Tyronn Lue's return to the Cleveland Cavaliers' sidelines was not looking too good for most of Thursday's game, but that was before LeBron James took over. The Cavaliers overcame a 17-point, fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Washington Wizards, 119-115. James score 13 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter to help Cleveland remain as the three seed in the Eastern Conference, ahead of the Philadelphia 76ers. Jeff Green added 21 points, while Kevin Love chipped in with 16 on the night for Cleveland, who is 10-1 since March 17th. That happens to be the day that coach Lue left a game in Chicago with "piercing" chest pains. The Cavs went on to roll under interim coach, Larry Drew, but got off to a sluggish start with their head coach back. Washington could not complete the road victory, despite getting 28 points and 14 assists from John Wall, who had a look at a shot down low late, but passed on it with James on his heels. Bradley Beal added 19 points, while Otto Porter Jr. had 18 for the Wizards, who remain in the seventh spot in the East, between the Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks. They will hope to improve their positioning when they return home to host the Atlanta Hawks on Friday. The Cavaliers hit the road to battle the Philadelphia 76ers, whom they are battling for the three seed.
Devils, Blue Jackets Enter Playoff Field
As the NHL regular season enters its final weekend, the Stanley Cup Playoffs positions begin to get solidified. It was just that for two teams on Thursday, including the New Jersey Devils, who clinched with a 2-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. This marks the first time the Devils are in the playoffs since 2012, just one season after they finished last in the Eastern Conference with 28 wins and 70 points. Pavel Zacha and Miles Wood both scored in the second period and were both assisted by Patrick Maroon to give them the lead on Thursday. Keith Kinkaid took care of business in goal, making 31 saves in what was the Devils' fourth straight win, as they also extended their point streak to eight in a row (7-0-1). Meanwhile, the Columbus Blue Jackets fell in overtime against the Pittsburgh Penguins, 5-4, on Thursday. Despite the loss, the point in the standings helped them clinch a playoff spot in the East. That makes it the first time in franchise history that the Blue Jackets have made the playoffs in consecutive seasons. They did lead late in the third period, before Conor Sheary scored with 12:16 remaining to force overtime. Phil Kessel went on to score just 1:06 into the extra period, giving the win to the Penguins, who have already clinched a playoff spot. What is not known is whether it will be a Wild Card spot or a division spot for either Columbus or New Jersey. They are tied in the standings with 97 points heading into the final game of the regular season.
Red Sox Walk-Off in Home Opener
The Boston Red Sox took their impressive start to the season into their home opener at Fenway Park on Thursday afternoon. Despite that nice start, they were sluggish for a majority of Thursday's game, before scoring twice in the ninth inning to force extra innings. They went on to win in 12 innings, 3-2, over the Tampa Bay Rays on a walk-off RBI single from Hanley Ramirez. The veteran also singled home a run in the ninth inning to cut in to what was a 2-0 deficit. Xander Bogaerts officially forced extras by doubling home the tying run, giving Alex Colome the blown save. The win for the Red Sox was their sixth in a row overall since falling to the Rays in Tampa Bay, and also their ninth straight win in extra innings, dating back to the 2017 season. They ended last season with a stellar record of 15-3 in extra-inning affairs. Bobby Poyner earned his first career major league win after striking out three in two innings. Andrew Kittredge suffered the loss for the Rays after giving up the game-winning inning, moving him to 0-2 on the young season. The Red Sox were also thrilled with another impressive outing for David Price, who went seven shutout innings for a second straight start, both of which were against Tampa Bay. These two teams will go at it two more times this weekend in Boston.