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Cleveland police increasing its presence at Celtics-Cavaliers after Manchester attack

05.23.17 at 6:19 pm ET
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There will be additional security at the Cavaliers-Celtics game Tuesday. (David Richard-USA TODAY Sports)

There will be additional security at the Cavaliers-Celtics game Tuesday. (David Richard-USA TODAY Sports)

Cleveland police will increase its presence at Quicken Loans Arena for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals Tuesday in the wake of the Manchester terrorist attack, according to TMZ Sports

Earlier Tuesday, NBA spokesman Mike Bass said the league is already beginning to prepare for the Finals, which begin June 1. With the Cavaliers holding a 2-1 lead over the Celtics, the series is guaranteed to return to Boston for Game 5 Thursday night. The Boston Police announced it will add security to concert venues in the city as well. Bags, backpacks and purses larger than a wristlet won’t be allowed inside the T.D. Garden. 

The U.K. raised its terrorism threat to the highest level Tuesday for the third time in history, signaling the country is still on watch after an attack at an Ariana Grande concert Monday killed 22 people and left 59 injured. Officials are still looking into whether the perpetrator, Salman Abedi, was part of a larger terror cell.

Read More: 2017 Eastern Conference finals, Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers,

Amir Johnson is a gametime decision for Game 4

05.23.17 at 12:13 pm ET
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Amir Johnson will be a gametime decision for Game 4. (Geoff Burke/USA Today Sports)

Amir Johnson will be a gametime decision for Game 4. (Geoff Burke/USA Today Sports)

Celtics big man Amir Johnson was injured after a tie-up with Tristan Thompson on a rebound attempt that bothered his right shoulder in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals on Sunday.

He remains a question mark for Tuesday’s Game 4.

According to the Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn, Johnson will have a MRI on his right shoulder and has a sprained AC joint. On Tuesday morning, Stevens told reporters Johnson will see how he feels after shootaround and then make a decision from there.

In the Cleveland series thus far, Johnson’s productivity hasn’t shown up in the stat sheets.

In Game 1, he played just four minutes and brought down one rebound. Johnson was taken out of the starting lineup for Game 2 and had two points, three rebounds and two steals in 11 minutes. He was put back into the lineup for Game 3 where he played nine minutes and had two points and two rebounds.

However, his physicality cannot be tallied in the box score.

The 6-foot-9-inch 240-pound Johnson has 11 years experience in the NBA and is one of the few Celtics players who can go up against opponents’ big men as the last line of defense.

Despite the loss of Isaiah Thomas after Game 2 and limited time with Johnson, the Celtics were able to pull out a 111-108 win on Avery Bradley’s game-winning three pointer with 1/10 of a second left on the clock. Marcus Smart, who got the start in place of Thomas had 27 points, seven assists and five rebounds followed by Bradley who ended with 20 points and four assists. 

Jonas Jerebko checked in for Al Horford in the third quarter and went 4-for-4 from the field, including 2-of-2 from three-point range in 12 minutes. Jerebko could fill the starting spot for Johnson if he doesn’t return. In the postseason, Jerebko has averaged 9.9 minutes and 3.1 points per game. 

Whether or not Johnson returns Tuesday, LeBron James is bound to have his way after his subpar performance of 11 points, six rebounds and six assists in Game 3. However, without the inside presence of Johnson, it might be more easy for James to get the rim. With Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, who scored 29 and 28 points respectively in Game 3, on the perimeter it puts the Celtics in constant scramble situations on the effective trio. 

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Celtics conduct FaceTime call with injured star Isaiah Thomas after miraculous comeback against Cavaliers

05.22.17 at 6:08 pm ET
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Isaiah Thomas

Isaiah Thomas

CLEVELAND — Isaiah Thomas may be gone, but he’s not forgotten.

In the moments after the Celtics completed a remarkable comeback victory over the Cavaliers in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Sunday night, forward Kelly Olynyk decided to get Thomas on a FaceTime connection to celebrate.

Thomas is out for the playoffs with a hip injury and did not accompany the team to Cleveland, but he was with them in spirit, and then with them via video connection in the victorious locker room, as his teammates relayed after Monday’s practice.

“He was just happy. He was happy. He was excited,” said Avery Bradley, whose buzzer-beating 3-pointer gave the C’s the 111-108 win. “He sent everybody a text, and then Kelly just called him, or he might have been calling Kelly right after the game, so it was nice to see a smile on his face. I just wish he was here.”

The heart and soul of the Celtics, Thomas endured the death of his sister, the loss of a tooth followed by extensive dental surgery, and then finally the hip condition that had bothered him since March before shutting it down.

The Celtics found a way without him.

“It’s very different,” Thomas said. “But all we can do is play hard for him. Like I said, he was excited with the way that we played. We’re a family, and other guys got opportunities to step up for us, and Marcus [Smart] had a big game for us and it could be somebody else next game.”

Smart was happy to play his part, and even happier to share it with Thomas, even if only on a screen.

