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LeBron James, Cavs not ready to decrease his heavy minutes

By Jason Lloyd Published: February 8, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS: The original plan regarding LeBron James’ minutes appears to have been postponed. He isn’t showing any signs of resting more anytime soon.

James’ minutes were supposed to start tapering off near the end of January or beginning of February, yet he’s averaged 39.8 over his last nine games. He has dropped from the league leader in minutes played to second, however, behind Kyle Lowry. At 32, James is averaging 37.6 minutes per game this season, his highest number since returning to Cleveland.

“He’s being bull-headed about it,” Lue said Wednesday. “He doesn’t want to back down because he says he’s in a good rhythm right now.”

James said the minutes discussion is a “two-way street” with Lue and even referred to their relationship as a marriage, but made it clear he doesn’t believe he needs to slow down.

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Iman Shumpert out vs. Pacers, LeBron could sit Thursday at Thunder

By Jason Lloyd Published: February 8, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS: Iman Shumpert will not play tonight against the Indiana Pacers because of a sprained left ankle, but LeBron James will play despite the Cavs being in the midst of three games in four nights.

Coach Tyronn Lue, however, said it’s likely James will rest tomorrow at Oklahoma City if his minutes are in the high 30s or low 40s again.

Shumpert was off crutches and out of the walking boot Wednesday morning. He was even on the court taking shots, although Lue said he was supposed to be resting.  

DeAndre Liggins will start tonight at shooting guard for the Cavs. The Pacers have won seven straight.

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Cavs 140, Wizards 135; Jason Lloyd's 32 thoughts on LeBron's shot, Love's pass and more trade rumors

By Jason Lloyd Published: February 7, 2017

WASHINGTON: Thirty-two thoughts for 32 points from LeBron James in Monday’s 140-135 overtime win against the Washington Wizards…

1.     It’s hard for an off-court headline to trump a game like this, but the idea that LeBron James is willing to put a shipping label on Kevin Love and send him off to New York will do it.

2.     The New York Daily News’ report that James is pushing the front office to acquire Carmelo Anthony even if the price is Love was refuted during and after Monday’s game. Then James torched the report after the game.

3.     “It’s trash,” James said. “And the guy who wrote it is trash, too, for writing that, especially during the game like that.”

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Cavs vehemently deny report LeBron willing to trade Love for Carmelo; LeBron calls it 'trash'

By Jason Lloyd Published: February 6, 2017

WASHINGTON: The Cavaliers vehemently denied a report both privately and publicly Monday that LeBron James is in favor of trading Kevin Love if it means obtaining Carmelo Anthony.

“It’s trash. And the guy who wrote it is trash, too, for writing that, especially during the game like that,” James said following the Cavs’ 140-135 overtime victory against the Washington Wizards. The story broke during the game. “It’s always about outside noise and that’s just outside noise for us. We gotta focus on what needs to be done and that’s to continue to compete for a championship. And we got who we got. Our GM will do a great job of figuring out if we need something else, but right now we’re in a good place.”

The New York Daily News reported that James is pushing for the Cavs to acquire Anthony even if it means giving up Love, who scored a team-high 39 points, his second-highest scoring game of the season, and grabbed 12 rebounds in Monday’s win.

“We’re going to trade him tonight,” coach Tyronn Lue joked after the game. “Kevin should be happy that teams want him. But he’s not going anywhere.”

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Love scores 39, LeBron passes for career-high 17 assists in thrilling 140-135 OT win vs. Wizards

By Jason Lloyd Published: February 6, 2017

WASHINGTON: LeBron James brought the Cavs back. Kyrie Irving finished things off.

James’ remarkable 3-pointer in the last second of regulation and Irving’s 3-pointer from the wing – essentially the same shot from the same place on the floor that he made in Game 7 of last year’s Finals – carried the Cavs to a thrilling and exhausting 140-135 victory Monday over the Washington Wizards at Verizon Center.

Kevin Love scored 39 points, his second-highest total of the season, and James fouled out during the first minute of overtime with 32 points, a career-high 17 assists and seven rebounds. Irving scored 23 points, including 11 in overtime with James on the bench. The Cavs rallied from a five-point deficit in overtime to win.

The win snapped the Wizards’ 17-game home winning streak after they made it clear prior to the game how important this night was. They had won their last seven games overall, too. Now the Cavs have won five of their last six.

