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Cavs' Irving has broken bone in jaw

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Cavs' Irving has broken bone in jaw

NEW YORK (AP) Kyrie Irving has another injury and the Cavaliers have another masked player.

Cleveland's star point guard, who only recently returned after missing 11 games with a broken finger, fractured a bone in his jaw when he took a hard fall in Friday night's loss at Milwaukee.

Irving traveled separately from the Cavs to New York so he could be fitted with a protective mask that he will wear in Saturday's game against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden. He said he arrived less than three hours before the start of the game, having only slept about four hours.

He said he wasn't in pain, and the only difficulty would be getting used to the mask, which earned him the nickname the ``Dark Knight'' in the locker room.

``It's just precautionary, as usual,'' Irving said.

Irving was injured when he was knocked down in the first quarter by Bucks forward forward Luc Mbah a Moute, who was called for a foul. Irving's face slammed into the floor, and he writhed in pain for several minutes before getting up and making two free throws. He stayed in the game.

At the end of the quarter, last season's NBA rookie of the year sat on the bench with a towel on his face, but he played 36 minutes and finished with a team-high 26 points.

Following the game, the Cavs indicated Irving would be on the flight to New York, but a CT scan at the Cleveland Clinic revealed what the team described as ``a small left maxillary fracture.''

Cavs forwards Tristan Thompson and Tyler Zeller are already wearing plastic protective masks for facial injuries sustained earlier this season.

This is the latest injury for Irving, who broke his hand this summer when he slapped a padded wall in frustration during a practice in Las Vegas. The 20-year-old's college career at Duke was limited to 11 games because of a severe foot injury.

Irving missed 15 games last season with a concussion and shoulder injury, but coach Byron Scott said he wasn't concerned with Irving's injury history.

``The one last night, you're going to the basket, sometimes you get hit and you're off balance. That's something that you can't help,'' Scott said. ``The only one that I see that was really a problem was the one that he did in Vegas, because that was self-inflicting, but didn't cause him to really miss any time. This one is not going to miss any time as well, so other than that I don't see him as being, as most people say, injury prone or anything like that.''

Friday's game was Irving's third since returning from the broken left index finger. He was expected to miss four weeks, but returned in three for the Cavs, who went just 2-9 without him. Irving said he won't change his playing style to prevent further injuries.

``No,'' he said. ``Playing that way has got me this far.''

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AP Sports Writer Tom Withers in Cleveland contributed to this report.

Old Dominion at Syracuse Basketball: Date, Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

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USA Today Sports

Old Dominion at Syracuse Basketball: Date, Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

Following a thrilling 72-71 win over rival Georgetown, Syracuse (7-2) returns to the floor on Dec. 15 and welcomes Old Dominion (7-3) to town. The Orange will play four more non-conference games before starting ACC play on Jan. 5 at Notre Dame.

Old Dominion has won five-straight games entering their game against Syracuse. In the Monarchs' last game, B.J. Stith led the way with 28 points and a career-high 14 rebounds. 

Tip-off is scheduled for noon ET and will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington.

Old Dominion at Syracuse How to Watch

What: Old Dominion Monarchs at Syracuse Orange
Where: Carrier Dome, Syracuse, N.Y.
When: Noon ET
TV Channel: NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)

Old Dominion at Syracuse Preview

Conference: ACC (Syracuse), C-USA (Old Dominion)
Record: 7-2 (Syracuse), 7-3 (Old Dominion)
Last Game: 72-71 win vs. Georgetown, 12/8 (Syracuse), 79-69 win vs. Fairfield, 12/9 (Old Dominion)
Leading Scorers: Tyus Battle, 18.0 ppg (Syracuse), Ahmad Caver, 18.5 ppg (Old Dominion)
 

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Drew Gooden describes playing with LeBron James: It was 'like a traveling rock band'

Drew Gooden describes playing with LeBron James: It was 'like a traveling rock band'

LeBron James and the media circus that comes along with him is coming to Washington, D.C., as the Lakers will face off with the Wizards at Capital One Arena.

Drew Gooden played with James for the better part of four seasons in Cleveland from 2004-08, and so he knows exactly what it's like when one of the NBA's greatest players comes to town. 

"It's only real until you actually see it," Gooden said during Thursday's edition of the Wizards Talk podcast. "We used to joke and call ourselves not the Beatles, but the 'Cleatles,' because it was almost like a traveling rock band. And everybody played their part."

Gooden recounted one particular incident during a day off in Detroit in 2006, when he, James and a couple of their teammates went to a shopping mall to buy some watches.

"When we walked into the shopping mall in Detroit, it was like Michael Jackson had entered the shopping mall," Gooden explained. "Kids were running up, grownups were running up, everybody ran into the store we were in. They had to shut it down with mall security, and wouldn't let anybody in."

"The only thing I was thinking of is like, 'How are we gonna get out of here?' Because we came on our own with no security, so we were just thinking of how we were gonna get out of the mall now. And when I saw that star power of LeBron James back in 2006, this was before he won a championship, I couldn't imagine how it is now, and what he's become in today's game."

James' star power has only grown since then, and many have already declared him the greatest basketball player of all-time.

This label in reference to James is nothing new to Drew Gooden: he heard it when they were both teenagers playing AAU baskeball. 

"Calvin Andrews, who was a sports agent of Carmelo Anthony, Calvin Andrews told me when LeBron was 15 years of age, he said, 'You see that guy right there?'" Gooden recalled. "I said, 'Yeah, what about him?'"

"'He's gonna be the best basketball player ever.'"

"So it's no surprise to me, and this is not new to me, it's just I'm more amazed that it actually happened," Gooden concluded. "A lot of people say, 'Oh, he's gonna be the best ever or he has an opportunity of being the best ever.' But I literally heard a man tell me that in Calvin Andrews, and that guy actually becoming one of the best ever, or the best ever." 

For more on LeBron James and the Lakers' upcoming visit to D.C. to take on the Wizards, listen to the full Wizards Talk podcast below.

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