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Find out the scoop on the CAVS from award-winning sports writer Bob Finnan.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Game 3: Hawks at Cavs

GAME 3
EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
CLEVELAND CAVALIERS (3-0) 114, ATLANTA HAWKS (0-3) 111, OT
Quicken Loans Arena
Sunday
Radio: WTAM-AM 1100, WMMS-FM 100.7, La Mega-FM 97.7
TV: TNT

1. Team doctors evaluated the Kyrie Irving situation and made the recommendation that he should sit out for the second consecutive game. Maybe it makes sense to sit him once again in Game 4. That way, he'd have until June 4 to rest. He has tendinitis in his left knee. They certainly could have used some of his offensive punch tonight.

2. LeBron James was exhausted after the game. He didn't come to the postseason press conference for almost an hour and a half after the end of the game. Coach David Blatt said James was cramping up during the game. Perhaps he was getting an IV after the game. He played almost 47 minutes - 1 minute less than a full game. He was fabulous in the game and would not let them lose.

3. This was the Hawks' best chance at a win in this series. I now predict a 4-0 sweep. Atlanta would have to win four games in a row to win the series. Obviously, that's not happening. The Cavs can close them out on Tuesday, assuming their guys can still walk. Blatt is riding them hard in this series. He's got to find some guys off the bench to spell his players. They want to close out this series in Game 4. You don't want to give the Hawks any life. If you have a chance to close it out, step on their necks.

4. Guard Matthew Dellavedova is getting a reputation as being a dirty player. The Hawks mentioned his "track record," meaning when he fell on teammate Kyle Korver and when he wrapped his feet around Chicago's Taj Gibson. I don't think he is. He just plays harder than 90 percent of the players in the league. He's a tough player, who sometimes plays like he's on a rugby field.

5. What's been impressive - well, besides the way James is playing - is the Cavs' defensive intensity. They are getting after teams. They are ranked first in the NBA in just about every defensive category. That's going to give them a chance against anyone, yes, even Golden State. But we're getting ahead of ourselves here. The Cavs have a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. If they continue to play as well as they have in this series, it won't be going back to Atlanta. Tonight was the eighth time in the postseason they've held their opponent under 41 percent shooting.

6. When we were leaving Atlanta after Game 2, workers were tearing down the postgame interview area. There were some jokes that they won't have to worry about this any more this season. I would be mildly surprised if the series stretches past four games. The Hawks just don't have what it takes to slow down James. He continually controls the tempo in the games and gets the ball where it needs to go. DeMarre Carroll has been hanging tough guarding James in the series, but he can't stop him. As long as the Cavs keep getting contributions from their role players (J.R. Smith in Game 1, Iman Shumpert in Game 2 and Smith, Shump and Delly in Game 3), they won't be stopped in this series.

7. The Hawks won 60 games this year, but many have surmised that they peaked too soon this season. This team won 19 games in a row at one point. They earned the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. Yet, they are no match for the Cavs, and likely won't be for the rest of the series.

8. The Cavs' 14 3s tied their franchise record. Both Shump and Delly made four 3s tonight.

9. They had 19 offensive rebounds tonight, the most since May 8, 2007, vs. New Jersey. The Cavs are 11-0 in the postseason when they outrebound their opponent.

10. James' 12 postseason triple-doubles are second most all-time behind only Magic Johnson's 30. He also moved into sixth place on the all-time postseason scoring list past Karl Malone (4,761).

UP NEXT: Game 4, vs. Atlanta, Eastern Conference finals, The Q, Tuesday, May 26, 8:30 p.m.

STARTERS
SF LeBron James (6-8, 250) vs. DeMarre Carroll (6-8, 212)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-10, 238) vs. Paul Millsap (6-8, 253)
C Timofey Mozgov (7-1, 250) vs. Al Horford (6-10, 245)
SG Iman Shumpert (6-5, 220) vs. Kent Bazemore (6-5, 201)
PG Matthew Dellavedova (6-4, 200) vs. Jeff Teague (6-2, 186)
INACTIVE LIST
Cavs - C Anderson Varejao, F Kevin Love
Hawks - G/F Thabo Sefolosha, G/F Kyle Korver
OFFICIALS
Ken Mauer, Tony Brothers, Ed Malloy

Friday, May 22, 2015

Game 2: Cavs at Hawks

GAME 2
EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
CLEVELAND CAVALIERS (2-0) 94, ATLANTA HAWKS (0-2) 82
Philips Arena
Friday
Radio: WTAM-AM 1100, WMMS-FM 100.7, La Mega-FM 97.7
TV: TNT

1. Once again, it's become survival of the fittest. The Cavs played without point guard Kyrie Irving (tendinitis in left knee). They didn't miss him on this night, largely because his teammates made shots. Iman Shumpert (16 points), James Jones (nine points) and J.R. Smith (nine points) drained jumper after jumper. They made 12 of 30 from long range.

