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LeBron, Cavs follow White House with win, 105-94 at Wizards

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WASHINGTON (AP) Adding a win to their White House visit, LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers capped a perfect visit to the nation’s capital by beating the Washington Wizards 105-94 on the strength of 14 3-pointers Friday night.

A day after being feted as NBA champions by President Barack Obama, the Cavs improved to 7-1 this season, recovering quickly from their only loss, which came against Atlanta on Tuesday. James had 27 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, and Kevin Love finished with 14 points and 16 rebounds.

Kyrie Irving scored 29 and helped the Cavs hold John Wall to only five of his 28 points after halftime.

James clutched at his lower right back after getting fouled with 7 1/2 minutes left, but remained in the game.

Cleveland entered tied for the league lead by averaging 13 made 3s, and it was good on 42 percent of its tries against Washington.

J.R. Smith‘s 17 points included five 3s; one gave Cleveland its biggest margin of the game, at 84-72 with a minute remaining in the third quarter.

Before a sellout crowd of 20,356 that saved its loudest cheers for when two free throws missed by Love meant spectators would be able to get a free fast-food chicken sandwich, Washington also led by as many as a dozen points. That was at 45-33 midway through the second quarter, when Wall made a 17-foot jumper over Love.

But it was tied at 54 with a minute left in the half after Love converted a three-point play by drawing a blocking call on center Marcin Gortat.

The Wizards center, who was hoping for a whistle on Love for charging, stayed on the ground for a bit, then rose and chirped about the call. During an ensuing timeout, Cavaliers substitute Richard Jefferson wandered away from the sideline to discuss it with Gortat right out on the court.

Soon enough, a pair of free throws by Smith capped a half-ending 11-4 run that put Cleveland up 58-56 at the break, its first lead since 8-7 about 3 minutes into the game.

Markieff Morris scored 20 for the Wizards, who played without injured shooting guard Bradley Beal. Otto Porter Jr. followed up his 34-point, 14-rebound effort in a win against Boston on Wednesday with 11 points and eight rebounds.

TIP-INS

Cavaliers: At 31, James became the youngest player to reach 27,000 points. Kobe Bryant had been the youngest, about 32 1/2 when he got there. … Smith was called for a Flagrant-1 foul in third quarter.

Wizards: Beal sat out with a tight right hamstring after leaving Wednesday’s game early. He was replaced in the starting lineup by Marcus Thornton, who shot 0 for 5 and scored two points in 21 minutes. … Washington substitute Kelly Oubre Jr. scored the team’s last eight points of the first quarter, which ended with the hosts ahead 31-26.

WHITE HOUSE

“A lot of guys were humbled by the experience,” Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said about going to the White House. “When you get a chance to meet the President of the United States – and he knows your first name and last name, and knows your stats and how you play and who you are as a person – it just means a lot.”

UP NEXT

Cavaliers: Host the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday. Cleveland won three of four against Charlotte last season.

Wizards: At the Chicago Bulls on Saturday. Wall will sit out for the second time in the second game of a back-to-back set this season, part of Washington’s effort to manage his minutes after offseason operations on both knees.

Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich

Former Louisville star Donovan Mitchell “sad, angry, disgusted” with Breonna Taylor decision

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NBA players — like large swaths of the United States — are shaking their heads at the decision not to prosecute the police sho shot Breonna Taylor in her home. That includes LeBron James, who said the walls of Taylor’s neighbors got more justice than she did.

Now former Louisville star Donovan Mitchell has spoken out on the issue.

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We’re Sorry Breonna😔🤦🏾‍♂️

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The hate and racism in too many of the responses to that Instagram post highlight the injustice and additional hurdles Black people in America have to clear every day.

Louisville has faced a night of protests and backlash to the decision by the grand jury, which included the two police officers getting shot (they both survived).

 

Report: Bulls paying Billy Donovan $6 million-plus annual salary

New Bulls coach and former Thunder coach Billy Donovan
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Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf just spent the NBA hiatus – at least if you looked beyond “The Last Dance” itself – getting dragged for not spending enough to give Michael Jordan another year of title contention in Chicago.

Paying to hire Billy Donovan is a way for Reinsdorf and the Bulls to repair their reputations.

Shams Charania of The Athletic:

I’d be surprised if all four years are fully guaranteed. Coaching contracts of this length usually contain a team option or two.

