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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Point grad: Cavs’ George Hill receives diploma during NBA playoffs

Cleveland Cavaliers guard George Hill had a good excuse for missing practice – he graduated. While his teammates were getting in a last workout before facing Boston in the Eastern Conference finals, Hill received his degree from IUPUI. Hill was one of two student speakers at the commencement ceremony. Hill was expected to join his teammates in time for Game 1 on Sunday against the Celtics. Hill joined the Cavs in February, coming over in a trade from Sacramento.

Wicked good: LeBron James undaunted by Boston, Celtics’ mystique

LeBron James has been deflating to Boston basketball. The Cleveland star has eliminated the Celtics in four straight postseason series and he’ll try to make it five when the Cavaliers open the Eastern Conference finals on Sunday in Boston. James has won six straight playoff games in Boston. He’s looking to join some Celtics legends by making it to eight straight NBA Finals.

Raptors fire coach Dwane Casey after another sweep by Cavs

Two days after being honored as coach of the year by the National Basketball Coaches Association, Dwane Casey was fired by the Toronto Raptors after the team was swept in the playoffs by the Cleveland Cavaliers for second straight season.

Connected at hip: Cavs, Celtics intertwined since big trade

In October, the Celtics and Cavaliers were favored to make the Eastern Conference finals. They did, but only after both teams overcame injuries and other adversity. Boston lost All-Stars Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving while Cleveland regrouped after a massive roster overhaul at the trading deadline. The teams will open their series on Sunday in Boston.

Cavs laugh off Rodney Hood’s apology for not entering Game 4

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Rodney Hood has apologized to his teammates after refusing to check into Game 4 against Toronto. Hood didn’t check in during the blowout after being told to enter the game by coach Tyronn Lue. Hood said his teammates accepted his apology and laughed off the situation after all they’ve endured during a drama-filled season. Hood has lost playing time throughout the playoffs but feels he can still have an impact.

The NBA’s Final Four: Cavs, Celtics, Warriors, Rockets

The NBA’s Final Four is set, and it is star-studded: LeBron, the champs, the top overall seed and Celtic Pride. The conference finals start Sunday in Houston, and the East series begins Monday in Boston. And the Cavaliers and Warriors are four wins away from a fourth straight matchup in the NBA Finals.

AP source: Cavs won’t discipline Rodney Hood for refusal to play

A person familiar with the situations says the Cleveland Cavaliers will not discipline forward Rodney Hood for refusing to play in Game 4 against the Raptors. The Athletic first reported that Hood declined to enter the game in the fourth quarter with the Cavaliers leading Toronto by 30 points. The person told the AP that Hood spoke to team officials and said he regretted the incident. Hood has struggled in his first postseason with Cleveland.

Sweep, sleep: Cavs oust Raptors, wait for East finals foe

LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers are back in the Eastern Conference finals. They swept the Toronto Raptors in four straight games for the second year in a row and now await the winner of the semifinal between Boston and Philadelphia. LeBron James scored 29 points and got plenty of help from his teammates as the Cavs won Game 4 and beat Toronto for the 10th consecutive time in the playoffs.

Cavaliers thrash Raptors for series sweep in NBA playoffs

LeBron James sent Toronto into summer vacation for the third straight season as the Cleveland Cavaliers completed a series sweep of the Raptors with a 128-93 win in Game 4 on Monday night to advance to the Eastern Conference finals.

Lebron James scores 43 as Cavs beat Raptors 128-110 in Game 2

TORONTO – Watching LeBron James at shootaround, Kevin Love knew something special was in store. Maybe not the fadeaway jumpers James kept making, each seemingly with a higher degree of difficulty than the last, but he was sure there would be something.

LeBron James has triple-double, Cavs beat Raptors in OT in Game 1

LeBron James had 26 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds, J.R. Smith scored 20 points and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Toronto Raptors 113-112 in overtime to win Game 1 of their second-round playoff series. Kyle Korver scored 19 points, including the go-ahead 3-pointer in overtime after Cleveland never led in regulation.

Pacers even series, force Game 7 by blowing out Cavs 121-87

Victor Oladipo scored 28 points and posted the first postseason triple-double of his career, leading the Indiana Pacers to a 121-87 blowout over Cleveland to even the series at three. Game 7 will be played Sunday in Cleveland. The three-time defending Eastern Conference champs were led by LeBron James with 22 points, seven assists and five rebounds. The Cavaliers lost their first closeout game in 14 tries dating to 2009. James had won 11 consecutive closeout games.

NBA says referees missed LeBron James goaltending call in Game 5

The NBA says referees missed a goaltending violation by Cavaliers star LeBron James in the closing seconds of Cleveland’s Game 5 win over Indiana. James blocked Victor Oladipo’s shot with 5.1 seconds left, but the league said in its two-minute report that James touched the ball after it hit the backboard. James then hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Cavs a 98-95 win and 3-2 lead in the series. Game 6 is on Friday at Indiana.

Pacers believe LeBron James goaltended on block in final seconds

The Indiana Pacers felt like they got cheated in the final seconds of Game 5. TV replays appeared to show LeBron James blocked Victor Oladipo’s shot after it hit the backboard, which would have been goaltending. However, nothing was called and James made a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give Cleveland a 98-95 win and 3-2 lead in the series.

LeBron James’ last-second shot gives Cavs 98-95 win in Game 5

LeBron James hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer, giving Cleveland a 98-95 win in Game 5 over the Indiana Pacers and giving the Cavaliers a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference playoff series. Moments before James’ shot, he blocked Victor Oladipo’s driving layup before hitting another memorable game-winner. The Cavs close out the series with a win in Game 6 on Friday night.

Cavs guard George Hill (back spasms) questionable for Game 5

Cavaliers starting point guard George Hill is questionable to play in Game 5 against Indiana. Hill has been dealing with back spasms since he was injured on an illegal screen by Pacers forward Trevor Booker in Game 1. Hill was limited to some shooting drills during practice. Coach Tyronn Lue says if Hill can play he will start. Jose Calderon started for Hill in Game 4. The first-round series is tied 2-2.

Pacers erase 17-point deficit to take 2-1 lead over Cavs

Bojan Bogdanovic scored 30 points to lead the Indiana Pacers back from a 17-point halftime deficit for a 92-90 victory over Cleveland 92-90. The Pacers lead the series 2-1. The incredible second-half charge came exactly one year after Indiana blew a 26-point halftime lead in a historic playoff collapse. This time it was the Cavaliers who blew it on a night LeBron Jones joined Michael Jordan as the only players in playoff history to record 100 double-doubles. James had 28 points and 12 rebounds.