2. Obviously, not having your point guard hurts. But as you probably know, LeBron James has been handling point guard duties for quite some time now. James dished out a game-high 11 assists. That lessened the blow of missing Irving. What Irving brings is his offensive arsenal. His expected replacement, Matthew Dellavedova, is no where near the same player. Delly got off to a slow start, but finished with 11 points, six rebounds, four assists and one steal. He had three turnovers in 37 minutes.

3. Some how, forward DeMarre Carroll was in the starting lineup for the Hawks. He didn't appear as pesky as he normally is on the defensive end. He's one of a handful of players in the league that can actually guard James. Guarding the four-time MVP is difficult when completely healthy. The one thing in his favor was his "junkyard dog" mentality.

4. There are some who think Irving should sit in Game 3, as well. The Cavs have a 2-0 lead in the series and will get a big lift from the sold-out home crowd. They can probably get by without the three-time All-Star. They are certainly going to need him in the NBA Finals - if they get there - against either team in the Western Conference. Irving missed shootaround on Friday morning. We found out later he was visiting Dr. James Andrews in Florida. He did sit on the bench for Game 2.

5. Cavs swingman J.R. Smith had eight 3s in Game 1. He came back to earth in Game 2, but still played well off the bench. 

6. The Hawks certainly aren't panicking. "We're very confident," Carroll said. "No one is hanging their heads. We're down 0-2. It's not the end of the world." But it might be the end of the series.

7. In the first two games of the series, the Cavs have outrebounded the Hawks, 96-76. It all starts with Tristan Thompson, who had 16 rebounds, one off his postseason high.

8. James recorded his sixth game of 30 or more points in the postseason this season and the 74th of his career.

9. Injured center Anderson Varejao was at shootaround and looked like he was ready to play. "I wish," he said. Of course, he's still recovering from the torn Achilles. Wouldn't it be great to see him on the court?

10. James was asked about the Hawks being desperate in Game 2. "We are just as desperate as they are," he said. 

UP NEXT: Game 3, vs. Atlanta, Eastern Conference finals, Sunday, May 24, 8:30 p.m.

STARTERS
SF LeBron James (6-8, 250) vs. DeMarre Carroll (6-8, 212)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-10, 238) vs. Paul Millsap (6-8, 253)
C Timofey Mozgov (7-1, 250) vs. Al Horford (6-10, 245)
SG Iman Shumpert (6-5, 220) vs. Kyle Korver (6-7, 212)
PG Matthew Dellavedova (6-4, 200) vs. Jeff Teague (6-2, 186)
INACTIVE LIST
Cavs - C Anderson Varejao, F Kevin Love
Hawks - G/F Thabo Sefolosha, F Austin Daye
OFFICIALS
Joe Crawford, Mike Callahan, Bill Spooner


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Game 1: Cavs at Hawks

GAME 1
EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
CLEVELAND CAVALIERS (1-0) 97, ATLANTA HAWKS (0-1) 89
Philips Arena
Wednesday
Radio: WTAM-AM 1100, WMMS-FM 100.7, La Mega-FM 97.7
TV: TNT

1. The injury to keep your eye on is Hawks forward DeMarre Carroll's sprained left knee. He'll have an MRI tomorrow. Without him, the Hawks are dead meat. They don't have anyone else to guard LeBron James, other than Kent Bazemore or possibly Mike Scott. With Carroll, he'll give James a run for his money. Remember, the Hawks are already playing without Thabo Sefolosha, other top-notch defender.

2. Cavs swingman J.R. Smith was unconscious tonight. His 28-point effort came at the most opportune time. It was needed with Kyrie Irving getting injured once again and playing only 27 minutes. He had 10 points and six assists. He played those limited minutes, Coach David Blatt said, because he was banged up. The Cavs will get him ready for Game 2. He wants to perform at the highest level. Unfortunately, he's unable to at this point.

3. LeBron James also turned his right ankle. He stepped on a cameraman's foot while running down the sideline in the third quarter. As usual, he returned to throw the hammer down on the Hawks. He's indestructible.

