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Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James in unfamiliar territory sitting in a hole in first round

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LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers are in an unfamiliar position, trailing in 2-1 in a first round series and facing an Indiana Pacers team that is feeling confident as it heads to a Game 4 in their home building.

If there are concerns or worry by James, he was not sharing his thoughts as he did not speak to reporters on Saturday.

And he did not have a whole lot to say in the immediate aftermath of Game 3, either, when Indiana erased a 17-point deficit and then held on for a 92-90 victory over the Cavs.

Not only has the four-time MVP and three-time NBA champ never lost an opening NBA postseason series, going 12-0 in the past, he had never even trailed in the first round until this one, when Cleveland dropped Game 1 at home.

Now he is behind again.

”We’ve had some good quarters,” James said Friday, ”and we didn’t have some good quarters.”

 

Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue is confident his team will bounce back in Game 4.

Well, that explains a lot.

But his longtime nemesis, Lance Stephenson had a lot to say to ESPN’s Mike Wells about the Cavaliers’ predicament of possibly going down 3-1 after Sunday’s game.

“We have full control right now,” Stephenson said after practice Saturday. “We have to keep it. We get another win in our building, and that’s when I think they’re going to start panicking. We’re going to bring it like we [brought] it the first game.”

The Cavaliers may be without starting point guard George Hill for Sunday’s Game 4 according to the ESPN report. Hill is questionable after having an MRI on his back Saturday.

Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue is still confident that his team can return to Cleveland with the series tied.

”They won a game we should have won,” Lue said. ”That’s what’s disappointing. But we’re not discouraged. We’ve got to get Game 4 – and I’m confident.”

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Report: Pau Gasol to join Trail Blazers

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Free agent center Pau Gasol has agreed to a one-year deal with the Portland Trail Blazers, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Gasol, 39, who was limited to just 30 games last season because of a variety of injuries, has career averages of 17.0 points and 9.2 rebounds over 17 NBA seasons.



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Report: Furkan Korkmaz returning to 76ers

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Free agent forward Furkan Korkmaz has agreed to a two-year contract to return to the Philadelphia 76ers, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Free agent forward Furkan Korkmaz has agreed to a two-year contract to return to the Philadelphia 76ers, agent Mike Lindeman of Excel Sports tells ESPN.

Korkmaz, 21, brings back a rotational forward with the ability to spread the floor with his shooting. The loss of JJ Redick in free agency – and Kyle Korver’s decision to choose Milwaukee over Philadelphia – brought some increased urgency to keep Korkmaz on the Sixers roster.

 The 21-year-old Korkmaz, who was the 26th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, averaged 5.8 points and 2.2 rebounds in 14.1 minutes last season.

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Report: Kevin Love to withdraw from World Cup

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Cavaliers forward Kevin Love is the latest player expected to withdraw from Team USA’s training camp for the FIBA World Cup, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

This news comes just one day after Damian Lillard reportedly withdrew from the World Cup. Love, who played in just 22 games last season because of a shoulder injury, averaged 17.0 points and 10.9 rebounds in 2018-19.

During the previous two weeks, James Harden, Anthony Davis, Eric Gordon, Zion Williamson and CJ McCollum reportedly decided not to compete in the World Cup this year.

Although the guard ranks will be somewhat depleted of NBA stars, Team USA continues to have a deep pool of players available.



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