James and the defending champs enter the playoffs staring at a possibly unsafe path. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File) File-This April 10, 2017, file photo shows Cleveland Cavaliers guard JR Smith pausing after a play during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat in Miami.
DeMar DeRozan was stricken with some flu bug he picked up Monday and didn't play; Serge Ibaka had played 79 games this season split between Orlando and Toronto and he got the night off; the Cavs treated it as nothing more than a meaningless exhibition game, playing without LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. Josh Richardson scored 19 points, James Johnson had 16 and Goran Dragic added 15.
But despite a four-game losing streak which culminated with Wednesday's 98-83 defeat to Toronto, James is confident the Cavaliers will raise their game as they prepare for game one of their best-of-seven series against the Indiana Pacers on Saturday.
In the Eastern Conference, it should be all chalk so to speak with the Celtics, Cavs, Raptors and Wizards all winning their playoff series. He was injured Monday against the Miami Heat.
It's three teams - Indiana, Chicago and Miami - for the last two spots in the East field.
Syrian deal to evacuate tens of thousands of people begins
The opposition says the deals amount to forced population transfer and deliberate demographic change. Civilian residents of Madaya and Zabadani will reportedly be allowed to remain if they choose.
Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook will sit out Tuesday's game against the Minnesota Timberwolves after notching his NBA-record 42nd triple-double of the season Sunday against the Denver Nuggets.
LeBron would later go on to lead the Cavs to the franchise's first championship, a feather in the cap of the National Basketball Association legend.
Cavs general manager David Griffin acknowledged some worry, saying, "I'd be lying if I didn't say there's reason for concern".
Las Vegas had released its gambling odds for the NBA Finals, and the Golden State Warriors are leading the pack.
Cavaliers: If history holds, James won't play Wednesday. "Get everybody on the floor, get some cardio in and try and work on some habits and that's what (Wednesday) is basically about". Thompson missed his fourth straight game with a sprained right thumb. The Cavs have shown their ceiling as recently as the past week - that ceiling is high.
Five Canadian teams, Blackhawks dynasty among stories to watch in NHL playoffs
The defending champion Pittsburg Penguins are without top defenceman Kris Letang, who is gone for the season with the neck injury. What changes, according to the 2008 Stanley Cup-winning coach? Even 31-year-old Matt Hunwick has suited up for only 20.
Heat: Dion Waiters (ankle) missed his 12th consecutive game.
Al Horford provided him with plenty of support with his 19 points, eight rebounds and four assists. He appeared in 12 games with the Cavs this season before being sidelined by a knee injury.
But while the Cavs gave a handful of regulars the evening off, Toronto at least got some game-speed run for many of its principles Jonas Valanciunas made the first three-pointer of his career, connecting on a silky-smooth jumper in the second quarter. "It's too late now".
"He wanted to play a little more, but you're playing great, he was able to catch the ball and finish around the rim and get some offensive rebounds", Lue said. We have to approach it like any other game. Again, I'm really optimistic that we have the right people in the room that are going to react the way they always have to adversity. Though the end game has been hard to visualize lately, there still is one in mind.
Severe bleaching killing Great Barrier Reef
The aerial surveys conducted for this map covered more than 5,000 miles and scored almost 800 individual coral reefs. Tropical Cyclone Debbie, which occurred around the end of March, has also been devastating to the reef.