“He’s ecstatic,” Smart said. “I told him I channeled my inner IT, and he kind of laughed a little bit. It felt good. It felt good to see him smile. He’s been down with everything he’s been going through, and then for him not to be here, I know that hurts him even more. So to see him happy and smiling, it was a good feeling for us.”

Read More: Cavaliers, Celtics, Eastern Conference finals, Game 3 comeback

Report: Celtics’ Guerschon Yabusele out for summer league following foot surgery

05.22.17 at 4:00 pm ET
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Forward Guerschon Yabusele, who the Celtics selected No. 16 overall in the 2016 draft, will not play summer league ball this offseason following foot surgery to remove bone spurs from the top of both his feet, according to ESPN’s Chris Forsberg.

Following last year’s draft, the 6-foot-8, 265-pound power forward spent his first professional season stashed away in China, playing for the Shanghai Dongfang. While abroad he averaged an impressive 20.8 points and 9.4 rebounds per game.

The frenchman went on to finish his season back in the States, with the Celtics’ D-League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws. In five games coming off the bench, he averaged 12.8 points, 5.4 rebounds, and two assists, while shooting 49 percent from the field. 

As it stands, he should be fully recovered before the end of the summer and is expected to be ready for the start of training camp. 

Read More: Guerschon Yabusele,

Jonas Jerebko calls out Kevin Love for flopping in Game 3

05.22.17 at 12:28 pm ET
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Trailing 2-0 in the best-of-seven series following an embarrassing loss in Game 2, the Celtics needed something from someone. Guts, toughness, moxie — anything.

While they got a clutch shot from Avery Bradley to seal a comeback for the ages, they also received a different spark from the least expected source.

Jonas Jerebko.

Jerebko drilled a huge bucket to give the Celtics the lead with 30 seconds left, but he also got into it with both Kevin Love and Deron Williams during the game.

Late in the third quarter, he and Love tangled in the post with Love falling to the ground. He told him to “stand up, don’t flop.”

Jerebko echoed his in-game sentiments about Love to reporters after the game.

“I thought he flopped,” he said. “I don’t like people flopping. I don’t flop. So I just had to tell him. He kind of laughed. He knew he flopped. He knew he did it. He’s a great player, you know, but, stand up, don’t flop. That’s my motto at least.”

Jerebko also set some hard screens on Williams during the game and appeared to bring a bit of toughness to the Celtics who looked outmatched, and at times shell-shocked in Games 1 and 2.

“We needed something to get going, so it felt good,” he told TNT’s “Inside The NBA crew in a postgame interview with Charles Barkley.

He later added: “I think we gave them a little bit too much respect in those first two games. We’re out there to compete and I don’t think we competed that hard those two first games. I just wanted to come out there and play aggressive, and play with some attitude, and obviously it felt good to knock down some shots, too.”

Read More: Jonas Jerebko, Kevin Love,

Photos: Celtics stun Cavaliers in Game 3

05.22.17 at 11:37 am ET
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The Boston Celtics handed the Cleveland Cavaliers their first loss of the 2017 playoffs with a Game 3 victory on the road. Avery Bradley hit the game-winning three-pointer with 0.1 seconds left in regulation.

Check out some photos from the game here.

(Rick Osentoski/USA Today Sports)

(Rick Osentoski/USA Today Sports)

LeBron James delivers throwback Game 3 performance, choking on the court and melting down afterwards

05.22.17 at 10:40 am ET
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LeBron James was held scoreless in the final 16:31 of Game 3 Sunday. (Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)

LeBron James was held scoreless in the final 16:31 of Game 3 Sunday. (Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)

Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals was a throwback performance for LeBron James. Earlier in his career, James was dogged with accusations of playoff choke jobs and off-court petulance. He’s shed those labels in recent years, winning three world championships while serving as one of the league’s great ambassadors. 

But on Sunday night, the best player in the game reverted to his old habits. 

Following an abysmal 11-point performance, his lowest postseason output since Game 5 of the 2014 Eastern Conference Finals against the Pacers, James blasted a reporter afterwards who had the audacity to ask him what happened. Kenny Roda of WHBC in Canton, Ohio wanted to know why James could never get into a rhythm. In response, The King put him down.  

“I was just pretty poor. What do you want me to say?” he said. “It seems you like you only ask questions when we lose, huh? It’s this weird thing with you, Kenny. You always come around when we lose. That’s fine. Yeah, OK.”

Roda defended himself on Twitter, saying he “asks questions win or lose.” 

Prior to his podium sniping, James got into it with a heckler in the stands. The fan was reportedly removed from the arena while shouting his college stats

Following a tough playoff loss, there are probably few things more irritating to deal with than jeers from unruly fans and negative questions from radio reporters. But that’s part of the expectation when it comes to playing in the NBA. At this stage in his decorated career, James should be above picking fights with them. 

Six months ago, James was campaigning in Ohio with Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, encouraging people to vote in the crucial swing state. But on Sunday, he acted like he did six years ago, when he played a leading role in the infamous “Decision” special

It shows that even an all-time great can have a bad day. 

Read More: LeBron James,
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