4. Cavs center Timofey Mozgov played just 24 minutes in the game, yet recorded a double-double with 10 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. They played small most of the game with teammate Tristan Thompson the only big on the court. Of course, Thompson was also good with 14 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks. I was worried that Blatt's way of dealing with Hawks center Al Horford would be to sit down Mozgov. I think the Cavs should make the Hawks deal with Mozgov. They don't have anyone that size. They have just three players that are 6-11: Pero Antic, Mike Muscala and Austin Daye. None of them can guard Mozgov successfully. 

5. When the Hawks play mighty-mites Jeff Teague and Dennis Schroder together, it can cause problems. Schroder had an off night  with six points, but Teague was outstanding with 27.

6. Thompson said his shoulder is fine, or at least I think he did. "How does it look?" he asked. He took a hard fall on it in Game 6 of the Chicago series. He's become vitally important to the Cavs with his post defense, rebounding and occasional scoring. He'll get the bulk of the minutes on Horford, I believe. Thompson is perhaps the best offensive rebounder still alive in the playoffs. That's an area where the Hawks are weak - defensive rebounding. Thompson was well aware that the team that won the rebounding battle won every game in the Chicago series. He'll do his best to continue that advantage.

7. This is Atlanta's first trip to the East finals. It's the Cavs' fifth appearance (1976, 1992, 2007 and 2009 were the other). Of course, the St. Louis Hawks won the NBA title in 1958. The Cavs have never won it all.

8. The Atlanta series wasn't expected to be as physical as the Boston and Chicago series. Tell that to the players who were injured tonight. The Hawks are more of a finesse team. They aren't one to take cheap shots, either, like another team that like clam chowder (no names, please).

9. Resident cult hero Matthew Dellavedova didn't score in 25 minutes. Still Blatt couldn't take him off the court. He does defend and play hard.

10. James (1,634) passed No. 7 Jerry West (1,622) on the NBA's all-time postseason list for field goals. He also needs four free throws made to pass No. 4 West (1,213) in playoff annals.

UP NEXT: Game 2, at Atlanta, Eastern Conference finals, Friday, May 22, 8:30 p.m.

STARTERS
SF LeBron James (6-8, 250) vs. DeMarre Carroll (6-8, 212)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-10, 238) vs. Paul Millsap (6-8, 253)
C Timofey Mozgov (7-1, 250) vs. Al Horford (6-10, 245)
SG Iman Shumpert (6-5, 220) vs. Kyle Korver (6-7, 212)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 193) vs. Jeff Teague (6-2, 186)
INACTIVE LIST
Cavs - C Anderson Varejao, F Kevin Love
Hawks - G/F Thabo Sefolosha, F Austin Daye
OFFICIALS
Scott Foster, Pat Fraher, Jason Phillips



Thursday, May 14, 2015

Eastern Conference scenarios

Here are the two schedule scenarios and national television & radio arrangements for the Eastern Conference Finals.

                                                                          National
                                                 Local    EDT    Broadcast
Eastern Conference             

1.  If Atlanta defeats Washington

Atlanta vs. Cleveland

Game 1 – Wed  May 20 Cleveland at Atlanta       8:30PM  8:30PM     TNT/R
Game 2 – Fri  May 22 Cleveland at Atlanta       8:30PM  8:30PM     TNT/R
Game 3 – Sun  May 24 Atlanta at Cleveland       TBD     8:30PM     TNT/R
Game 4 – Tue  May 26 Atlanta at Cleveland       TBD     8:30PM     TNT/R
Game 5 * Thu  May 28 Cleveland at Atlanta       8:30PM  8:30PM     TNT/R
Game 6 * Sat  May 30 Atlanta at Cleveland       TBD     8:30PM     TNT/R
Game 7 * Mon  June 1 Cleveland at Atlanta       8:30PM  8:30PM     TNT/R

2.  If Washington defeats Atlanta

Cleveland vs. Washington

Game 1 – Wed  May 20 Washington at Cleveland    TBD     8:30PM     TNT/R
Game 2 – Fri  May 22 Washington at Cleveland    TBD     8:30PM     TNT/R
Game 3 – Sun  May 24 Cleveland at Washington    8:30PM  8:30PM     TNT/R
Game 4 – Tue  May 26 Cleveland at Washington    8:30PM  8:30PM     TNT/R
Game 5 * Thu  May 28 Washington at Cleveland    TBD     8:30PM     TNT/R
Game 6 * Sat  May 30 Cleveland at Washington    8:30PM  8:30PM     TNT/R
Game 7 * Mon  June 1 Washington at Cleveland    TBD     8:30PM     TNT/R

The NBA Finals will begin on Thursday, June 4.

