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Cavaliers 106, Pacers 102: Marla's 14 thoughts from Beyond the Arc on LeBron's big 3, weak offense

By Marla Ridenour Published: April 23, 2017

Notes, quotes and observations after the Cavaliers defeated the Indiana Pacers 106-102 Sunday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse to sweep the four-game series. The Cavs will have a week off before hosting the winner of the Raptors-Bucks series on May 1.

1. LeBron James made only one 3-pointer and scored just three of his 33 points outside the paint, but his shot from long range with 1:08 remaining gave the Cavs the lead for good at 103-102.

2. “At the end of the game he’s been making them,” Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. “When we need that run or we need that shot, he’s been stepping up and making them. That’s what he gets paid to do. That’s why he’s the best player in the world and he does it all the time. Tonight when we needed that, we fell behind by two, they went on a big run and he made a big shot and we didn’t look back. That’s what he does.”

3. James explained what happened on the possession.

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Report: Orlando Magic weighing interest in Cavaliers’ GM David Griffin

By Marla Ridenour Published: April 21, 2017

Cavaliers General Manager David Griffin could be a target of the Orlando Magic as they begin their search to replace GM Rob Hennigan, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reported Friday.

The architect of the Cavs’ 2016 NBA championship, Griffin is working without a contract for next season and league sources told Wojnarowski that talks on a new deal have been stalled for months.

The fact that the Cavs have left Griffin in limbo while spending an NBA-high $126.6 million on players’ salaries and signing coach Tyronn Lue to a reported five-year, $35 million contract has led league executives to believe that Griffin could be lured away after the Cavs finish the playoffs, The Vertical said.

According to Wojnarowski, Magic CEO Alex Martins and other top team officials are intrigued by the possibility of getting Griffin. Martins is a former Browns vice president of communications.

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Cavs 119, Pacers 114: Marla's 36 shots from Beyond the Arc on LeBron's greatness, historic comeback

By Marla Ridenour Published: April 21, 2017

Notes, quotes and observations after the Cavaliers’ 119-114 victory over the Indiana Pacers Thursday night in Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The victory gave the Cavs a 3-0 lead in the first-round Eastern Conference playoff series. Game 4 is Sunday at 1 p.m. in Indianapolis.

1. The Cavs’ comeback from a 26-point second-quarter deficit was the third-largest in NBA playoff history and the largest since the Los Angeles Clippers rallied from a 27-point second-half deficit against the Memphis Grizzlies in a first-round series in 2012.

2. Trailing by 25 points after two quarters, the Cavs overcame the largest halftime deficit in league postseason history.

3. And it happened without starters Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, benched for the entire fourth quarter by Cavs coach Tyronn Lue because of they were struggling. Irving hit 4 of 17 field goals, 1 for 6 from 3-point range, while Love was 4 of 12, 3 of 7 from beyond the arc.

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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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