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Cavs 107, Nets 87; Jason Lloyd's 13 thoughts on expectations, favorites and Kyrie Irving

By Jason Lloyd Published: April 1, 2016

CLEVELAND: Thirteen thoughts for Channing Frye's 13 points in Thursday’s 107-87 win over the Brooklyn Nets

1.      Kyrie Irving capped a turbulent few days by putting the rest of the league on notice. The Warriors are marching toward history, but Irving firmly believes the Cavs are marching toward a title.

2.      “I feel like we’re the team to beat,” Irving said. “It’s open season until we get into the playoffs. I have a lot more confidence than I think anyone realizes in our team and what’s going on in our locker room.”

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Kyrie Irving, J.R. Smith miss shootaround, called questionable

By Jason Lloyd Published: March 31, 2016

INDEPENDENCE: J.R. Smith and Kyrie Irving both missed shootaround and are considered questionable for Thursday’s home game against the Brooklyn Nets. The Cavs said both players are ill.

Irving addressed his personal life late Wednesday night on social media. In a series of tweets, Irving said he was not dating R&B singer Kehlani when her ex-boyfriend posted pictures of her lying in his bed to social media. Kehlani later posted an image of herself lying in a hospital bed and inferred she tried to kill herself over the entire incident.

“It's been hard to see what's been going on and not address the truth. I do not justify the picture or what dude did to try and spark all of this non sense that could have been avoided, but me and Kehlani were not dating when the picture came out,” Irving wrote. “It’s unfortunate that it’s received so much attention but its (sic) become bigger because of a post that was misunderstood.”

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Rockets 106, Cavs 100: Jason Lloyd's 20 thoughts on scoring droughts, James Harden and a blown lead

By Jason Lloyd Published: March 30, 2016

CLEVELAND: Twenty thoughts for the 20-point lead the Cavs blew in Tuesday’s 106-100 loss to the Houston Rockets…

1.      For the second time in their last three games, the Cavs went ice cold in the fourth quarter. Yes, the defense wasn’t very good in the second half Tuesday. Yes, James Harden got hot in the fourth quarter. But the Cavs have privately operated under the belief that there are going to be nights in the postseason when they just have to outscore their opponent. They couldn’t do that against the Rockets.

2.      Of course, LeBron James didn’t play while the Cavs missed eight consecutive shots in the fourth quarter and went six minutes scoring just one basket. It was similar to Thursday at Brooklyn when they missed 10 straight shots and went essentially the last six minutes without scoring. James did play that night, but it didn’t matter.

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Cavs blow big second-half lead, lose to Rockets 106-100 without LeBron James

By Jason Lloyd Published: March 29, 2016

CLEVELAND: James Harden scored 18 points in the fourth quarter and Trevor Ariza’s 3-pointer in the corner with 17 seconds left capped a furious second-half rally, giving the Houston Rockets a 106-100 victory against the Cavs Tuesday night, yet another loss on a night LeBron James rested.

The Cavs fell to 1-3 this season in games without James and 4-13 since he returned to Cleveland prior to last season. This time they led by 20 early in the third quarter and still held a 13-point lead entering the fourth before giving it all back.

Dwight Howard tied the game at 91 on a foul shot and Patrick Beverley gave the Rockets their first lead since the second quarter on a 3-pointer with 3:42 remaining.

The Cavs missed eight straight shots in the fourth quarter and went scoreless for nearly four minutes before Kyrie Irving split a pair of free throws with 2:44 left to pull the Cavs within 94-92. Prior to Irving’s foul shot, the Cavs managed just one basket in six minutes.

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LeBron James will sit out Tuesday's game against Rockets

By Jason Lloyd Published: March 28, 2016

INDEPENDENCE: LeBron James will not play Tuesday when the Cavaliers host the Houston Rockets. Coach Tyronn Lue is holding him out to rest, which will give James four days between games.

It will be the fourth game James has missed this season, all for rest. He has not missed any games to injuries. 

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Cavs 107, Knicks 93; Jason Lloyd's 27 thoughts on defense, LeBron's dunk, Carmelo's no-trade clause

By Jason Lloyd Published: March 27, 2016

NEW YORK: Twenty-seven thoughts for 27 points from LeBron James in Saturday’s 107-93 win over the New York Knicks…

1.      Tyronn Lue gave the Cavs two defensive goals for this game: be physical and get back in transition. He’ll continue to give simple goals for each of the final nine games that follow, with the hope of maintaining the minor goals from the game before.

