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Update: Cavaliers' J.R. Smith will start Game 3 vs. Pacers

By Marla Ridenour Published: April 20, 2017

Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said J.R. Smith will start Game 3 of the first-round playoff series against the Indiana Pacers Thursday after injuring his left hamstring in the first half of Game 2.

Smith had been listed as questionable. The Cavs hold a 2-0 lead going into the 7 p.m. game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Lue said before the game that he wasn't sure if Smith would be under a minutes restriction. The Cavs waited to clarify Smith's status because they wanted to see how Smith came out of the morning shootaround.

Lue said Smith "looked good" in Wednesday's practice at Cleveland Clinic Courts. Smith's starting assignment means Iman Shumpert, who sparked the Cavs with his defense in the second half of Game 2 after Smith was injured, will go back to the bench.

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Cavs' J.R. Smith questionable for Game 3 vs. Pacers with hamstring injury

By Marla Ridenour Published: April 19, 2017

Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith was listed as questionable for Game 3 against the Indiana Pacers Thursday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse after suffering a left hamstring injury in Game 2 Monday.

Smith wanted to play but was held out of second half of the Cavs' 117-111 victory over the Pacers at Quicken Loans Arena as the Cavs took a 2-0 series lead in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Smith made it through the Cavs' entire practice Wednesday at Cleveland Clinic Courts. As the session concluded, he jogged and sprinted on sections of the court and stopped to shoot without showing obvious discomfort.

Smith said he underwent an MRI Tuesday morning.

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Cavs' Edy Tavares named D-League defensive player of year

By Marla Ridenour Published: April 18, 2017

Raptors 905 center Edy Tavares, signed by the Cavs on April 12, was named the NBA D-League's defensive player of the year in a vote by the league’s 22 coaches.

Tavares, 7-foot-3 and 265 pounds, led a Raptors 905 defense that held opponents to a league-low 98 points per game and 42.8 percent shooting from the field. He tied for the league lead in blocked shots with 2.7 per game. His best performance came on March 25, when he blocked a league-high 12 shots while scoring 15 points and adding 11 rebounds.

In 48 games for Raptors 905, he averaged 10.6 points and 7.7 rebounds. Tavares appeared in one game for the Cavs, the regular-season finale against Toronto, and blocked six shots in the second half, tying a Quicken Loans Arena record for blocks in a half, while contributing 10 rebounds and six points in 24 minutes.

Born in Majo, Cape Verde, Tavares was the 43rd overall pick of the Atlanta Hawks in 2014.

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Cavs 117, Pacers 111: Marla's 35 shots from Beyond the Arc on J.R.'s hammy, Shumpert's redemption

By Marla Ridenour Published: April 18, 2017

Notes, quotes and observations after the Cavaliers defeated the Indiana Pacers 117-111 Monday night at Quicken Loans Arena to take a 2-0 lead in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.

1. Before diving into J.R. Smith’s left hamstring injury -- "I wanted to play, they didn't want me to play,” Smith said – and Iman Shumpert’s “unbelievable” second half performance, according to coach Tyronn Lue, an encouraging comment on the team’s progress from LeBron James.

2. The question was about the Cavs being outscored in the fourth quarter for the second consecutive game. On Monday, the Pacers finished with a 33-21 surge. In Saturday’s one-point Cavs’ victory, the Pacers had a 24-17 edge.

3. But James was not concerned about that troubling fact, even though the Pacers cut the Cavs’ 18-point lead going into the fourth quarter to four points with 19.5 seconds to go.

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