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Cleveland Cavaliers

Cavs survive for 113-108 overtime win against Wizards, begin preparations for Celtics and playoffs

By Jason Lloyd Published: April 16, 2015

CLEVELAND: J.R. Smith laid on the floor of the locker room prior to Wednesday’s game asking Brendan Haywood about the possibility of a forfeit. That’s how much interest the Cavs had in this 113-110 overtime win against the Washington Wizards.

For the first time in five years, the Cavs have much more pressing matters, such as a first-round series with the Boston Celtics.

LeBron James sat Wednesday’s finale and the rest of the starters played limited minutes. None of the typical starters played the second half. That was the plan all along. It was a good sign for Kyrie Irving, who left Monday’s win over the Pistons early with discomfort in his right hip. Irving had nine points and seven assists in 18 minutes before departing healthy at the half. At this point, it’s all that mattered.

“Give everybody a chance to play,” coach David Blatt said before the game. “Hopefully play hard and play well.”

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LeBron James triple-double keys 109-97 win over Pistons; Irving leaves early with hip tightness

By Jason Lloyd Published: April 13, 2015

CLEVELAND – Cavs forward LeBron James had 21 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds for his second triple-double of the season and Cleveland beat the Detroit Pistons 109-97 Monday in what is expected to be their final full roster tune-up prior to the postseason.

The Cavs certainly look ready for the playoffs, provided they make it there healthy. All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving did not play in the second half Monday with what the team described as tightness in his right hip. He had 12 points and three assists before he was pulled him for precautionary reasons.

This was Irving’s first game in five days. He sat Friday’s home game against the Boston Celtics because of his hip and coach David Blatt rested most of his starters during Sunday’s loss at Boston. The team doesn’t seem overly concerned about Irving, who has already appeared in a career-high 74 games with a full postseason schedule still to come. A key injury might be all that can slow this team, which will enter the playoffs second in the East.

“It will take a great performance to beat them,” Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said. “If you’re going to play big, they’ve got three guys. If you downsize, LeBron can guard all five positions. There aren’t a lot of holes there.”

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Celtics 99, Cavs 90: Jason Lloyd's 29 thoughts on Miller time, Shaqtin' a Feud and heavenly marinara

By Jason Lloyd Published: April 11, 2015
Turner, Evan no look pass

CLEVELAND: Twenty-nine thoughts for Brandon Bass’ 29 minutes in a 99-90 loss to the Boston Celtics on Friday…

1. I was leaving Cleveland Clinic Courts last week when Mike Miller was pulling out of the parking lot in his pickup truck. I was on the phone and not paying attention when he rolled down the window and shouted, “Don’t give up on me! It’s looking bleak, but there’s still time!”

MORECeltics 99, Cavaliers 90: Celtics end short-handed Cavs’ 18-game home winning streak

2. Miller flashed his trademark smile, rolled up the window and pulled away. It was in obvious reference to our conversation a few weeks ago when I told him I’ve stuck my neck out throughout the season by insisting Miller was going to win the Cavs a playoff game at some point this spring.

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Celtics hand Cavs 99-90 loss, end 18-game home winning streak after Blatt rests starters in fourth

By Jason Lloyd Published: April 10, 2015

CLEVELAND: Marcus Smart scored 19 points, forward Evan Turner passed for a career-high 13 assists and the Boston Celtics maintained their hold on the seventh seed in the Eastern with a 99-90 victory Friday night against the short-handed Cavaliers, ending the Cavs’ 18-game home winning streak.

The Cavaliers played the game without guards Kyrie Irving and Iman Shumpert, who were resting injuries. Irving sat with a right hip that was bothering him at the morning shootaround, while Shumpert was resting a bruised thigh. The Cavs officially called Shumpert’s injury a right quad contusion, but neither his injury nor Irving’s are considered serious.

The Cavs have nothing left to gain during the regular season, having already won the Central Division and clinched the second seed in the East. As a result, coach David Blatt rested most of his starters in the fourth quarter, allowing the Celtics to escape after they blew a 16-point lead in the third quarter.

The Cavs looked lethargic and disinterested at the start, allowing the Celtics to race out to a 16-4 lead. They maintained a 54-40 lead at the break and pushed the lead to 16 early in the third quarter before the Cavs came roaring back.