2.      Lue has quietly resumed control of the defense in the wake of the embarrassing loss at the Miami Heat. He relinquished it to Mike Longabardi after he was named head coach, but now he is back in charge. It was a move that was going to happen in the playoffs, anyway, but now it’s happening sooner. Lue said shortly after that loss the defense was going to get better, and it is, despite some hiccups. The Cavs allowed 40 points in the third quarter, matching their most points allowed in a quarter this season, in part because the Knicks made six 3-pointers in the third.

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LeBron James' third triple-double of season propels Cavs to 107-93 win over Knicks

By Jason Lloyd Published: March 26, 2016

NEW YORK: LeBron James began the day declaring the Cavs were ready to make a championship run. He ended it with his third triple-double of the season on a night the Cavs lived up to their position as the premier team in the Eastern Conference.

James’ playoff-mode approach to the end of the regular season continued Saturday with 27 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in the Cavs’ 107-93 victory against the New York Knicks. The Cavs handled the Knicks on a night Kyrie Irving sat out to rest and Tristan Thompson matched Jim Chones’ franchise record of 361 consecutive games played.

Kevin Love had 28 points and 12 rebounds and J.R. Smith had 13 points for the Cavs, who returned to form following an embarrassing 104-95 loss at the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday. The Cavs have battled inconsistent play and lethargic performances throughout the season, but James doubled down on the Cavs’ title hopes Saturday despite so many frustrating losses.

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Kyrie Irving out against the Knicks resting; Mo Williams could play for first time in a month

By Jason Lloyd Published: March 26, 2016

NEW YORK: Kyrie Irving will not play Saturday when the Cavaliers face the New York Knicks, but Mo Williams might be ready to play for the first time in a month.

Williams has been out nursing a left knee injury that required an injection from Dr. James Andrews. The Cavs have targeted this date for his return, but coach Tyronn Lue said he needed to go through a workout after the morning shootaround before he was cleared.

Irving is missing his first game since he was cleared to play in back-to-backs in early January.

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Nets 104, Cavs 95; Jason Lloyd's 16 thoughts on hapless, helpless, hopeless losses

By Jason Lloyd Published: March 25, 2016

NEW YORK: Sixteen thoughts for 16 shots by LeBron James in Thursday’s 104-95 loss to the Brooklyn Nets…

1.      LeBron James can talk about working habits and preparing for the playoffs, as he did again Thursday night, but this turkey is too far cooked to change the ingredients now.

2.      The Cavs have varied between bitter, salty, undercooked and underwhelming for 72 games now. It’s difficult to see that changing at this late stage. They are what they are: Very, very frustrating.

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Cavs fall flat again in 104-95 loss to Nets despite terrific shooting night from LeBron James

By Jason Lloyd Published: March 24, 2016

NEW YORK: Hours after J.R. Smith said he believed his team was finally headed in the right direction, the S.S. Cavalier veered off course and sunk again, this time in the Hudson River against the second-worst team in the East.

The Cavaliers went scoreless for more than six minutes late in the game, marring a terrific shooting night from LeBron James in a 104-95 loss to the hapless Brooklyn Nets. It was just the Nets’ second win in their last nine games.

James made his first 10 shots and finished 13 of 16 shooting, one of the best shooting nights of his career. But it didn’t matter because the Nets scored the 14 consecutive points late in the game. Matthew Dellavedova’s 3-pointer with 6:11 left was the last basket the Cavs scored until a Jordan McRae 3-pointer in the game’s final seconds. By then, it didn’t matter. It was another bad loss for a Cavs team that continues to stumble toward the finish of the regular season.

James scored 30 points to go with six rebounds and five assists, while Kyrie Irving scored 13 points. Kevin Love had 11 points and 12 rebounds, but missed all five of his 3-point attempts. He and Channing Frye combined to shoot 1 of 11 from 3-point range.

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Pregame: Cavs at Nets

By Jason Lloyd Published: March 24, 2016

Time:  7:30 p.m.

