincent said that after initially expressing interest, Jackson backed off.

Jackson's longtime agents Todd and Brian Musburger told NBA.com that the sides have not been in direct contact.

"One, Phil never voiced any interest in Orlando," Todd Musburger said. "Never had us check it out, never checked it out himself. Two, Orlando never called."

Vincent, who played in Orlando from 1989 to 1992, declined to comment.

East final

Celtics 3, Heat 2

Game 1: Heat 93, Celtics 79

Game 2: Heat 115, Celtics 111 OT

Game 3: Celtics 101, Heat 91

Game 4: Celtics 93, Heat 91 OT

Game 5: Celtics 94, Heat 90

Tonight: at Boston, 8:30, ESPN

Saturday: at Miami, 8:30, ESPN *

* If necessary

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