But that’s still a hefty salary. Especially in these times. Especially considering it was believed the Bulls would keep Jim Boylen for financial reasons.

Donovan left the Thunder despite them offering him a new contract. He likely knew he could get more elsewhere.

Credit Chicago for being the team to spend. The Bulls needed a solid coach after Boylen and Fred Hoiberg.

Donovan won’t solve all Chicago’s problems, but he should help on multiple fronts. This upgrade costs nothing but Reinsdorf’s money, which every Chicago fan is perfectly willing to spend.

NBA playoff schedule 2020: Date, time, matchup for every game

NBA playoff schedule 2020
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And there were four.

The NBA is down to the conference finals — and the bubble has provided us with upsets galore. There are some unexpected teams in the NBA’s Final Four, but of course LeBron James is still there. The Lakers are the heavy favorites at this point.

Here are a few notes on the NBA playoffs schedule 2020:

• The NBA is continuing to push the pace with games every other day — except in the East, when ESPN wants a break not to clash with the NFL, and to let the West catch up. The fast pace of games will return with the NBA Finals.
Families for the players, and with the final four now the coaches, are in the bubble.
• The NBA has released an NBA Finals schedule to teams and their target is still a Sept. 30 Game 1. If either conference finals goes seven games that date will need to be pushed back.

Here is the NBA playoffs schedule 2020 (all times are Eastern):

EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS

No. 3 Boston Celtics vs. No. 5 Miami Heat

Game 1: Heat 117, Celtics 114, OT
Game 2: Heat 106, Celtics 101
Game 3: Celtics 117, Heat 106
Game 4: Heat 112, Celtics 109 (Miami leads series 3-1)
Game 5: Sept. 25, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Game 6: Sept. 27, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)*
Game 7: TBD (ESPN)*
*If necessary

WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS

No. 1 Los Angeles Lakers vs. No. 3 Denver Nuggets

Game 1: Lakers 126, Nuggets 114
Game 2: Lakers 105, Nuggets 103
Game 3: Nuggets 114, Lakers 106 (Lakers lead series 2-1)
Game 4: Sept. 24, 9 p.m. (TNT)
Game 5: Sept. 26, 9 p.m. (TNT)
Game 6: Sept. 28, TBD (TNT)*
Game 7: Sept. 30, TBD (TNT)*
*If necessary

NBA playoffs schedule 2020: Second Round results

Eastern Conference

No. 3 Boston beat No. 2 Toronto 4-3

No. 5 Miami beat No. 1 Milwaukee 4-1

Western Conference

No. 1 Los Angeles Lakers beat Houston 4-1

No. 3 Denver beat No. 2 Los Angeles Clippers 4-3

NBA playoffs schedule 2020: First Round results

Western Conference

No. 1 Los Angeles Lakers beat No. 8 Portland 4-1

No. 2 L.A. Clippers beat No. 7 Dallas 4-2

No. 3 Denver beat No. 6 Utah 4-3

No. 4 Houston beat No. 5 Oklahoma City 4-3

Eastern Conference

No. 1 Milwaukee beat No. 8 Orlando 4-1

No. 2 Toronto beat No. 7 Brooklyn 4-0

No. 3 Boston beat No. 6 Philadelphia 4-0

No. 5 Miami beat No. 4 Indiana 4-0

PBT Podcast: Which players’ stock rose most in the bubble?

Jamal Murray Donovan Mitchell
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In the wake of Tyler Herro looking like the best offensive player Miami has seen since some guy decided to go back home to Cleveland, the question becomes what players have helped themselves the most in the bubble, and in the playoffs in particular?

Not coincidentally, Miami and Denver have a lot of those players, with the Nuggets Jamal Murray probably topping the list.

Kurt Helin and Dan Feldman of NBC Sports get into that, talk some Boston/Miami series, and also talk about the recent coaching carousel including Billy Donovan to Chicago and the fact no team has hired a Black coach this offseason.

As always, you can check out the podcast below, listen and subscribe via iTunes at ApplePodcasts.com/PBTonNBC, subscribe via the fantastic Stitcher app, check us out on Google play, or check out the NBC Sports Podcast homepage and archive at Art19.

We want your questions for future podcasts, and your comments, so please email us at PBTpodcast@gmail.com.