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Cleveland Cavaliers trying to finish strong despite injuries, absence of coach Tyronn Lue

From NBA media reports

The directive for LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers is simple, get healthy and get back to normal, or as close as possible to whatever that is this season. Injuries and health issues to key players, and even coaches (Ty Lue), have impacted the team’s ability to chase the top spot in the Eastern Conference standings they’ve grown accustomed to battling for in recent seasons.

Combined with the roster turnover that came at the trade deadline and the rest of the usual on and off-court circus that accompanies a team led by LeBron James and you see how things could get sideways for the Cavaliers. But they are riding the wave right now, rallying in the final days and weeks of this regular season behind James and the return of Kevin Love and in honor of Lue, whose indefinite leave of absence for health reasons serving as their most recent shot of adversity. Dave McMenamin of explains:

After a 120-95 win over the Phoenix Suns on Friday night capped a 3-0 week for the Cleveland Cavaliers since Tyronn Lue took a health-related leave of absence, acting head coach Larry Drew said the situation has motivated the team.

“Sometimes you have to play the hand that’s dealt to you,” Drew said after Cleveland’s fifth win in six games. “And certainly, it was unfortunate what happened with Coach Lue. And the way our guys have responded … You go through the course of a season, and you deal with a lot of different things. And when you do that, you don’t know whether you’re going to be able to overcome it.

“And I think for our team, we really rallied, No. 1, around Coach Lue, when the organization made the decision that he was going to step away for a few games. We rallied around him. We rallied around one another.”

Lue had been dealing with chest pains and other serious symptoms, including coughing up blood, compounded by a loss of sleep for the majority of the season. A team source said he has had success sleeping with more regularity since he took his leave.

On Saturday, Cleveland departs for a three-game road trip through Brooklyn, Miami and Charlotte, and as of postgame Friday, it was still undetermined if Lue would join the team, according to a Cavaliers spokesman.

Even if Lue missed the Nets game Sunday, he could travel to Miami and reunite with the team for the remainder of the trip, multiple sources close to Lue said.