CLEVELAND: Kyrie Irving said after Sunday’s Game 1 victory that the Big Three sets the tone. While that may be true, the Cavaliers have plenty of backup singers who need to stay in tune.
The reserves played a vital role in Sunday’s 113-100 victory over the Celtics. After an inconsistent regular season from the bench, they’re looking for more in Tuesday’s Game 2.
“We’ve needed it from our bench just to get to the playoffs,” said reserve guard Iman Shumpert, who played 32 minutes Sunday after J.R. Smith sat with foul trouble. “We can’t have a drop-off now.”
The Cavs ended the regular season with the league’s worst bench production, averaging just 24.2 points — although it improved after the trades to acquire Shumpert, Smith and Timofey Mozgov. Conversely, the Celtics led the league in bench scoring at 41.4 points a night.
BAKER, La.: Percy Sledge was remembered for phenomenal talent and extraordinary kindness during a Tuesday funeral service marked by warm reminiscences from fellow musicians, family members and friends he made during a five-decade career that launched with his first and biggest hit, “When a Man Loves a Woman.”