Place: Barclays Center

TV: FSO

Radio: WTAM 1100-AM, WAKR 1590-AM, WHBC 1480-AM,  La Mega 87.7-FM (Spanish)

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Cavs 113, Bucks 104; Jason Lloyd's 20 thoughts on the Brotherhood & the storms LeBron James creates

By Jason Lloyd Published: March 24, 2016

CLEVELAND: Twenty thoughts for 20 second-chance points in Wednesday’s 113-104 win over the Milwaukee Bucks…

1.      Another day, another dust storm created by LeBron James and the Brotherhood.

2.      James told Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck in a story released Wednesday he’d love to play with BFFs Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul -- aka the Brotherhood -- before the four future Hall of Famers retire. The interview, however, took place when Beck was in town prior to the All-Star break. The story ran on Wednesday.

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Cavs' three stars shine in 113-104 win over Bucks

By Jason Lloyd Published: March 23, 2016

CLEVELAND: Kevin Love returned to the lineup with 24 points and 10 rebounds and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Milwaukee Bucks 113-104 Wednesday night. LeBron James had 26 points, eight assists and six rebounds and Kyrie Irving had 16 points, eight rebounds and eight assists on his 24th birthday for the Cavs, who have won four of their last five.

Tristan Thompson grabbed three offensive rebounds on one possession late in the fourth quarter, corralling rebounds after a missed dunk by James and a pair of missed 3-pointers. Thompson finally tapped it in himself after the third rebound, giving the Cavs a 106-98 lead with 2:43 left. J.R. Smith’s 3-pointer with 20 seconds left extended the lead to 111-102, sealing the victory.

Giannis Antetokiunmpo had 24 points, six rebounds and six assists for the Bucks and Greg Monroe had 14 points. Khris Middleton had 11 assists, but the Bucks have lost three straight and four of their last five.

Love missed one game with a head and chest cold that bothered him for about a week and broke out of a shooting funk that has plagued him since the All-Star break. Love began the night shooting 39 percent, including 25 percent from the 3-point line. He shot 8 of 14 Wednesday, although all six of his misses were 3-pointers. He ended the night 4 of 10 from 3-point range.

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Kevin Love returns healthy, still searching for jump shot

By Jason Lloyd Published: March 23, 2016

INDEPENDENCE: Kevin Love is healthy again, but it remains to be seen whether his ailing jump shot has been cured as well.

Love will return to the lineup Wednesday when the Cavs host the Milwaukee Bucks after missing one game with a head and chest cold. Love had been fighting the bug for nearly a week, but he has been fighting shooting struggles much longer. Love enters Wednesday shooting 39 percent, including 25 percent from 3-point range since the All-Star break.

“It’s a mentality. More than anything confidence plays a huge part in this league,” he said. “Just continue to breed that with the work that I put in and put myself in good spots on the floor because I’ve had the shots, just some of them haven’t been falling.”

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Pregame: Bucks at Cavs

By Jason Lloyd Published: March 23, 2016

Time:  7 p.m.; 

Place: Quicken Loans Arena 

TV: FSO

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Cavs 124, Nuggets 91; Jason Lloyd's 20 thoughts on Twitter, defense and division titles

By Jason Lloyd Published: March 22, 2016

CLEVELAND: Twenty thoughts for Channing Frye’s plus-20 in Monday’s 124-91 win over the Denver Nuggets…

1.      The Cavaliers clinched their fifth Central Division championship and ninth 50-win season Monday. LeBron James recorded his second triple-double of the season and 41st of his career. His 33 points matched the Nuggets’ entire starting lineup. And yet all anyone wants to talk about is his social media habits. Again.

2.      It has been that kind of season for the Cavs, who sometimes can’t seem to get out of their own way. That applies to James today after he unintentionally created a firestorm by unfollowing the Cavs’ Twitter account Monday.

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Cavs clinch Central Division behind LeBron James' triple-double in 124-91 win over Nuggets

By Jason Lloyd Published: March 21, 2016

CLEVELAND: It’s not the title they ultimately want, but it’s a start.

LeBron James had 33 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists and the Cleveland Cavaliers clinched the Central Division with a 124-91 victory Monday night against the Denver Nuggets. It’s the fifth division title in team history and also marked their ninth 50-win season while serving as James’ second triple-double of the season and the 41st of his career.

Channing Frye scored 14 points as a replacement for Kevin Love, who did not play because he was ill. J.R. Smith scored 15 points and Matthew Dellavedova had 10 points and seven assists off the bench. Kyrie Irving had eight points and three assists.

“I think a 50-win season in this league, it’s not every year you can do that,” Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. “It just shows the hard work the guys have put in to get to this point.”

