Cleveland Cavaliers beaten by Miami without LeBron James and Kyrie Irving


13 April, 2017

LeBron to miss regular-season finale: James will sit out Cleveland's regular-season finale, resting a strained right calf in preparation for the playoffs. With the Cavs up four points with 18 seconds remaining in the fourth, LeBron could not find an open teammate on an inbound and was called for a five-second violation, though it appeared he called for a timeout before the ref blew his whistle. To some, at least.

"We didn't have a clue", Richardson said after playing all 17 minutes of the fourth quarter and overtime, a stretch in which the Heat (40-41) outscored the Cavaliers by 13 points to escape with the win. "We've already developed this habit just focusing on us".

"The idea of getting locked in and having that do-or-die mentality will get us going", Love said. "We started out of the gate bad on defense, so I was just trying to huddle the guys up, telling them to stay focused, lock in on this end and everything will work out". I still don't know. That's just my take on it. "I haven't been to the playoffs too many times, maybe three, so I think for me, I'm like, let's just play and make sure we're a well-oiled machine before we go in there".

Despite Frye's desire, the Cavs won't have 10 games, let alone 10 days, before the beginning the postseason this weekend.

So Cleveland followed up an embarrassing loss at home to Atlanta's reserves on Friday with a stunning defeat to the Hawks in the second game of the home-and-home set.

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The Cavaliers are 0-7 this season in games when James does not play. James and Kyrie Irving were both.

Liggins Out: The Cavs waived DeAndre Liggins and are expected to replace him on the roster before Wednesday's deadline for a player to be eligible for the playoffs. Of course, it should be noted that Sanders hasn't played professional basketball since 2015.

Miami finishes by hosting Cleveland and Washington - two of the top four teams in the conference. Nearly unthinkable a week ago, Boston's hiccups last week brought them back to the pack (albeit only slightly). The mini-breakdown has reopened the door for Boston, which needs to win its final two games and hope the Cavaliers lose one of theirs. It's over. Can they give us the game back?

It's hard to imagine a 50-win season being more underwhelming, yet perhaps there is simply a recency bias going on. The Cavaliers' game was not competitive at that point and I wanted to see if Russell Westbrook could break Oscar Robertson's record for most triple-doubles in a season. Meanwhile, Love notched another double-double with 25 points and 10 rebounds. Here's an updated look at those scenarios and how other matchups could impact Boston's chances of earning the top spot as well as first round matchups.

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