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A game behind the Philadelphia 76ers in the race for the third seed in the NBA Eastern Conference Tyler Toffoli Jersey , the Cleveland Cavaliers long ago received a gift from the schedulers: home-and-home matchups against the woeful and wounded New York Knicks to end the regular season, starting Monday night at Madison Square Garden.
Whether the Cavaliers can catch the scorching 76ers remains to be seen. Philadelphia is the NBA’s hottest team with a 14-game winning streak — including a 132-130 victory over Cleveland on Friday — and with games at Atlanta and at home against Milwaukee still on the schedule.
But the Cavaliers have their eyes on that crucial prize, made even more crucial by No. 2-seed Boston’s injury problems. A third seed would ensure a second-round matchup with Boston or the No. 7 seed. A fourth seed could mean a meeting with the No. 1 seed Toronto Raptors.
“I always think you try to take the easy way out, it’s always going to come back and bite you,” Cleveland’s Kevin Love said after losing to Philadelphia. “Both teams played extremely hard tonight, we both wanted to get the higher seed no matter who we’re playing. Some matchups work in your favor, I guess, but I just think taking the easy way out in some cases is not the way to go.”
The Cavaliers’ loss to the 76ers revealed a glaring weakness that seemed to have been cured. Cleveland gave up 132 points.
The Cavs entered that matchup on a five-game winning streak and with wins in 10 of 11. The first five wins were scary — the Cavaliers allowed an average of 113 points per game — but in the six games before the loss to Philadelphia, Cleveland had allowed 102 points per game.
“We’re a prideful team, and the only way to get back in was be scrappy, play a little bit more physical and hit more shots,” James said. “We were down 30 Brandon Saad Jersey , and for us to come all the way back shows what were capable of doing. But every offensive rebound here, every missed shot. … We turned the ball over, they made us pay, and they were flying.”
Luckily for the Cavs — at least for the next two games — the Knicks are one of the worst offensive teams in the NBA.
The Knicks have gone 4-16 in their last 20 games, averaging 105.5 points per game, and that includes 128-, 124-, and 122-point nights. Remove those and New York averaged 102.
Hurting the Knicks: Tim Hardaway Jr. (ankle) remains out.
Solution for New York: The emergence of rookie second-round pick Damyean Dotson, a two-way player with the G-League’s Westchester Knicks. Dotson had 30 points and 11 rebounds in 36 minutes in the team’s surprising 122-98 win over the Miami Heat on Thursday.
“It’s amazing. Just trying to stay the course, keep believing, keep working hard,” Dotson told reporters after becoming the first Knicks rookie to put up a 30-10 game since Patrick Ewing in 1985-86. “Eventually something good will happen. It’s playing the right way Mark Scheifele Jersey , believing in myself, believing in the development, coming from the G-League, coming from back and forth, playing.”
MILWAUKEE — Lorenzo Cain won’t be available Wednesday when the Milwaukee Brewers wrap up a two-game interleague series with the Kansas City Royals at Miller Park.
The Brewers had hoped that by resting Cain on Sunday against St. Louis ahead of a team off-day Monday, the veteran center fielder would be ready to return to action against his former team.
Instead, they’ll go at least another week without him after placing on the disabled list with a strained groin.
“After going through treatment the last couple of days, he’s unable to play,” manager Craig Counsell said. “We think it’s mild and it’s going to be a short stay (on the DL) but we just didn’t think it was worth waiting three or four days to see if he’s ready to go.
“He’s only out for eight days, after missing two already, then we’ll reassess. We’re hoping it’s on the short end.”
Even if it’s a short stay, the loss is a big one for the Brewers Womens Jake Gardiner Jersey , who signed Cain to a five-year million contract this winter. He’s been a force atop the Brewers’ lineup, batting .291 with eight home runs and 26 RBIs while posting a .394 on-base percentage and .832 OPS.
“He’s a good player; he’s having a great season,” Counsell said. “But this is part of a baseball season. We have to be equipped to handle losses. I think we are. It’s been a strength of this team so far and how we’ve gotten to this point.”
With Cain out, the Brewers recalled outfielder Keon Broxton from Colorado Springs.
Broxton is expected to join the team Wednesday. It will mark the first big league appearance of the season for Broxton, who hit 20 home runs with 21 stolen bases in 143 games for Milwaukee last season but became the odd man out after Cain and Christian Yelich were acquired over the offseason.
“He’s been swinging the bat pretty well lately,” Counsell said of Broxton, who was batting .263 with nine home runs and 35 RBIs at Colorado Springs.
Counsell said Travis Shaw will likely sit out again Wednesday, too. He’s been dealing with a sore wrist for much of the last two weeks and left Milwaukee’s game Sunday after aggravating the injury during a third-inning at-bat against St. Louis.
“I think Travis is going to be OK,” Counsell said. “We’re hoping to avoid a DL stint. The tricky part is if we can get past it. If we don’t think we’re going to get past it, we’ll have to talk about the disabled list with him as well.
“He’s much better than he was yesterday and Sunday. So, I think we’re going in the right direction. There’s nothing structural in there. It’s a wrist strain. Hopefully, he’ll be all right.”
Brent Suter (8-4 Youth Jake McCabe Jersey , 4.15 ERA) will start for Milwaukee, looking for his fourth consecutive victory. The left-hander has been superb during his winning streak, posting a 2.84 ERA while holding batters to a .185 average and a .551 OPS.
Suter’s been no slouch at the plate, himself this season. He is 5-for-14 over his last nine starts with a home run, three walks and three RBIs.
“I love hitting,” Suter said. I’ve loved it my whole life. Even when I’m struggling, I still like going up there and trying to whack it. It’s one of my favorite parts besides pitching in the game.”
He’s had more opportunity to step into the box lately because he’s been working significantly deeper into games. Suter worked through the seventh in each of his last two starts.
“It’s something I trained for in the offseason so to see it be able to come to fruition the last couple starts feels good,” Suter said.
Suter has never faced the Royals.
Left-hander Danny Duffy will start for Kansas City. He held the Astros scoreless on two hits over six innings in his last outing but took no-decision as the Royals rallied late for a 1-0 victory.
It was a rare bright spot in what’s been a painful month for the Royals, who are 4-19 since June 1 and have lost 12 of their last 14 games — six by four or more runs.
“We’re all frustrated,” Yost said. “I’ve never seen anything like it. I’ve never been a part of a month like this. An offensive drought like we’ve had all month long is pretty puzzling. There’s no answer for it.”Womens Chicago Bears Jerseys
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