No local telecasts are permitted of any games in the Conference Finals.
*If necessary

Game 6: Cavs at Bulls

GAME 6
EASTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS
CLEVELAND CAVALIERS (4-2) 94, CHICAGO BULLS (2-4) 73
United Center
Thursday
Radio: WTAM-AM 1100, WMMS-FM 100.7, La Mega-FM 97.7
TV: ESPN

1. The Big Three was reduced to the Chosen One tonight. Despite another player going down with an injury, the Cavaliers prevailed in the Eastern Conference semifinals, 4-2, over the Bulls. Cavs guard Kyrie Irving suffered a left knee injury in the second quarter and didn't return. Of course, they didn't need him in this game, as they blew out the lackluster Bulls. 

2. Irving stepped on teammate Tristan Thompson's foot, which caused him to land off balance. He immediately fell to the floor. He came out with 9:47 left in the first half and didn't return. He finished with just six points, one rebound and one block. He didn't have an assist in two of the final three games of the series. The Cavs outscored Chicago after he went out, 59-38. He probably could have returned, if needed. 

3. The East finals don't start until Wednesday, May 20. Game 1 will be either in Cleveland or Atlanta. We'll have to see who wins the other semifinal series. The Hawks currently lead the series, 3-2. Irving and the other banged up players will have plenty of time to rest up.

4. LeBron James' numbers in this series were crazy: 26.2 points, 11.0 rebounds, 8.8 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.7 blocks. He tied No. 5 Tim Duncan (1,202) in all-time playoff free throws. He moved past No. 2 Zydrunas Ilgauskas (82) for postseason blocked shots in Cavs' history.

5. The Boston series was very physical. The teams took that physical play a step further in the second round. Players were dropping all over the court. Hopefully, the Cavs will have plenty in the tank for the conference finals.

6. Center Timofey Mozgov had seven points, all in the first quarter. He added five rebounds and a block. He was a tad better than in Game 5. Mozgov is needed to protect the rim. He needs to defend and he needs to rebound. Remember, the team that won the rebounding battle has won every game in this series.

7. Speaking of rebounding, the Cavs embarrassed Chicago on the boards, 53-32. That's ridiculous. Tristan Thompson was like a man possessed with 13 points, 17 rebounds and two blocks. No one on the Bulls could handle him on the block. That man is going to make a lot of money this summer when he becomes a restricted free agent. 

8. I thought Coach David Blatt would go back to J.R. Smith in Game 5. He continues to start Iman Shumpert at shooting guard. Heck, both play in crunch time. The plan was to start Shump when they made the trade with New York, but he was still recovering from his shoulder injury. Smith stepped in and ran away with the job. Now, Blatt evidently likes what he's getting out of Shump as a starter. Bringing Smith off the bench gives him some legitimate firepower and perimeter shooting. Once Smith gets hot, he's unconscious. Shump finished with 13 points, seven rebounds, four assists, two steals and one block. He was outstanding in the entire series.

9. They needed help off the bench tonight and they sure received it from unsung hero Matthew Dellavedova. He scored a team-high 19 points. He's been giving the Cavs good minutes with his defense, playmaking and rugged play. Tonight it was his scoring. James Jones is a wildcard. Blatt doesn't know what he's going to get from him from game to game. If he can make a few shots, it helps out immensely. He drained three 3-pointers when the game was still close tonight.

10. This will be the fifth trip to the conference finals in franchise history. The others came in 1976, 1992, 2007 and 2009.

11. The Cavs beat the Bulls at their own game in the series. How good was the Cavs' defense? In the last five games of the series, the Bulls averaged 89.6 points and shot 38.2 percent from the field (162 of 424). The Bulls shot under 40 percent in each of the last four games of the series, including 37.5 percent tonight. The Cavs are second in the league in postseason defense, allowing just 41.2 percent shooting. The Bulls are known for their rugged defense under Coach Tom Thibodeau, who might have coached his last game as Chicago's coach.

UP NEXT: Game 1, vs. Atlanta or Washington, Eastern Conference finals, TBD, Wednesday, May 20, 8:30 p.m.