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Heat 122, Cavs 101; Jason Lloyd's 23 thoughts on South Beach woes, defensive issues, playoff concern

By Jason Lloyd Published: March 20, 2016

MIAMI: Twenty-three thoughts for 23 defensive rebounds in Saturday’s 122-101 loss to the Miami Heat…

1.      While players showered and dressed in a stone silent postgame locker room, the Spurs and Warriors were on the television playing a brand of basketball the Cavs haven’t displayed very often this season. The defense, the ball movement, the help defense, the spacing, the pick-and-roll defense, the intensity and that defense…

2.      The Cavs are 5-3 in their last eight games. Two of those losses have been hideous – the home loss to Memphis’ D-League team and now getting boat raced here for the second time this season. Throw in the loss at Washington last month when they also trailed by 30 and the Cavs seem to be trending in the wrong direction at the worst possible time. They have just 13 games left before the playoffs.

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Cavs trail entire game, hammered by Heat 122-101

By Jason Lloyd Published: March 19, 2016

MIAMI: Ninety minutes before tipoff Saturday night, Tyronn Lue announced he was starting Timofey Mozgov at center against the Miami Heat’s small ball lineup. By the time the official lineup sheets were distributed 45 minutes later, Lue had changed his mind.

Mozgov was out, Iman Shumpert was in. The Cavs may have matched the Heat’s small lineup in stature, but they sure didn’t match their energy and intensity. Nor could they match the Heat’s incredible shot-making and rebounding.

The Heat blitzed the Cavs from the start Saturday and led by as many as 31 on their way to an easy 122-101 victory at AmericanAirlines Arena, the Cavs’ 11th consecutive defeat in this building. They couldn’t beat LeBron James when he was here and now James can’t beat his former team in his old building.

That could be cause for concern in the postseason, when the Heat could serve as a viable second-round opponent for a Cavs team that can outclass most everyone in the East. Their lead over the idle Toronto Raptors, however, is down to 1 1/2 games for the best record in the East.

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Cavs 109, Magic 103; Jason Lloyd's 18 thoughts on Frye, Oladipo, what was and what could've been

By Jason Lloyd Published: March 18, 2016

ORLANDO, FLA.: Eighteen thoughts for 18 points from LeBron James in Friday’s 109-103 win over the Orlando Magic…

1.      Channing Frye lounged back in his chair in the visitors locker room and finished buttoning his white Polo. “This is my ‘still living in a hotel’ shirt,” he joked. “From the 2007 Polo collection.’”

2.      Frye may not have a permanent home in Cleveland, but he seems to have one in the Cavs’ rotation. He has appeared in the last seven games and has consistently played about 20 minutes in each of the last five. He supplanted Kevin Love in the fourth quarter Friday, leaving an ill Love on the bench while playing nearly the entire quarter. The Cavs outscored the Magic by 10 points in the fourth while Frye was on the floor.

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Cavs survive career night from Victor Oladipo for 109-103 win over Magic

By Jason Lloyd Published: March 18, 2016

ORLANDO, FLA.: Kyrie Irving scored X26 points and had five assists while Channing Frye made four 3-pointers in his return to Orlando. The Cavaliers needed all of it Friday in their 109-103 victory against the Magic, surviving a career night from Victor Oladipo in the process.

Oladipo scored a career-high 45 points, the first 40-point game of his career and the most points any player has scored against the Cavs this season. He set a career high through three quarters and ripped through whatever perimeter defender the Cavs used on him – and they used just about everyone.

LeBron James had 18 points, seven rebounds and eight assists after sitting out one game to rest and Kevin Love had 14 points and six rebounds, but didn’t play in the fourth quarter. Love was a game-time decision because he was sick most of the day.

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Pregame: Cavs at Magic

By Jason Lloyd Published: March 18, 2016

Time:  7 p.m.; Place: Amway Center

 

TV: FSO

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Cavs 99, Mavs 98; Jason Lloyd's 23 thoughts on stealing a rare win without LeBron James

By Jason Lloyd Published: March 17, 2016

CLEVELAND: Twenty-three thoughts for 23 points from Kevin Love in Wednesday’s 99-98 win over the Dallas Mavericks…

1.      One of the go-to moves for Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is to call a timeout during a game when things aren’t going his way and walk away from the bench. He’ll huddle with his coaches on the floor like all head coaches do, but he won’t return to the bench. He’ll just leave it up to the players to figure out what’s going wrong and how to fix it.

