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Cavaliers on Verge of Finals, Al Horford Ejected

Cleveland moves one step closer to the finals with an overtime win against the Hawks.

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Game three of the Eastern Conference Finals ended in heartbreaking fashion for the Atlanta Hawks last night as they fell in overtime to the Cavs in Cleveland, 114-111.  That means both conference finals series are on the verge of sweeps, and not much drama remains before the Finals begin.

The Hawks scrapped to stay in this one without Kyle Korver, and were helped by poor shooting from the Cavs early on. The big story was Al Horford's ejection in the third quarter when he threw an elbow at Matthew Dellavedova, with whom he had gone down in a heap with Dellavedova crashing into Horford's leg. It's clear that the Hawks think Dellavedova crosses the line, and he was involved in earlier injuries to Taj Gibson (in the Bulls series) and Korver in game three, in addition to the incident with Horford.

At any rate, it was a harsh ejection for Horford, who might be suspended for game four. The Hawks fought back from there with some timely three point shooting and good work from the free throw line, but couldn't hold a 4 point lead in the final minute of regulation, and Shelvin Mack missed an open three that would have tied it at the end of overtime.

The Cavs once again dominated the offensive boards, collecting 19 of their own misses, this time led by LeBron James with eight offensive boards. James had a monster game, with 37 points, 18 rebounds, and 13 assists, though he had a terrible time shooting it in the early going, which led to a 14-37 night from the field. Once again the Cavs were missing Kyrie Irving, but were able to win anyway.

Game four of the Western Conference Finals, where the Warriors will try to close out the Rockets, is tonight at 8:00 pm CDT.

It's possible the league could move up the start of the Finals if both series end in sweeps to avoid more than a week between games.

Not much Wolves news on this holiday:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Tentative <a href="">#Twolves</a> draft workout for Friday, I hear: Boatright, Mickey, Holmes, Blackshear, and probably two other guards.</p>&mdash; Darren Wolfson (@DWolfsonKSTP) <a href="">May 24, 2015</a></blockquote>

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In case you missed it yesterday, rumor has it there is some debate within Nemanja Bjelica's "camp" about where to play next season. Fenerbahce of course wants him back, but now is the time for him to make the move if he wants to give the NBA a try. Meanwhile, his agent is apparently trying to convince him to stay, for reasons that aren't clear, unless said agent would not be his agent should he come to the NBA.

At any rate, as we've discussed, he would be a welcome addition from my point of view, and almost certainly the best power forward on the Wolves roster should he sign a contract with them.

It will be interesting to see how many visits/workouts the top guys in the draft take with teams. The thing seems to be agent-run workouts this year, with two major agencies already holding them at their facilities. This includes BDA sports, though their prize client, Jahlil Okafor, did not participate. The top guys already stay away from the Combine; wouldn't the same logic apply to avoiding workouts?  We'll see what happens. Right now, the Wolves don't have any of the top guys scheduled.

Today in history

1521: Edict of Worms outlaws Martin Luther. 
1659: Richard Cromwell resigns as Lord Protector of England
1738: Conojocular War ends with treaty between Pennsylvania and Maryland settling border. 
1784: Jews expelled from Warsaw
1787: Constitutional Convention opens in Philadelphia
1810: People of Buenos Aires expel Spanish Viceroy
1842: Christian Doppler presents what later is known as the Doppler Effect in Prague
1861: John Merryman arrested under suspension of Writ of Habeas Corpus
1878: Gilbert & Sullivan's HMS Pinafore premieres in London
1895: Oscar Wilde sentenced to 2 years in prison for "gross indecency."
1911: Revolution in Mexico ousts Porfirio Diaz
1914: British House of Commons passes Irish Home Rule Bill
1915: 2nd battle of Ypres ends with over 100K casualties
1935: Babe Ruth hits last three homers of his career
1946: Jordan gains independence from Britain
1961: JFK announces goal to put man on the moon before the end of the decade
1968: Gateway Arch in St. Louis dedicated
2011: Oprah Winfrey airs final show

Today's musical birthday is soprano Beverly Sills, born in 1929 (d. 2007)

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Have a great Memorial Day