Cavaliers lose series lead, invincible aura

first_imgINDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP):Upon their return from Canada, the Cavaliers had nothing to declare at US Customs.Their lead in the Eastern Conference finals had already been confiscated.Cleveland were stripped of their dominance and a 2-0 advantage during a long weekend in Toronto, where the growing-confident-by-the-shot Raptors – propelled by a crowd and city that believes they can make the NBA Finals – won two straight games.”They flipped the script on us,” Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said.After being throttled by a combined 50 points in Games One and Two, the Raptors turned a series that began with blowouts into a best-of-three, winner-take-all slugfest. There wasn’t supposed to be a Game Five and now there will be a Game Six as well.PREDICAMENTUnable to contain Toronto All-Star guards Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan from scoring or keep Raptors super sub Bismack Biyombo off the boards, the Cavs have put themselves in a predicament.For tonight’s Game Five, the pressure has swung back on superstar LeBron James and the Cavs, after Monday night’s 105-99 loss.No offence to rapper Drake and Toronto’s rowdy fans, but Lue was happy to escape ”We the North’.The Raptors have been daring the Cavs to launch from behind the arc. Without centre Jonas Valanciunas, who could return in Game Five from a sprained right ankle, Toronto gave up 106 inside points in the first two games before adjusting in Games Three and Four by packing the paint and forcing Cleveland to rely on their outside attack.It was a risky move by coach Dwane Casey and his staff, but the strategy paid off and helped the Raptors reverse the series.”It’s a feel,” Casey said. “It’s a rhythm. It’s confidence, but I will say this: It’s going to be a different animal back in Cleveland.”last_img read more

Kwan is gone, not forgotten

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa AnitaOnly the winner of the women’s event is guaranteed a spot on the Olympic team, with the federation’s International Committee selecting the other two athletes after tonight’s free skate. There are 35 people on the committee, but at least nine will have to recuse themselves because of personal or professional conflicts; a simple majority is needed. The committee will base its selection on how athletes fared at six competitions. They are, in order of importance: nationals, the 2005 Grand Prix final, the 2005 world championships, the 2005 Four Continents championships, the 2005 Junior Grand Prix final and the 2005 world junior championships. Kwan also had to be examined by a doctor selected by U.S. Figure Skating to prove she was physically ready to compete in Turin. “She was seen by a doctor at his office (on Thursday) and had a complete examination of the groin injury,” Kwan’s agent, Shep Goldberg, told The Associated Press. Neither Kwan nor U.S. Figure Skating had seen the report as of Friday afternoon. Goldberg also said Kwan resumed jumping again. “It’s (U.S. Figure Skating’s) job to pick three skaters that will place the highest at the Olympics,” said Sasha Cohen, who had a comfortable lead after the short program. “I really am not too deep in the politics of U.S. Figure Skating, but I definitely think whoever it is that doesn’t get to go would be devastated.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! ST. LOUIS – Michelle Kwan is dominating the national championships, even from half a country away. The nine-time champion is at home nursing a groin injury and is missing the U.S. Figure Skating Championships for the first time since 1991. But she’s petitioned for a spot on the Olympic team, and the “Should she or shouldn’t she?” debate has sparked more interest than anything happening on the ice. center_img Fans are wearing buttons and T-shirts supporting Kwan. Each of the top women repeatedly has been asked what she thinks, and coaches and choreographers have weighed in, too. Even men’s contender Evan Lysacek had his pre-event news conference hijacked by Kwan questions. “No, I’m not surprised that it’s a huge deal,” Ron Hershberger, president of U.S. Figure Skating, said Friday. “Michelle has been a marvelous champion. She’s a terrific athlete. It’s clear that skating fans everywhere adore her, and they should. She’s been a terrific image for the sport of figure skating, so I’m not surprised that there’s all this attention.” last_img read more