While the Golden State Warriors try to cement their legacy as the NBA’s greatest dynasty in half a century, the upstart Toronto Raptors made history just reaching the NBA Finals.
Friday morning’s opener in the best-of-seven championship showdown will be the first NBA Finals game played outside the United States, the Canadian contest coming in the same city where the first league game was played in 1946.
Warriors star Stephen Curry attempts to lead his injury-hit side to their third consecutive NBA title, a feat last achieved by the Los Angeles Lakers in 2002, and Golden State could become the first team to win four crowns in five seasons since the 1969 Boston Celtics.
Check out our UAE timings below.
Monday, June 3: Toronto Raptors vs Golden State Warriors – 4AM
Thursday, June 6: Golden State Warriors vs Toronto Raptors – 5AM
Saturday, June 8: Golden State Warriors vs Toronto Raptors – 5AM
Tuesday, June 11: Toronto Raptors vs Golden State Warriors – 5AM
Friday, June 14: Golden State Warriors vs Toronto Raptors – 5AM
Monday, June 17: Toronto Raptors vs Golden State Warriors – 4AM
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Dallas Mavericks superstar Dirk Nowitzki confirmed his retirement from the NBA on Tuesday, drawing curtains on a 21-season career that saw him become the greatest European player ever in the league’s history.
The 40-year-old was considering extending his career by another season but decided to announce his his retirement after the Mavericks’ 120-109 win over the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday.
“As you guys might expect, this is my last home game,” Nowitzki said at the Dallas’s American Airlines Center.
“I’ve put you guys on a hell of a ride with a lot of ups and downs and you guys always stuck with me and supported me, and I appreciate it,” he added.
Many NBA icons were in the arena as the German bid adieu, including Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, Scottie Pippen and the Mavs’ former German power forward Detlef Schrempf.
Nowitzki ranks sixth on NBA’s all-time points scoring list with more than 31,000. He said he has no plans to leave Dallas post retirement.
“This is my new home,” Nowitzki said. “I left Germany over 20 years ago and became a Texan.”
Nowitzki was chosen as ninth pick in the 1998 NBA draft and went on to lead the Mavericks to 15 playoff appearances.
He powered the the team to their only NBA championship in 2011.
The Los Angeles Lakers beat the Golden State Warriors 127-101 on the road but were dealt a blow when LeBron James left the court injured in the third quarter.
With 7.51 seconds remaining on the clock, the All-Star forward sustained a groin strain, finishing the Christmas game with 17 points, 13 rebounds and five assists.
Steph Curry hit back-to-back three-pointers and the Warriors got to within two points before the end of third, but the Lakers maintained control, completing the victory thanks to 19 points from Kyle Kuzma and 18 from Ivica Zubac.
James was injured halfway through the third quarter when he reached for a loose ball. He grabbed his left groin before heading to the sidelines. He moved cautiously when he left the court and headed to the locker room.
“Hopefully it is not a long thing I can get back on the floor as soon as possible,” said James.
Lakers coach Luke Walton said team doctors would examine James later.
“He will get an MRI tomorrow and we will have a better understanding of what he has got going on,” Walton said.