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Mitch's Sports Report: Yes, Cleveland, There Will Be A Game Seven

Well, either the Cleveland Cavaliers are setting up the loyal fans of their city for more heartache, or they're about to deliver Cleveland its first sports title in more than a half century while making history in the process. Last night in Cleveland Lebron James, for the second time in these NBA finals, scored 41 points to lead the Cavs to a 115-101 victory over the Golden State Warriors in game six, making a winner-take-all game seven back in Oakland necessary.

The Cavaliers built up a twenty-four point lead that got whittled down to seven in the fourth quarter, but James would not let the lead disappear, scoring or assisting on thirty-five points in the second half. Game six will also be remembered as the one in which current league MVP Steph Curry lost his cool, picking up his sixth foul of the game with just under five minutes left, and getting ejected from the game after tossing his mouth piece into the crowd, where it hit a fan, an act that's poor sportsmanship and also pretty gross.

But now is a good time to pause and reflect on the near-full-circle journey that King James is making right now. A high school basketball prodigy and native of nearby Akron who started his career with the Cavaliers, he was welcomed as the savior who would finally deliver a title to a city yearning for one since 1964. Then he left for Miami in free agency where he won two rings and was vilified as a traitor, but was ultimately forgiven for the transgression when he opted to re-sign with the Cavs, and he is on the brink now of almost single-handedly bringing a sports-crazed and title-starved city an historic championship if the Cavs emerge victorious in game seven.

If the Cavaliers win that game, they will become the first NBA team ever to come back from a three games to one deficit to win an NBA final, and the parade to celebrate a championship through the streets of Cleveland will be the first since the NFL Browns won the pre-Superbowl NFL championship in 1964. I'm not even sure if they had parades for title-winning teams back then, but I do know the long-suffering fans of Cleveland deserve it, and I'll be pulling for that one more elusive win at Oracle Arena. Cleveland fans have been brought to the brink of celebration many times before only to have it snatched away in excruciating fashion. The Drive, The Fumble, The Shot, The Mesa: All short-hand for memories of sports-related misery that any Cleveland sports fan can explain in detail once they wipe away the tears first. Game seven is Sunday night in Oakland, and by Monday the city of Cleveland will either be awash in a joy not experienced since the Beatles first came to America, or adding another chapter to a sports chronicle that could be called Close But No Cigar.

To Major League Baseball and last night Eddie Rodriguez again showed that maybe he really isn't fully recovered from the knee injury that had him missing the first two months of the season for the Boston Red Sox after yet another ineffective start. E-Rod couldn't get out of the fifth inning, giving up eight hits and five runs in a 5-1 loss to the Baltimore Orioles. On the other side of the mound Tyler Wilson dominated the Sox, giving up just three hits over eight innings for his third win of the year.

The NY Yankees had lost two in a row to Colorado but the next part of their current road trip took them to Minnesota where the Twins are having a season no one will confuse with the Kirby Puckett years. Didi Gregorious hit a tie-breaking three-run homer in the seventh inning, good enough for CC Sabathia to pick up a 4-1 win even though he struggled to get through six innings on nearly 120 pitches.

In Queens the NY Mets welcomed back two players who have been struggling with injuries of late and they both contributed in a 6-4 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. Michael Conforto homered and made a sensational diving catch in left field, while Neil Walker also went deep for a two-run homer against his former team, finishing with three RBI's on the night. Mets starter Bartolo Colon got the win, his sixth of the year, and also doubled to help his own cause, though I still don't think that means pitchers should hit.

The Vermont Mountaineers losing streak is now at six after a 6-4 loss to the Mystic Schooners in Connecticut last night. The Mountaineers get back to the friendly confines of Recreational Field in Montpelier tonight to take on the Valley Blue Sox. Meanwhile the Upper Valley Nighthawks made history with their first ever road win, 4-1 over Winnipesaukee yesterday.

The United States mens' soccer team is moving on in the Copa America tournament after a big 2-1 win over Ecuador in the quarterfinals yesterday. Clint Dempsey and Gyasi Zardes scored for the U.S.

In the Euro championships England beat Wales 2-1, Northern Ireland topped Ukraine 2-Nil, and Germany and Poland ran to a scoreless tie.

At the US Open golf tournament in Oakmont, Pennsylvania rain and frustration for the big name golfers marked the first day of play. The first round was suspended three times yesterday before play was halted for good, and so far 28-year old qualifier and virtual unknown Andrew Landry leads the field.

A graduate of NYU with a Master's Degree in journalism, Mitch has more than 20 years experience in radio news. He got his start as news director at NYU's college station, and moved on to a news director (and part-time DJ position) for commercial radio station WMVY on Martha's Vineyard. But public radio was where Mitch wanted to be and he eventually moved on to Boston where he worked for six years in a number of different capacities at member station WBUR...as a Senior Producer, Editor, and fill-in co-host of the nationally distributed Here and Now. Mitch has been a guest host of the national NPR sports program "Only A Game". He's also worked as an editor and producer for international news coverage with Monitor Radio in Boston.
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