2.      This was sort of a “figure out and fix it” moment for the Cavs, who to this point have consistently demonstrated an inability to win when LeBron James doesn’t play. It’s hard to figure since they still have a pair of max contract players and yet another near-max in Tristan Thompson. They have struggled, however, figuring things out for themselves.

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Cavs survive for 99-98 win over Mavs behind Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love on night LeBron James rests

By Jason Lloyd Published: March 16, 2016

CLEVELAND – Kyrie Irving scored 33 points and came up with a key steal in the final seconds to preserve a 99-98 victory Wednesday against the Dallas Mavericks on a night LeBron James rested.

Irving threw the ball away when the Mavericks double teamed him with 16 seconds left and the Cavs ahead 97-95. He regained possession when he hooked Dirk Nowitzki and wiggled in front of him for a steal. Nowitzki was forced to foul and Irving converted both free throws. The Mavericks’ Deron Williams banked in a 3-pointer at the buzzer, but it didn’t matter.

Kevin Love had 23 points and 18 rebounds and Channing Frye scored 14 points off the bench to give the Cavs their first victory in a game James sat out this season. They were blown out in the previous two instances and twice blew 20-point leads Wednesday before surviving.

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LeBron James will not play Wednesday against Mavericks

By Jason Lloyd Published: March 16, 2016

 CLEVELAND: LeBron James will not play Wednesday when the Cavs host the Dallas Mavericks. The team will hold him out to rest.

The Cavs have been monitoring James’ minutes and coach Ty Lue indicated at the end of the West Coast trip that James would sit at least one of these next three games. He will play both games of a weekend back-to-back at Orlando and Miami.

The Cavs believe it’s better to rest a player in bulk rather than short doses. By sitting against the Mavericks, James will have Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday off before returning to the floor Friday against the Magic.

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LeBron James picks Akron to beat Ohio State in NIT game

By Dan Kadar Published: March 15, 2016
Cavaliers Jazz Basket_Kada

Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James has said if he attended college, it would have been Ohio State. But that's not stopping him from picking his hometown Akron Zips in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament.

Ohio State hosts Akron at 7 p.m. tonight, and James said he's going with the Zips. Akron's Keith Dambrot coached James for a time at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School.

MORE: Zips hope to use victory over Ohio State in NIT to soften NCAA disappointment, add big win for program

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Jazz 94, Cavs 85: Jason Lloyd's 23 thoughts on missed shots and groin shots

By Jason Lloyd Published: March 15, 2016

SALT LAKE CITY: Twenty-three thoughts for 23 points from LeBron James in Monday’s 94-85 loss to the Utah Jazz…

1.      This one wasn’t as egregious as the Memphis loss or even the loss at Charlotte last month when the Hornets were without Al Jefferson and Kemba Walker, at least not to me. Sure, Gordon Hayward was missing for the Jazz, but Salt Lake City has historically taken down a number of good Eastern Conference teams at the end of road trips. This was no different.

2.      Tyronn Lue played all of his starters in an effort to sweep the trip, but the Cavs struggled establishing pace all night. Their pick-and-roll defense was again not good and they failed to close out to the shooters, which is how Rodney Hood (28 points, just off his career high of 32) and Shelvin Mack (17 points, 10 assists, seven rebounds) hurt them with big nights.

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Cavs fall to Jazz 94-85 in trip finale

By Jason Lloyd Published: March 15, 2016

SALT LAKE CITY: In a scene that has become all too common this season, the Cavaliers struggled to put away a team missing its biggest star.

LeBron James had 23 points and 12 rebounds, but the Cavs concluded their West Coast trip with a 94-85 loss at the Utah Jazz, who were playing without leading scorer Gordon Hayward. The 85 points were the fewest the Cavs scored since a Jan. 23 loss to the Chicago Bulls – Tyronn Lue’s first game as coach.

Lue elected to play all his starters in the trip finale because none of the starters played heavy minutes in Sunday’s impressive win against the Los Angeles Clippers. But none of them appeared to have their legs.

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Cavs 114, Clippers 90: Jason Lloyd's 18 thoughts on pace, defense, potential for perfect road trip

By Jason Lloyd Published: March 14, 2016

LOS ANGELES: Eighteen thoughts for 18 3-pointers in Sunday’s 114-90 win over the Los Angeles Clippers…

1.      Anderson Varejao made what I thought was a fascinating observation during our sitdown together last week. Now that he has spent three weeks with the Warriors, after spending a month with Tyronn Lue, Varejao saw a comparison. In his mind, the Cavs’ offensive schemes and actions under Lue look awfully similar to what the Warriors run.