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Tyronn Lue gives Tom Brady all credit for Super Bowl win; LeBron calls comebacks great for fans

By Jason Lloyd Published: February 6, 2017

WASHINGTON: For all the praise Cavs coach Tyronn Lue has heaped on Bill Belichick the last few days, he couldn’t give Belichick the credit for the New England Patriots’ stunning comeback Sunday night in Super Bowl LI.

“He didn’t have much to do with that. It was all about Tom Brady,” Lue said Monday. “And that’s the luxury you have when you have LeBron James and Kyrie Irving who you can just give the ball to and say, ‘Listen: Make it happen. Put us on your back.’ That’s what Tom Brady did last night.”

Lue and Belichick have a relationship that dates back to Lue’s days as an assistant coach in Boston. Now they have something else in common: Both coached teams that pulled off the biggest comebacks in their sport. The Cavs became the first team to rally from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals to win a championship and the Patriots erased a 25-point deficit – the largest in any Super Bowl – to beat the Falcons. It was the equivalent to coming back from 3-1 down in a series.

Throw in the Chicago Cubs rallying from a 3-1 deficit against the Indians in the World Series, Clemson rallying from 14-0 to beat Alabama for the national championship and it has been a year of dramatic comebacks in sports.

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Cavs 111, Knicks 104; Jason Lloyd's 14 thoughts on Love's mindset, LeBron's pass, Kyrie's thigh

By Jason Lloyd Published: February 5, 2017

NEW YORK: Fourteen thoughts for 14 points from Channing Frye in Saturday’s 111-104 win over the New York Knicks…

1.     Kevin Love has come a long way from the guy who showed up here three years ago, when he stared at the carpet during interviews and muttered a few sentences before the media relations staff cut off the interview.

2.     Now he’s engaging, even joking about the incessant trade rumors. His drive and dunk on Willy Hernangomez in the second quarter caught everyone by surprise, from the guys on the bench to Tyronn Lue.

3.     “So much anger in that (dunk),” Love laughed after he was asked if it was the result of two years of trade rumors unleashed. He admits there was a time when the rumors would’ve bothered him, but now he’s got his ring, his $110 million contract and his supermodel girlfriend. I mean, life’s pretty good for Kevin Love.

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LeBron scores 32, Love returns with big night in 111-104 win over Knicks

By Jason Lloyd Published: February 4, 2017

NEW YORK: For two days now, LeBron James has been asked about Carmelo Anthony. It’s only fitting, given the trade rumors swirling around both of these franchises. For two days, James has maintained the same answer: He just wants his good friend to be happy.

It’s difficult to see how Anthony can be pleased with the state of the Knicks, who remain on the cusp of playoff contention but so far away from title contention. LeBron James scored 32 points and passed for 10 assists, Kevin Love returned with 23 points and 16 rebounds and the Cavs beat the Knicks 111-104 Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.

The Cavs led by as many as 27 in the third quarter before they grew distracted in the fourth, as usual, and let the Knicks climb within 106-101 in the final minute before Love’s corner 3-pointer iced the game. They have squandered big leads in fourth quarters throughout the season and Saturday was no different.

The Cavs were without Kyrie Irving and the Knicks were without Derrick Rose. Irving missed the game with a sore right quadriceps muscle, while Rose was scratched with an ankle injury. Love, meanwhile, returned after missing two games with back spasms. It was the seventh time this season he scored at least 20 points and grabbed at least 15 rebounds while playing like someone the Knicks would want in a trade.

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Cavs' Kyrie Irving, Knicks' Derrick Rose scratched from game with injuries

By Jason Lloyd Published: February 4, 2017

NEW YORK: Kyrie Irving will not play Saturday when the Cavs host the New York Knicks. Irving was a late scratch with soreness in his right quad. He will be replaced in the starting lineup by DeAndre Liggins.

The Knicks will also be without starting point guard Derrick Rose, who will miss the game with a sprained ankle. 

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Cavs' Kyrie Irving to participate in 3-point contest over All-Star weekend

By Jason Lloyd Published: February 2, 2017

Kyrie Irving will participate in the 3-point shootout during All-Star weekend in New Orleans later this month. Irving, who won the event in 2013, will headline the event along with Warriors guard Klay Thompson, who won the event last season.

They will be joined by Toronto’s Kyle Lowry, Charlotte’s Kemba Walker, Houston’s Eric Gordon, Dallas’ Wesley Matthews, Portland’s CJ McCollum and the Lakers’ Nick Young.

Irving is averaging a career-best 2.4 3-pointers per game this season. Cavs forward and fellow All-Star Kevin Love said he was invited by the league to participate in the 3-point shootout, but apparently passed on the chance. Love, like Irving, is a former winner in the event. 

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