Smart: JR Smith Is Known For Dirty Plays

LeBron James scored 42 points in a losing cause for Cleveland Cavaliers

We're the underdogs. We're coming in, Cleveland is picked to beat us. To dig themselves out of that situation, the Cavaliers need to win four of the next five games or will watch another Eastern Conference team play in the NBA Finals for the first time since 2013 - which was shortly before the return of James.

Irving was traded to the Celtics this summer and immediately made an impact. Cleveland still has the ultimate trump card in James, and-as you'll hear a thousand times before Saturday-a playoff series doesn't start until a home team loses. There were four fouls committed in the first 3:39 of the fourth quarter, which put Boston into the bonus early and led to the Celtics taking 11 fourth-quarter free throws, making nine of them and mitigating that team's 30.4 percent shooting.

We don't need to rehash how awful of a fit, and how hobbled, Thomas was. He also hit three of his eight threes en route to 23 points. We also saw a Cavs team that looked depressed, as you have to question if the players realized this series isn't going to end well for them.

It got back to 10 points, though, because of poor decisions made by the Cavs in Game 2. Most everyone else is bricking shots and playing bad defense. Shooting guard Iman Shumpert is with the Sacramento Kings. LeBron James led Cleveland with 42 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists in the loss.

Predictably, the Clarkson-Hood pairings haven't worked out so well, either.

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The families of the late officers Lesley Zerebny and Gil Vega are still struggling every day. So far, in 2018, there have been 51 law enforcement deaths in the United States.

Kyle Korver came off the bench to score 11 points but starters Tristan Thompson, JR Smith and George Hill combined for just 11 points in the loss. That added up to an offensive rating of just 91. Cleveland shot poorly from outside in Game 1, and in Game 2, started hot from downtown, connecting on seven of its first 14 threes. In what has become a regular theme for the Cavs over the course of the season, confusion once again reigned over their defensive rotations as both James and Love were drawn to the ball handler Smart, who threatened penetration off a Baynes screen.

There are certainly a lot of ways you could describe Baynes as a player.

Then, when the Cavs cut the lead to six - a stretch aided by two minutes of shoddy offense and carelessness from the Celtics - and James had that look in his eye, the same one he flashed at the Pacers and Raptors, Lue went with another odd quintet.

The optimistic view is this draft is loaded with enticing prospects, and the Cavs could wind up with a gem at No. 8.

LeBron James took a literal shot to the jaw in Game 2 but kept right on scoring. Love has bounced back from his slow start to play well but when three guys account for almost 80 percent of the scoring in a game, you're going to be in trouble. Who could have predicted that? Boston is a ideal 38-0 when leading a series 2-0. There's a ton of time off between games and maybe that helps Cleveland clear its head and get back on track. And since Cleveland's defense, which at one point was one of the worst in the National Basketball Association, also took a step back, it's clear the Cavaliers don't have enough firepower to make up the difference.

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