2.      Turns out, however, that isn’t by design. Tyronn Lue told me Sunday the only thing he really wants to take from the Warriors is the pace at which they play – and even that has been a struggle. The two teams’ styles, however, remain fairly different.

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LeBron James scores 27 in three quarters, Cavs pound Clippers to complete L.A. sweep

By Jason Lloyd Published: March 13, 2016

LOS ANGELES: After enjoying four days at a posh Beverly Hills hotel and L.A. nightlife, an early start Sunday and the Daylight Savings Time change, it was fair to wonder what type of condition the Cavaliers would be in for a matinee against one of the West’s best.

Even Clippers coach Doc Rivers acknowledged the possibilities before the game. He didn’t believe the early start and time change would have an impact, “unless L.A. did its job (Saturday) night,” he said before exiting the interview room clapping “let’s go L.A.”

Hollywood didn’t derail the Cavaliers this week. LeBron James and noted partier J.R. Smith, of all people, wouldn’t allow it. James scored 27 points in just 31 minutes and Smith made five 3-pointers in the Cavaliers’ 114-90 dismantling of the Los Angeles Clippers. The Cavs made just 2 of their first 10 shots before a timeout and some lineup adjustments changed everything.

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Pregame: Cavs at Clippers

By Jason Lloyd Published: March 13, 2016

Time:  3:30 p.m.; Place: Staples Center

TV: ABC

Radio: WTAM 1100-AM, WAKR 1590-AM, WHBC 1480-AM,  La Mega 87.7-FM (Spanish)

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Cavs 120, Lakers 108: Jason Lloyd's 26 final thoughts on last dance, Kobe's instructions for LeBron

By Jason Lloyd Published: March 11, 2016

LOS ANGELES: Twenty-six thoughts for 26 points from Kyrie Irving in Thursday’s 120-108 win over the Los Angeles Lakers in the final meeting between LeBron and Kobe…

1.      Now that the end is in sight, now that Kobe Bryant is chipping and putting up 18, he’s happy to hand out swing tips. When the Lakers made their final trip to Cleveland last month, Bryant said friction between stars isn’t a bad thing and that the Cavs’ lack of ball movement could hinder them from a championship. This time he was more direct. After Bryant met LeBron James for the final time, he gave James instructions for the next couple of months.

2.      “If I was him, the thing I’d be obsessing over is dealing with those boys up in Golden State,” said Bryant, a noted obsessive obsessor. “From a leadership perspective, how you can construct the team and the personality of the team, you have to make sure that you’re ready to do battle for that if you’re fortunate enough to get there and Golden State is fortunate enough to get there.”

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LeBron James, Kobe Bryant dazzle in Cavs' 120-108 win over Lakers in final meeting between stars

By Jason Lloyd Published: March 11, 2016

LOS ANGELES: LeBron James and Kobe Bryant said their hellos and goodbyes for the final time, and in between they matched each other shot for shot. It was Channing Frye no one saw coming.

Frye scored a season-high 21 points and matched his season high with five 3-pointers in the Cavaliers’ 120-108 victory Thursday on a night two of the greatest to ever play this game met for the final time.

An invigorated Bryant scored 26 points on 11 of 16 shooting and departed with two minutes left to familiar chants of “Ko-bee, Ko-bee.” He hit a trademark turnaround jumper over an outstretched James, caught James in the air for an up-and-under and dazzled a Staples Center crowd like his body rarely allows him to do in his final NBA season.

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Kevin Love out Thursday with sprained knee, Channing Frye to start

By Jason Lloyd Published: March 10, 2016

LOS ANGELES: Kevin Love will miss Thursday's game against the Los Angeles Lakers with a sprained knee, Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. Love was hit on the knee during Wednesday's win at Sacramento. 

Channing Frye will start in his place, while Tristan Thompson will remain the starter at center. Timofey Mozgov missed Wednesday's game with flu-like symptoms, but Lue said he is available to play. 

Both Kobe Bryant and LeBron James will play Thursday, the final meeting between the two future Hall of Famers.