STARTERS
SF LeBron James (6-8, 250) vs. Mike Dunleavy (6-9, 230)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-10, 238) vs. Pau Gasol (7-0, 254)
C Timofey Mozgov (7-1, 250) vs. Joakim Noah (6-11, 232)
SG Iman Shumpert (6-5, 220) vs. Jimmy Butler (6-7, 220)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 193) vs. Derrick Rose (6-3, 190)
INACTIVE LIST
Cavs - C Anderson Varejao, F Kevin Love
Bulls - F/C Cameron Bairstow
OFFICIALS
Danny Crawford, Marc Davis, Sean Wright

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Game 5: Bulls at Cavs

GAME 5
EASTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS
CLEVELAND CAVALIERS (3-2) 106, CHICAGO BULLS (2-3) 101
Quicken Loans Arena
Tuesday
Radio: WTAM-AM 1100, WMMS-FM 100.7, La Mega-FM 97.7
TV: TNT

1. The Cavs have control of the series - by their fingertips - but control nonetheless. They should go all out to put the Bulls out of their misery in Game 6 on Thursday. You don't want to take a chance on Game 7, even if it is at home on Sunday. The sold-out crowd was fantastic tonight. It had to fire up the players. The Bulls are going to fight to the end in this series. That's just their nature. It comes from Coach Tom Thibodeau. He demands it.

2. LeBron James came into the game shooting 37.7 percent from the field and 10.5 percent from behind the arc in the Chicago series. He was classic LeBron tonight with 38 points, 12 rebounds, six assists, three steals and three blocks. He also made 12 of 24 from the field. He raised his percentage from the 3-point line by making 1 of 5. He's now at 12.5 percent from behind the arc.

3. Kyrie Irving was inspirational with his performance. He was gimping around the last few games with tendinitis in his left knee and a strained right foot. He responded with 25 points and five assists. He made 9 of 16 from the field, 3 of 6 from behind the arc. He said he felt much better when he awoke on Tuesday. If he returns to form, the Bulls are in serious trouble.

4. James is almost averaging a triple-double in the series: 28.4 points, 11.4 rebounds, 8.4 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.6 blocks. The number that bothers him - besides the shooting percentages - was his 5.8 turnovers per game. That was an astonishing number, especially when the Cavs are averaging 11.5 turnovers as a team. He didn't have a turnover in Game 5 in 41 minutes. He was proud of that fact, literally patting himself on the back after the game. He was simply the best player in basketball last night - bar none.

5. He passed No. 9 Jason Kidd (236) on the NBA's all-time playoff list for 3-pointers. He now has 237. He also is one shy of No. 5 Tim Duncan (1,202) in all-time playoff free throws. He moved into a tie with No. 2 Zydrunas Ilgauskas (82) for postseason blocked shots in Cavs' history.

6. James is the third player in NBA history to record 38 points, 12 rebounds, six assists, three steals and three blocks. The others were Dwyane Wade at Dallas on June 20, 2006, and Elvin Hayes vs. Buffalo on April 20, 1975. He's the first player in history to record those numbers and not turn the ball over. The league started recording turnovers for the 1977-78 season.

7. The team that has won the rebounding battle has won every game in this series. The Cavs won the battle of the boards on Tuesday, 41-40. The Bulls were missing 7-footer Pau Gasol (hamstring) and Taj Gibson (ejection).

8. The Cavs won despite a terrible game by center Timofey Mozgov (one point, six rebounds, 0 of 7 from the field). They need him to show up. He was very good in Game 4 (15 points, nine rebounds, three assists and three blocks). They are a different team when he does play well. When he doesn't, Coach David Blatt goes small and lives with the circumstances. He's averaging 2.4 blocks in the postseason, third-best in the league. He has swatted at least three shots in five of his nine postseason games this year.

UP NEXT: Game 6, at Chicago, Eastern Conference semifinals, United, Thursday, May 14, 8 p.m.

STARTERS
SF LeBron James (6-8, 250) vs. Mike Dunleavy (6-9, 230)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-10, 238) vs. Taj Gibson (6-9, 238)
C Timofey Mozgov (7-1, 250) vs. Joakim Noah (6-11, 232)
SG Iman Shumpert (6-5, 220) vs. Jimmy Butler (6-7, 220)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 193) vs. Derrick Rose (6-3, 190)
INACTIVE LIST
Cavs - C Anderson Varejao, F Kevin Love
Bulls - F/C Pau Gasol
OFFICIALS
Joe Crawford, Derrick Stafford, Zach Zarba

