LOOKING BACK

What did the world look like the last time there was an NBA Finals without Lebron James?

Lebron James has made it to the Finals for eight straight years. Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Well it looks like this year may very well see the end of the Warriors-Cavaliers Finals repeat cycle. While it remains to be seen if the Rockets victory in Game 2 a mere flash in the pan or sign of things is to come, the Cavs look like they’re toast.  If the Cavs do not escape their current 0-2 hole to the Celtics this will be the first time since 2010 that the NBA Finals will not feature LeBron James. For the arithmetically challenged that’s eight straight years. If you include the one Finals trip he had before going to Miami, LeBron has ended his season in the Finals for 60% of his career.  So, with that in mind lets dust off the flux capacitor, hop in the DeLorean and see what life was like the last time an NBA season didn’t end with LeBron in the Finals.

2010 in Houston Sports (Spoiler: It was pretty bad all around)

Houston Rockets

Record: 42-40.

Notes of significance: Traded Tracy McGrady mid-season.

Remember these guys: Aaron Brooks, Chase Buddinger, The Chuck Wagon, Kyle Lowry, Kevin Martin.

Houston Astros

Record: 76-86.

Notes of Significance: Traded away Roy Oswalt and Lance Berkman.

Remember these guys: Michael Bourn, Carlos Lee, Brett Myers, Wandy Rodriguez, Geoff Blum.

Houston Texans

Record: 6-10.

Notes of Significance: None – Of course not, it’s the Texans.

Remember these guys: Kevin Walter, Amobi Okoye, Antonio Smith, Vonta Leach, Steve Slaton.

Other 2010 Things:

  • Top Billboard Song of 2010 – Tik Tok by Ke$ha.

  • Top Grossing Movie of 2010 – Toy Story 3 (You are a liar if you contend you didn’t at least tear up in this movie).

  • Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

  • The iPad is released.

  • Obama Care Passed.

  • First real-world Bitcoin transaction. Two Pappa Johns pizzas purchased for 10,000 Bitcoin. Today that would be worth about $83,000,000.

  • When the name Harvey was mentioned you either thought of Steve or Dent.

Eight straight years in the finals is a most impressive feat, but if the Warriors make it back this year Steph Curry will already be halfway to that mark, and by the looks of things he could actually meet or exceed it.

 

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Houston dropped two of three

Astros drop series finale to Oakland, A's win series

Jose Urquidy couldn't hold Oakland back on Saturday. Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

With Oakland finally ending their drought against the Astros on Friday night to split the first two games of the series, and with the Angels staying in step with them as both teams started the day 6-2, the Astros needed a win to keep momentum in their favor on Saturday.

Instead, Oakland would outslug Houston once again to take the series finale and take the series win. The loss moves Houston to 6-3 and down to second place, at least for now, until the 6-2 Angels complete their game on Saturday evening.

Final Score: A's 7, Astros 3

Astros' Record: 6-3, second in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Frankie Montas (1-1)

Losing Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (0-1)

Urquidy gives up four over six

Much like the night before, Oakland was able to bring in runs against Houston's starter, this time Jose Urquidy, Saturday afternoon in their second time through the order. Their first time through, Urquidy was cruising, allowing just one baserunner in the first three innings on a single in the top of the third.

Things shifted in the top of the fourth, with the A's getting back-to-back singles to set the stage for a two-run frame with dual RBI-singles to take a 2-0 lead. Oakland doubled that in the fifth, getting a two-out single to set up a two-run homer by Ramon Laureano to make it 4-0. Urquidy would go on to finish six innings, but with no run support to that point, would leave in line for the loss. His final line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 93 P.

A's pad their lead before Houston gets on the board

Meanwhile, although getting five hits, the Astros could not get anything on the board against Frankie Montas through six innings. Brandon Bielak took over out of the bullpen for Urquidy in the top of the seventh, but after loading the bases, he would allow a dagger two-RBI single to make it a 6-0 deficit for Houston.

With Montas starting the seventh looking to face a batter or two before Oakland moved to their bullpen, Kyle Tucker would finally get Houston on the board with a leadoff solo home run, cutting the lead to 6-1 and ending Montas' day. Houston would get a two-out rally going, with an RBI-double by Jose Altuve followed by an RBI-triple by Michael Brantley to make it a three-run game at 6-3.

Oakland takes the series win

Ryne Stanek tried to keep it a three-run game and give the Astros a chance to stay in it in the top of the eighth but instead would give up a two-out solo home run to push Oakland's lead back to four. That 7-3 score would go final as Houston would go scoreless in the eighth and ninth.

Up Next: Houston will have a day off on Sunday before continuing this homestand Monday night by welcoming in Detroit and former manager A.J. Hinch for three games. In the series opener, the Tigers will send young star Casey Mize (0-0, 2.25 ERA) to the mound, while the Astros will get another start by Zack Greinke (1-0, 1.38 ERA).

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