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Cavs 120, Kings 111: Jason Lloyd's 21 thoughts on Kevin Love's historic night, searching for rhythm

By Jason Lloyd Published: March 10, 2016

SACRAMENTO: Twenty-one thoughts for 21 fouls in Wednesday’s 120-111 win over the Sacramento Kings…

1. The historical 3-pointer came from the corner when the Cavs badly needed a big basket. So did Kevin Love. He was 4 of 28 from 3-point range over his last seven games before stepping into one Wednesday as Darren Collison fouled him, resulting in a four-point play and lifting the Cavs to the victory.

Read how the game  unfolded: Kevin Love's four-point play gives Cavs 120-111 win over Kings; Kyrie Irving scores 30.

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Kyrie Irving scores 30, Kevin Love's late four-point play gives Cavs 120-111 win over Kings

By Jason Lloyd Published: March 10, 2016

SACRAMENTO: Kevin Love’s four-point play with 1:32 left sealed the Cavaliers’ 120-111 victory Wednesday against the Sacramento Kings.

Love, mired in a 4 of 27 shooting slump from 3-point range in his last seven games, delivered the corner 3-pointer while he was fouled by Darren Collison. His ensuing free throw extended the Cavs lead to 115-108 with 1:31 left.

The Cavs missed nine consecutive 3-point shots prior to Love’s make and finished the game just 13 of 44 from deep (30 percent).

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Pregame: Cavs at Kings

By Jason Lloyd Published: March 9, 2016

Time: 10 p.m.; Place: Sleep Train Arena

TV: Fox Sports Ohio

Radio: WTAM 1100-AM, WAKR 1590-AM, WHBC 1480-AM,  La Mega 87.7-FM (Spanish)

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Timofey Mozgov ill, questionable for tonight's game against Kings

By Jason Lloyd Published: March 9, 2016

SACRAMENTO: Timofey Mozgov missed shootaround Wednesday morning and is listed as questionable for tonight’s game against the Sacramento Kings, the team said.

Mozgov also missed shootaround prior to Monday’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies, then sat the second half of the loss with the illness.

The Grizzlies dressed only eight players in their victory against the Cavs and were without their top three players, but coach Tyronn Lue said Wednesday his views on the game changed after he watched the film three times.

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LeBron James preparing for final game in arena where his NBA career began

By Jason Lloyd Published: March 9, 2016

He almost perfectly recalled his stat line from that night, too.

James will play his final game at Sleep Train Arena Wednesday night more than 12 years after making his professional debut here. It was named Arco Arena at the time and it will close at the end of the season, when the Kings will move to a new $500 million downtown arena.

“I had less tattoos and more hair,” James said of his NBA debut. “And my jersey was a lot bigger at that time. I had less weight. But for the most part it’s been a great run so far in my career.”

James holds fond memories to this arena given it was his debut. He recalled scoring 25 points, grabbing five rebounds and passing for nine assists, but he actually shorted himself a rebound. His official stat line from his debut was 25-6-9.

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Grizzlies 106, Cavs 103; Jason Lloyd's 22 thoughts on turnovers, boredom and cattle prods

By Jason Lloyd Published: March 8, 2016

CLEVELAND: Twenty-two thoughts for 22 fouls committed in Monday’s 106-103 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies…

1. They’re bored.

2. It’s what the evidence of 25 turnovers indicates, what the body language screams when Kyrie Irving is skipping behind the back passes to no one in particular and how the Cavaliers can fall behind by 18 at home in the first quarter to the Boston Celtics on Saturday, then trail by 14 in the second half Monday to a team that started P.J. Hairston and this guy.

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Cavs commit season-high 25 turnovers in 106-103 loss to short-handed Grizzlies

By Jason Lloyd Published: March 7, 2016

CLEVELAND: Right about the time the Memphis Grizzlies were listing all of the players who weren’t available Monday night, Cavs coach Tyronn Lue could sense the impending doom.

“It’s always dangerous because we tend to let our guards down,” Lue said before the game. “It’s going to be my job to make sure that we don’t do that.”

Better luck next time. The Cavs didn’t put their guards up until the fourth quarter, and by then had suffered a knockout.

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Cavs 120, Celtics 103: Marla Ridenour's final thoughts on LeBron passing Duncan, getting physical

By Marla Ridenour Published: March 6, 2016

Twenty final thoughts for Kyrie Irving's 20 points in leading the Cavs back from an 18-point first quarter deficit.

