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PREVIEW: Cavaliers return home for Eastern Conference semifinals

Leaning on LeBron; looking for Love

Aside from Game 6 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals – a 121-87 blowout loss to the Pacers – LeBron James has played 40-or-minutes in eight playoff games. He is averaging 34.4 points, 9.9 rebounds, 9.0 assists, 1.0 block and 1.3 steals over 41.8 minutes, accounting for a substantial portion of the Cleveland production on both ends of the floor.

Additional contributions from Kevin Love have proven to be a recipe for success.

When Love has scored in double-figures this postseason, the Cavs are 4-1. When Love has recorded a double-double this postseason, the Cavs are 2-0. It may be a small sample size, but his offensive numbers are an integral part of the team’s pursuit of a fourth consecutive NBA Finals appearance.

The 29-year-old veteran and five-time All-Star suffered a partially torn ligament in his left thumb on April 19. Less than one month earlier, he busted his tooth and had concussion-like symptoms after taking an elbow to the face. Love missed 21 games throughout the regular season due to a broken left hand.

If Love is healthy, scoring and rebounding, he makes the Wine and Gold a championship-caliber team.

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John Alfes is a senior at John Carroll University, and hails from Westlake, Ohio. His love and passion for the game of baseball originated in 1998, when he played catch with his father at the age of two. A former collegiate pitcher, Alfes currently serves as a Cleveland Cavaliers reporter for AP Radio/Metro Networks and the Cleveland Indians Beat Writer for CBS Sports/Scout Media Network, all while majoring in Communications (focus in Journalism) and English (focus in Professional Writing). He is the Sports Editor for The Carroll News, Sports Director for WJCU 88.7 FM and Senior Writer for the John Carroll Sports Information Department. John is an Eagle Scout and loves his two younger brothers (Conrad and Daniel) and two parents (John and Celeste). You can follow John Alfes on Twitter (@JohnAlfes) or reach him through email (

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