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With the Miami Heat playing for their playoff lives in the final two games of the regular season, they got some uplifting news Monday.
Per the Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson are all out for Monday night’s game in Miami. The injury report said James is out with a calf injury; Irving a knee injury and Thompson a thumb injury.
Also listed on Cleveland’s injury report is forward Kevin Love as questionable with an unspecified illness.
James, Irving and probably Love’s absence come on the heels of the Cavaliers blowing a 26-point fourth quarter lead and losing to the Atlanta Hawks in overtime Sunday.
Cleveland is tied with the Boston Celtics for the No. 1 seed in the East, his highness King James recent made comments saying that individual regular season games and the top seed in the conference weren’t that important to him.
No matter who plays, the playoff implications on Monday night’s game couldn’t be thicker.
The Heat are currently tied with the Chicago Bulls for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference. Both teams share a 39-41 record and they are both one game behind the seventh place, 40-40 Indiana Pacers.
Miami doesn’t completely control its own playoff destiny.
The Heat needs to win their final two games – home tilts with the Cavs and the Washington Wizards (on Wednesday). If they win both of those games, Miami will then need either Indiana or Chicago to lose one of their next two games.
The Bulls have two home games against Orlando and Brooklyn. Before you snicker because Chicago has a cakewalk, remember it was a Bulls lost to Brooklyn last week that kept Miami’s playoff hopes alive to this point.
Indiana will play at Philadelphia and close the season at home against the Hawks.