1. After Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs swept the Cavaliers and LeBron James in the 2007 NBA Finals, the two shared a moment following Game 4 that James will never forget. Duncan met with James in Quicken Loans Arena and Duncan told James, “This is going to be your league in a little while. I appreciate you giving us this year."

MORECavaliers 120, Celtics 103: Cavs exact revenge in budding rivalry with Celtics

2. That conversation became significant again Saturday night as James scored 28 points against the Celtics to boost his career total to 26,378, passing still-active Duncan's 26,366 and moving into 14th place on the NBA's all-time list. Duncan, 39, has won two NBA MVP awards and five NBA championships, his last in 2014. James, 31, is a four-time NBA MVP who has two titles to his credit with the Miami Heat.

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Cavs 108, Wizards 83; Jason Lloyd's 21 thoughts on small ball, LeBron's annual migration to the post

By Jason Lloyd Published: March 5, 2016

CLEVELAND: Twenty-one thoughts for 21 points from Kyrie Irving in Friday’s 108-83 win over the Washington Wizards…

1. This was the plan all along, the way the players tell it.  Except it was supposed to be Joe Johnson instead of Iman Shumpert. There was a time when Cavs players thought Johnson was coming to Cleveland and they were already discussing a devastating scoring lineup featuring Kyrie Irving, J.R. Smith, Johnson, LeBron James and Kevin Love.

2. “Who could guard that?” one player asked. It’s a moot point now, of course. Johnson is on South Beach and the Cavs didn’t get the extra wing they were seeking at the buyout. The coaches had been toying with the idea of using a small lineup for a while now. Friday seemed the perfect time to try it. So instead of Johnson, coach Tyronn Lue took advantage of Kevin Love’s night off to try Iman Shumpert. 

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LeBron James scores 19 points, grabs 13 rebounds as Cavs small ball lineup smashes Wizards 108-83

By Jason Lloyd Published: March 4, 2016

CLEVELAND: After much deliberation between the coaches and players alike, the Cavaliers took what could be a decisive step toward their postseason rotation during Friday’s 108-83 victory against the Washington Wizards.

Less than a week after they were blown off the floor by this team in the nation’s capital, the Cavs blitzed the Wizards with a small-ball lineup that is here to stay. Iman Shumpert replaced Kevin Love in the starting rotation, and while Love will be back Saturday night, Shumpert’s place in the rotation seems secure.

The Cavs are officially trending small, which means LeBron James’ future – at least for now – resides in the post.

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Kevin Love will rest Friday when Cavs host Wizards

By Jason Lloyd Published: March 4, 2016

Kevin Love will sit out tonight’s home game against the Washington Wizards to rest, the team said Friday morning. This will mark just the second game Love has missed this season. He also missed one with a thigh injury.

Coach Tyronn Lue has said repeatedly he wants to get guys rest between now and the end of the season. Friday’s game against the Wizards is the first night of a back-to-back and also marks the first of three games in four nights.

Love is averaging 15.9 points and 10.1 rebounds this season in 32 minutes a night, his lowest per-game figure in six seasons.

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Pregame: Wizards at Cavs

By Jason Lloyd Published: March 4, 2016

Time: 7 p.m.; Place: Quicken Loans Arena

TV: ESPN, Fox Sports Ohio

Radio: WTAM 1100-AM, WAKR 1590-AM, WHBC 1480-AM,  La Mega 87.7-FM (Spanish)

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Cavs 100, Pacers 96; Jason Lloyd's 25 thoughts defense, Kyrie Irving rumors and Mo Williams' knee

By Jason Lloyd Published: March 1, 2016

CLEVELAND: Twenty-five thoughts for 25 free throw attempts in a 100-96 win over the Indiana Pacers on Monday

1. So, so much to get to. It’s a good thing the Cavs are off for the next two days because it’s going to take that long to wade through everything. From Mo Williams’ knee to Tristan Thompson’s removal from the starting lineup, the Cavs’ refusal to play hard for 48 minutes and the latest Kyrie Irving rumors. And by the way, the Cavs played a game Monday and won.

2. Ty Lue acknowledged Monday what we already knew: This team often refuses to play hard until they absolutely must. Down 4 in the fourth quarter after already losing three of their last four, apparently this began to feel like a must. They defended better in the last seven minutes Monday than they have in quite a while. They flew around the ball, blitzed pick-and-rolls, kept the Pacers off the 3-point line and limited them to one look at the basket.

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