Cavs' Thompson (thumb) out at least 2 games

Jae Crowder's elbow injury puts status for Cavaliers game in question

Isaiah Thomas has been the unquestionable leader for the Celtics' offense this year. In the first half, it looked like the Magic were going to stay competitive, but against a Cleveland team trying to avoid more embarrassing losses before the playoffs, they stood little chance once the defending champs got serious. At right is Celtics guard I.

The injury will end Thompson's run of playing in 447 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the National Basketball Association and a franchise record that began on February 10, 2012.

Serving as perhaps both teams' most important game of the regular season, the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers will play their series finale Wednesday night in what figures to be an epic showdown between the top two teams in the Eastern Conference.

The Cavs said Thompson's status will be "updated as appropriate", leaving the possibility he could miss more time as the regular season enters its final week.

Resting key starters now could result in losing the top seed in the East to the Boston Celtics, but James didn't need a top seed to win championships with the Miami Heat, and he doesn't need it now. Kyrie Irving and J.R. Smith both made quick exits before speaking with reporters, and coach Tyronn Lue did everything he could to re-direct pointed fingers at him.

The Cavs, meanwhile, have watched their No. 1 seed slip away as they've gone 8-10 since the beginning of March, and seem to be panicking a bit, as most recently evidenced by LeBron James' and Tristan Thompson's on-court spat in Sunday's double-OT win over the Pacers.

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9-13 - Piling on that massive third quarter, the Cavaliers shot 9-of-13 from three-point range over those 12 minutes.

With the win, Cleveland improved to 51-27, while Boston dropped to 50-28.

The Lakers led by as many as 26 points in snapping an eight-game skid against the Spurs. "I can't remember the last time we had a late-game situation". But Boston outscored Cleveland 16-8 the rest of the quarter to take a 20-19 lead after 12 minutes. Or will LeBron James and the Cavaliers find a way to stop Boston and its undersized superstar Isiah Thomas on the Celtics home court? He also did it on the defensive end, notably stuffing Marcus Smart with a two-handed block. Kevin Love is also back in the fold after he underwent a knee operation.

0 - The number of Fs LeBron James appears to give about Wednesday night's game. "It happened three, four, or five times", said Kevin Love following the game. Thompson had played in 447 consecutive games prior to the injury, which was the longest current streak in the National Basketball Association and the longest in franchise history. Boston puts up 107.8 points per game this season while giving up an average of 105.1 on defense.

The Cavaliers connected on 71 percent of their shots from the field during the quarter, doing plenty of damage via the 3-pointer by hitting nine long-range bombs. Coming on to the floor about midway through the second quarter was the usual substitution pattern that Stevens has used with Thomas this season, so it wasn't all that surprising that he didn't insert him earlier.

Cavaliers: Host the Hawks on Friday.



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