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Cavs 116, Hornets 105; Jason Lloyd's 22 thoughts on milestones, health and LeBron's great night

By Jason Lloyd Published: December 11, 2016

CLEVELAND: Twenty-two thoughts for 22 points from Kevin Love in Saturday’s 116-105 win over the Charlotte Hornets…

1.     The boys waiting outside the Cavs locker room Saturday night were asked if they wanted to go inside and talk to LeBron James. No, they both said, they simply wanted a ball so they could head to the court.

2.     When they were told they HAD to go inside and talk to him, they dropped their heads in disappointment. They weren’t interested in seeing the only man in NBA history to score 27,000 points, grab 7,000 rebounds and pass for 7,000 assists. No, they wanted to hoop. Instead, the two boys grudgingly trudged inside.

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LeBron James scores season-high 44 points, reaches assists milestone in 116-105 win vs. Hornets

By Jason Lloyd Published: December 10, 2016

CLEVELAND: LeBron James scored a season-high 44 points and became the first frontcourt player to pass for 7,000 assists in the Cavs’ 116-105 win over the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday.

The milestone pass was vintage James, a skip pass down the lane to a streaking Tristan Thompson that few other players could even see, let alone complete. It was his highest scoring regular season game since returning to Cleveland and matched the 44 points he scored in a Game 1 overtime loss against the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the Finals in 2015.

Kemba Walker scored 24 points and Cody Zeller had 17 points and nine rebounds for the Hornets, who had their own three-game winning streak snapped. This was the first stop in a five-game road trip for Charlotte.

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LeBron James moves into ninth on career scoring list in 114-84 blowout win against Heat

By Jason Lloyd Published: December 9, 2016

CLEVELAND: Dwyane Wade is gone and Chris Bosh’s career is likely over. So, too, is any remaining feud between the Cavaliers and the Miami Heat.

LeBron James scored 27 points against his former team to move into ninth place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list in the Cavs’ 114-84 victory Friday. James added eight rebounds and eight assists, while Kevin Love fought through back spasms to score 28 points and grab 15 rebounds. Kyrie Irving scored 23 points.

Injuries and Wade’s defection in free agency has reduced the Heat to smoldering ashes, last place in their division and little hope of making the playoffs. Udonis Haslam was a late scratch from the Heat for personal reasons, wiping away the final link between James and the Heat’s championship past. There was no one on the floor Friday whom James played with in Miami – and he left the franchise three seasons ago.

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Channing Frye out this weekend; J.R. Smith (knee) and Kevin Love (back) questionable vs. Heat

By Jason Lloyd Published: December 9, 2016

INDEPENDENCE: Channing Frye has been excused from the team for personal reasons, while Kevin Love and J.R. Smith are both questionable for Friday’s game against the Miami Heat.

Smith remains bothered by a hyperextended left knee, while Love is battling back spasms, although he was able to participate in shootaround Friday morning. Frye will not play Friday or Saturday against the Charlotte Hornets.

Love was bothered by back spasms two years ago, but made it through last season and the start of this year with no additional issues. Frye continues to lead the league in 3-point shooting (.481) while Love is shooting .422 from deep. 

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Cavs 126, Knicks 94; Jason Lloyd's 12 thoughts on defense and water bottles

By Jason Lloyd Published: December 8, 2016

NEW YORK: Twelve thoughts for 12 turnovers in Wednesday’s 126-94 win over the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden…

1.     If the five days off last month disrupted the Cavs’ rhythm, Sunday’s film session and practice in Toronto seems to have realigned them. For the second time in as many games, the defensive effort was dramatically better than it was during the three-game losing streak.

2.     The season-high 22 3-pointers will grab the attention, but this team is always capable of making a flurry of 3s. The Cavs limiting the Knicks to 28 points in the paint, just as they held the Raptors to 32 on Monday, is a more telling number. That’s a vast improvement from the 51 points teams were scoring on them in the lane in the previous five games.