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Pregame: Celtics at Cavs

By Jason Lloyd Published: April 10, 2015
Celtics logo players blur by

Time: 7:30 p.m.; Place: Quicken Loans Arena


Radio: WTAM 1100-AM, WAKR 1590-AM, WHBC 1480-AM, WMMS 100.7-FM,   La Mega 87.7-FM (Spanish)

Injury report: Cavs - Anderson Varejao (Achilles) out; Iman Shumpert (quad) questionable; Celtics - None.

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LeBron James will play tonight against Celtics, Irving and Shumpert out

By Jason Lloyd Published: April 10, 2015
James, LeBron GOOD horizontal dunk

CLEVELAND: Kyrie Irving and Iman Shumpert will not play tonight when the Cavs host the Boston Celtics, but LeBron James will. His plans beyond tonight, however, have not been determined.

Irving will miss the game with a sore right hip. It was sore at the morning shootaround, the team said, and it was still hurting when he began warming up for the game. Shumpert has what the team is calling a right quad contusion. He was injured in Wednesday's win at Milwaukee, but the injury isn't considered serious. 

The Cavs have already won the Central Division title and clinched the No. 2 seed in the East. With little left to play for, James will likely rest at some point. The Cavs play at Boston on Sunday before closing the regular season with home games against the Detroit Pistons on Monday and the Washington Wizards on Wednesday.

The Cavs are presently aligned to also play the Celtics in the first round of the playoffs, but it wasn’t long ago they were aligned to play the Miami Heat and Brooklyn Nets, too.

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Cavs 104, Bucks 99: Marla Ridenour's 21 final thoughts on goals achieved, players who can close

By Marla Ridenour Published: April 9, 2015

Twenty-one final thoughts for the 21 points scored by LeBron James as he clinched his seventh consecutive division title.

1. As ugly as I thought the game looked for the most part, my primary takeaway has nothing to do with that. It's that the Cavs proved once again they are closers.

MORECavaliers 104, Bucks 99: Cavs clinch second seed, division title with victory over Bucks

2. They may not care as much about the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference as coach David Blatt. They may make too many sloppy passes (18 turnovers on the night, 11 in the first half). They may have played spotty defense at times against the Bucks. Either that or I have greatly underestimated Michael Carter-Williams, acquired from the 76ers at the trade deadline. (The 11th overall pick in 2013 finished with a season-high 30 points and eight assists.)

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Rest for LeBron, Cavs apparently will come after second seed clinched

By Marla Ridenour Published: April 8, 2015

Cavs coach David Blatt said he has no plans to rest players in Wednesday's 8 p.m. game against the Bucks in Milwaukee.

The Cavs are one victory shy, or one Chicago Bulls' loss away, from clinching the second seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs and their fourth Central Division title in franchise history. The others came in 1975-76, 2008-09, and 2009-10.

Cavs star LeBron James hopes to continue his trend of resting before the playoffs begin, but doesn't know how it will work out once the No. 2 seed -- a goal of Blatt's -- is secured.

"I feel like I'll probably take one game or two games off before the post-season starts," James said before Wednesday's shootaround at the Bradley Center. "Just normal for me every single season going into the post-season.

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Cavs 114, Heat 88; Jason Lloyd's 19 final thoughts on LeBron's post moves, Wade's knee injury

By Jason Lloyd Published: April 3, 2015
Irving, James high 5

CLEVELAND: Nineteen thoughts for 19 free throws in a 114-88 win over the wounded Miami Heat…

1. We were chatting Wednesday with LeBron James about the shift he makes mentally when the postseason begins, but James didn’t want to reveal too many of his secrets. “I have a noticeable shift,” was all he would divulge.

2. This win over the Heat, however, was more proof of an on-court shift he is making in preparation for the upcoming playoff charge and the quest to end this city’s 50-year championship drought.

3. James had 23 points, eight rebounds and seven assists while spending much of his night in the post. He has been gradually shifting into the post more and more in recent weeks. The Cavs destroyed the Brooklyn Nets on this floor two weeks ago because he went in the post, passed out of double teams and let the Cavs’ shooting cut apart a Nets defense that never stood a chance.

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