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J.R. Smith held out of practice with minor groin injury

By Jason Lloyd Published: April 27, 2016

INDEPENDENCE: J.R. Smith did not practice Wednesday after hurting his groin during Sunday’s Game 4 victory against the Detroit Pistons.

Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said the injury is not considered serious and Smith should be fine to play next week when the Cavs open their conference semifinal series at home against either the Atlanta Hawks or Boston Celtics. The Hawks lead their series 3-2 and can close out the Celtics Thursday night at Boston.

Smith hurt the groin during the first half and was able to remain in the game Sunday.

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League declares Cavs' Kyrie Irving did not foul Pistons' Reggie Jackson on game's final play Sunday

By Jason Lloyd Published: April 25, 2016

Pistons guard Reggie Jackson was not fouled on the final play of the Cavs’ Game 4 sweep, the league ruled Monday, despite Jackson’s insistence referees should be fined or fired for blown calls.

Jackson appeared to have room to drive closer to the basket for a potential game-tying shot at the end of the Cavs' 100-98 victory on Sunday. But after beating Kyrie Irving on the final play, he instead pulled up for a 3-pointer to try and win it and left it short.

Jackson was upset Irving wasn’t called for a foul, but the league’s Last 2 Minute report declared the call was correct and Joe Borgia, the NBA’s senior vice president of replay and referee operations, showed through video why it wasn’t a foul.

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Cavs 100, Pistons 98; Jason Lloyd's 22 thoughts on a sweep, healthy roster and time to rest

By Jason Lloyd Published: April 25, 2016

AUBURN HILLS, MICH.: Twenty-two thoughts for 22 points from LeBron James in Sunday’s 100-98 win to complete the first-round sweep of the Detroit Pistons…

1.      One by one, the three Cavs stars filed off the podium, down the long hallway and onto the charter bus inside the Palace. No slings, no bandages, no awaiting surgeries. This time Kevin Love was annoyed someone with the league asked him to take his hat off when he hadn’t fixed his hair (so he refused) rather than being outraged by what he considered to be a dirty play by Kelly Olynyk.

2.      This time it was the Golden State Warriors feeling the crushing burden of losing a star in Game 4 of their first-round series. The state of the Warriors’ magnificent season seems at least a bit cloudy today given the uncertainty surrounding Steph Curry’s injured knee. This time it was Warriors players and coach Steve Kerr sounding as ominous as the Cavs’ locker room felt leaving Boston last year following a sweep of the Celtics.

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Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue's composure in first playoff series impresses LeBron James, J.R. Smith

By Marla Ridenour Published: April 25, 2016

AUBURN HILLS, Mich.: J.R. Smith learned something about Tyronn Lue during the Cavaliers coach's first playoff series.

It was his hands that were telling.

"His hands don't shake when it's time coming down the stretch to draw something up. That's big," Smith said Sunday night.

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LeBron James takes shot at NBA after Andre Drummond goes unpunished for his shot at James

By Jason Lloyd Published: April 24, 2016

AUBURN HILLS, MICH.: LeBron James delivered another subtle message to the league Sunday that he believes he is treated unfairly on foul calls. Cavs coach Tyronn Lue, who has remained relatively quiet on the physicality of this series, seemed to agree.

Pistons center Andre Drummond was not punished by the league for his elbow to James’ head early in Game 3. It was the latest in a long line of shots James has taken in this series that border on dirty play.

“Initially I was surprised,” Drummond wasn’t punished, James said Sunday. “But then I thought who he did it to and I wasn’t surprised.”

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Cavs 101, Pistons 91; Jason Lloyd's 26 thoughts on the success of the Big Three

By Jason Lloyd Published: April 23, 2016

AUBURN HILLS, MICH.: Twenty-six thoughts for 26 points from Kyrie Irving in Friday’s 101-91 win over the Detroit Pistons to take a 3-0 series lead…

1.      There is a downside to playing well for the Cavaliers in the postseason: You have to wait. And wait and wait and wait. Wait on LeBron James to ice, wait on LeBron James to finish watching the Celtics and Hawks on the television in the team locker room – one of the two will be the Cavs’ next opponent (surprise! the Cavs are advancing) – and wait on LeBron James to shower and dress.

2.      Great postseason games are podium games, but podium players never leave a man behind. In Cleveland, they go there together. And no one walks the halls and climbs onto that podium until LeBron is ready. Matthew Dellavedova fell victim to the podium punishment last year, sitting and waiting for at least 20 minutes while James completed his routine. Friday it was Kyrie Irving’s turn to wait and wait and wait. And wait.

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Kyrie Irving's endless drills, attention to detail pay off with dagger 3-pointer for Cavaliers

By Marla Ridenour Published: April 23, 2016

AUBURN HILLS, Mich.: Kyrie Irving's dagger 3-pointer off an inbounds play with seven-tenths of a second remaining on the shot clock Friday night was no accident.

According to Cavaliers teammate J.R. Smith, Irving works on the scenario that arose in Game 3 of the first-round playoff series against the Detroit Pistons at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

Irving's backbreaker from the right corner with 43 seconds remaining clinched the Cavaliers' 101-91 victory and gave them a 3-0 lead going into Sunday night's Game 4 at the Palace.

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Kyrie Irving's big 3-pointer gives Cavs 101-91 win over Pistons, 3-0 series lead

By Jason Lloyd Published: April 22, 2016

AUBURN HILLS, MICH.: Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy spent several minutes before Friday’s Game 3 lamenting how good Kyrie Irving has been shooting 3-pointers in this series.

“We have to adjust,” he said. Then failed again.

Irving’s corner 3-pointer with 43 seconds left and the shot clock buzzing sent the Cavaliers to a 101-91 victory and a commanding 3-0 series lead. They can close out the series with a sweep Sunday night at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

Irving scored 26 points and his corner 3 pushed the Cavs’ lead to 98-90, essentially ending any shot at a Pistons upset. He made three more 3-pointers, pushing his 3-point percentage to 52 percent in this series (12 of 23). The shot was terrific; the pass may have been even better.

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LeBron James doesn't want Cavs filing complaints with league over physical play in series

By Jason Lloyd Published: April 22, 2016

AUBURN HILLS, MICH.: LeBron James doesn’t want the Cavs to turn any clips into the league over the physical play in this series and insists he isn’t paying much attention to the Detroit Pistons’ tactics.

The team wanted to submit to the league clips of Marcus Morris and Andre Drummond hitting James with what they deemed were unnecessary elbows during the Cavs’ Game 2 victory. James, though, said they shouldn’t bother and that he doesn’t feel like the Pistons are targeting him. Game 3 is Friday night at the Palace.

“Even if they are (targeting), that’s not even what I’m concerned about,” he said Friday. “My concern is I’ve got to continue to be aggressive, put pressure on their defense, continue to find my guys when they’re open and continue to defend and help my guys on the glass with big Drummond. So I hope we don’t send anything into the league because it’s not about that.”

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