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Cavs make season-high 22 3-pointers in 126-94 win over Knicks

By Jason Lloyd Published: December 7, 2016

NEW YORK: He said it with disdain in his voice, the defensive coach for so many years acknowledging what has become apparent through the first quarter of this season. The Cavs’ identity is built on their offense right now, nothing else.

Tyronn Lue is trying to turn that. The defensive effort was evident in Wednesday’s 126-94 dismantling of the New York Knicks, the second time in as many games the Cavs remembered their defensive principles. The offensive explosion with this team is always looming and surfaced again Wednesday with a season-high 22 3-pointers. The defensive effort comes and goes.

LeBron James scored 25 points, passed for seven assists and grabbed six rebounds and Kyrie Irving scored 28 points and passed for six assists. Tristan Thompson grabbed a season-high 20 rebounds, one shy of his career high, and Kevin Love had 21 points for the Cavs, who shot their way to a sixth straight win at Madison Square Garden and their eighth-straight win overall in this series. The Knicks are vastly improved this season, but they’re not yet ready to compete with the league’s elite.

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LeBron James calls decision not to stay at Trump hotel 'personal preference'

By Jason Lloyd Published: December 7, 2016

NEW YORK: LeBron James wished President-elect Donald Trump well and likened his decision not to stay with the team at Trump SoHo to choosing between chicken and steak.

For the first time in his career, James stayed separate from his teammates as a sort of protest against Trump, whom he was sharply critical of in the weeks leading up to the election. Trump no longer owns the SoHo hotel, but it still bears his name.

“I’m not trying to make a statement. It’s just my personal preference,” James said. “At the end of the day, I hope he’s one of the best presidents ever for all of our sake -- my family, for all of us. But it’s just my personal preference. It would be the same if I went to a restaurant and decided to eat chicken and not steak.”

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DeAndre Liggins will start in place of J.R. Smith against Knicks

By Jason Lloyd Published: December 7, 2016

NEW YORK: DeAndre Liggins will start at shooting guard tonight when the Cavs play at the New York Knicks, coach Tyronn Lue said. Liggins is starting in place of J.R. Smith, who is out with a hyperextended left knee.

It will be the second start of Liggins’ career. His only other start was in 2013 with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

“Just like the energy he brings,” Lue said. “When you get that kind of energy from a guy, I think it’s contagious. I think guys on the team play harder when they see him flying all around the floor.”

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J.R. Smith's MRI shows no structural damage, considered day-to-day

By Jason Lloyd Published: December 6, 2016

NEW YORK: An MRI on J.R. Smith’s ailing left knee showed no damage and the Cavs guard is listed as day to day, according to one source with knowledge of the injury. Smith, however, is unlikely to play Wednesday when the Cavs play at the New York Knicks.

Smith stopped awkwardly on his left knee during the first quarter of Monday’s win at Toronto. The knee had been bothering him for at least a week, although Smith refused to get it scanned.

Smith’s absence, even for a couple of games, further depletes a Cavs backcourt that is already without a backup point guard. Cavs coach Tyronn Lue used DeAndre Liggins in place of Smith Monday and Liggins responded with five points and five rebounds. He was also the only reserve who played more than 10 minutes and finished with a positive plus/minus.

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Cavs 116, Raptors 112; Jason Lloyd's 21 thoughts on J.R.'s knee, ending a skid and LeBron/Phil

By Jason Lloyd Published: December 6, 2016

TORONTO: Twenty-one thoughts for 21 assists in Monday’s 116-112 win over the Toronto Raptors…

1.     Ending this losing streak came with a price. How high it is won’t be known until J.R. Smith gets out of the MRI tube, but he was awfully dejected as he limped out of Air Canada Centre following the end to this three-game losing streak.

2.     An already thin backcourt, considering the Cavs are playing without a true backup point guard, took another blow Monday when Smith twisted his knee along the baseline following a basket. A knee that had previously given him problems buckled and Smith hobbled to the other end of the court before dropping to the floor.

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