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Game 4: Cavs at Bulls

GAME 4
EASTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS
CLEVELAND CAVALIERS (2-2) 86, CHICAGO BULLS (2-2) 84
United Center
Sunday
Radio: WTAM-AM 1100, WMMS-FM 100.7, La Mega-FM 97.7
TV: ABC

1. This was the biggest game of the season for the Cavaliers. They couldn't afford to fall behind 3-1 in the series. They tried to give it to the Bulls, but in the end, LeBron James' 21-foot jumper from the corner won it with :00.1 left on the clock. It was the third time in his playoff career that he's won a game at the buzzer. It was a fantastic finish in the nip-and-tuck game. The series is now tied, 2-2, heading back to Cleveland for Game 5 on Tuesday.

2. I made the comment earlier in the day that the Cavs couldn't win with Kyrie Irving scoring 11 points like he did in Game 3. Well, he had 12 today and the Cavs won. He was 2 of 10 from the field and wasn't much of a factor in the game. But he was out there battling right to the end. He played 41 minutes on his strained right foot. He said it's been bothering him for more than a week. Not being 100 percent and going head-to-head with Derrick Rose is cruel and unjust. The Cavs recognized that and finally put Iman Shumpert on Rose, who had a game-high 31 points. Irving has no explosiveness whatsoever. 

3. This has been a series of adjustments for the Cavs. First, it was to find a replacement for Kevin Love (dislocated shoulder). It took David Blatt two games to figure that out, first going with Mike Miller (huh?) and finally settling on Tristan Thompson. Then, he had to find a replacement for J.R. Smith, who was suspended for the first two games of the series. Iman Shumpert was an obvious choice to step in for his former New York teammate. Then Shumpert strained his left groin. Smith had a 12-day layoff in between games. Blatt has stuck with Shumpert in the starting lineup. He said he didn't want Shump to warm up, cool down and then try to enter the game. Problem is, he hasn't been as effective as he was in the first two games. He also seemed to aggravate his injury in Sunday's game. But even on one leg, the guy defends.

4. Smith got off to a slow start when he entered the game on Sunday, but once he caught fire, he was deadly. He had 11 of his 13 points in the fourth quarter. He was 3 of 6 from the 3-point line. The Cavs were horrible from behind the arc - 5 of 25. 

5. James finished with 25 points, 14 rebounds, eight assists, one steal and two blocks. His game-winning shot was a thing of beauty. He said he told teammate Matthew Dellavedova to get him the ball. "I'm going to win it," he said. The play was drawn up for James to take the ball out? What? Was Blatt drawing up the last shot for Delly?

6. The Cavs had a six-point lead in the fourth quarter, but couldn't put the Bulls away. James' offensive foul (his eighth turnover) with 14 seconds left could have cost the Cavs the game. 

7. How about using all three of their remaining timeouts on the inbounds plays? Then seconds later, Coach David Blatt tried to call time out, only to be stopped by assistant coach Tyronn Lue. That would have resulted in a costly technical foul, and again it could have cost them the game. 

8. In the last two games, James is 18 of 55 from the field, 1 of 14 from behind the arc (2 of 19 in the series) and has committed 15 turnovers. He's carrying too much of a burden, and he's breaking down. He also turned his left ankle in the game and refused to come out. The Cavs hope he can recover quickly because they have a chance to take a 3-2 edge in this series with a win on Tuesday.

9. The team that has won the rebounding battle has won every game in this series. The Cavs won the battle of the boards on Sunday, 44-40. It helped that Bulls forward/center Pau Gasol (hamstring) missed the game.

10. James (1,081) is now fourth on the NBA's all-time list in playoff assists. In this postseason alone, he's moved past Tony Parker, Steve Nash, Larry Bird, Scottie Pippen, Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. That's quite a list.

UP NEXT: Game 5, vs. Chicago, Eastern Conference semifinals, Quicken Loans Arena, Tuesday, May 12, 7 p.m.

STARTERS
SF LeBron James (6-8, 250) vs. Mike Dunleavy (6-9, 230)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-10, 238) vs. Pau Gasol (7-0, 255)
C Timofey Mozgov (7-1, 250) vs. Joakim Noah (6-11, 232)
SG Iman Shumpert (6-5, 220) vs. Jimmy Butler (6-7, 220)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 193) vs. Derrick Rose (6-3, 190)
INACTIVE LIST
Cavs - C Anderson Varejao, F Kevin Love
Bulls - F/C Pau Gasol
OFFICIALS
Scott Foster, Jason Phillips, Tom Washington