Isaiah Thomas leaves Game 2 with a strained right hip

Thomas will exit, but it doesn’t matter. The Cavs are still up by 40.

Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas has suffered a strained right hip, according to NBA.com’s David Aldridge. He will not return for Game 2 of the team’s Eastern Conference Finals matchup against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The injury, according to The Vertical’s Chris Mannix, is an aggravation of the same hip he hurt during Game 6 of Boston’s second-round series against the Washington Wizards. There were doubts Thomas would be able to play in Game 7 of that series, according to Mannix, and Game 1 of the East Finals, but he played through the injury.

Thomas limped around in the second quarter of Friday night’s game and labored much of his night. He did not make any of his six field goal attempts and finished with just two points in the half. The Celtics were outscored by 31 in Thomas’ 17 minutes on the floor as the Cavaliers opened up a historic 41-point fist half lead.

Depending of the severity of Thomas’ injury, the blow could be drastic to a Boston team already failing at competing with a Cavaliers’ squad looking to make its third consecutive NBA Finals appearance. Boston currently trails 42 with only four minutes remaining in the third quarter.

Barring a massive change of events, the Cavs will take a 2-0 series lead with the series swinging back to Cleveland for Games 3 and 4.

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The Cavaliers are showing how little the regular season actually means to them

The Cavs looked awful in the regular season. Now, after beating Boston by 44, they look as dominant as ever.

With 1:47 left in the third quarter, LeBron James subbed out. The damage had already been done. The game was decided.

In just 32 minutes on the floor, James poured in 30 points on 12-of-18 shooting from the field. The Cavaliers outscored the Celtics by 45 with The King on the floor, building a lead as big as 50 to take an 130-86 Game 2 win on Friday. They scored the most playoff points in franchise history.

That served as a strong reminder to anyone who doubted them in mid-March. The same team that had coasted all season long — forfeiting the Eastern Conference’s top seed in the process — has been a step ahead of its competition the entire time.

The Celtics never stood a chance. Cleveland jumped out to a 32-18 first-quarter lead before pummeling Boston in the second. The Cavaliers eventually took a 41-point lead into the half, forming the largest playoff halftime lead in NBA history.

Matters didn’t get any better when Isaiah Thomas was ruled out for the second half with a sprained right hip, but in truth, the Celtics’ All-Star had been a non-factor. Thomas scored just two points in the half, both on free throws, while missing all six of his field goal attempts.

Only rookie Jaylen Brown, who said pregame he had no fear of LeBron James, impressed with 19 points on 70 percent shooting.

This is why you take Cleveland’s regular season with a grain of salt.

LeBron James doesn’t play basketball for the first 82 games. Not even the first 95 games. No, his eye is on another championship once preseason basketball tips off.

That’s why the public clamor for Cleveland to play better mid-season was comical. Here’s the best player in the world on a team defending its crown as NBA champs. Mere exhibition games don’t matter much to these guys. James and his crew have had their eyes on the big picture all season long.

Sure, the Cavaliers got blasted for not taking the season seriously. But in the end, Cleveland got its games off anyway. The Cavs got a week of rest in-between each round of the playoffs after sweeping their first- and second-round opponents with ease.

Now midway through the Eastern Conference Finals, it seems a third sweep is further than in play — it’s likely. With the series swinging to Cleveland for Games 3 and 4, James is inching one step closer to that coveted fourth NBA championship.

And the dominance the Cavs have exhibited in the playoffs should make everyone forget about that regular season lull. You probably don’t even remember it.

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Open thread for night owls: Lieberman at top of the list for FBI director? Say it ain’t so, Joe.

With Pr*sident Trump saying Joe Lieberman is his leading choice to head up the FBI, Alan Pyke at Think Progress takes a dive into all the reasons the former senator should not get the job:

The conflict between Trump’s view that executive branch leaders owe him personal loyalty and the institutional needs of the country casts its own historically unique shadows across this new hiring process. But Lieberman’s political career is full of evidence he would be a dangerous pick to head the domestic security service even under a more normal presidency.

Lieberman is very fond of spying on Americans — and not just in the post-9/11 context. Lieberman pushed to give local police authority to wiretap without seeking a warrant as far back as 1995. Years later, when President George W. Bush had drastically expanded the National Security Agency’s listening capabilities and turned the U.S. informational spying apparatus on his own people, Lieberman emerged as a key Democrat ally to an embattled Republican White House. He called civil liberties concerns about the Bush programs “petty partisan fighting.”

The Bush wiretapping case is another Lieberman resume detail with awkward implications for Trump today. The story contains vague echoes of Trump’s modern, and more personal, conflict with the FBI. When the extent of Bush’s warrantless surveillance of Americans became clear to government insiders, then-FBI Director Robert Mueller and then-Deputy Attorney General James Comey stood athwart the White House’s push to scrap the Bill of Rights. With Attorney General John Ashcroft briefly hospitalized for gall bladder surgery, Bush sent officials to his bedside to seek the incapacitated man’s signature on documents extending the surveillance system’s authorization.

Comey and Mueller got there first, prevented the signing, and then prevailed on Bush to either bring the program back into line with the law or accept their resignations.

“That’s a pretty pivotal thing, when you look the president in the eye and say no,” Weiner said. “That takes integrity. That takes a measure of bravery.”

Lieberman was not part of that backstage drama, which Bush has written caused him to think of the Watergate-era “Saturday Night Massacre” that helped accelerate President Richard Nixon’s downfall. But he was on the opposite side of the argument to Comey and Mueller — two men who stood on principle over politics that day in 2004, and who today are key figures in the ongoing investigation of Trump’s Russian entanglements.

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                    ~J. Edgar Hoover, 1962

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Sorry for yelling guys. BUT IN THE MIDDLE OF THIS S@#%SHOW THEY ARE STILL TRYING TO TAKE AWAY YOUR HEALTHCARE AND RUIN THE INTERNET.

— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) May 19, 2017

BLAST FROM THE PAST

At Daily Kos on this date in 2011—Oil-subsidized Senators just returning the favor:

When Republican Senators (with two exceptions) decided on a procedural motion Tuesday not to take up a bill that would have removed $2 a billion a year in tax “incentives” for the world’s five largest private oil companies, they had one good reason in their pockets. Over the past two decades, since 1989, they have collectively accepted just under $21 million in campaign contributions from oil and gas companies, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Democrats (with three exceptions), plus the Senate’s two independents, voted that there should be a debate about the incentives—a collection of tax breaks that amounts to subsidies of the five oil giants, which in the first quarter of this year made $36 billion in profit. Collectively, the Democrats and independents who voted for a debate have accepted just under $5 million in campaign contributions from oil and gas companies.

Six Republican Senators alone took in twice as much in career oil-company contributions as those 48 Democrats and two independents who voted “Aye” in the Senate. They are: John McCain of Arizona ($2,718,774); Kay Bailey Hutchison ($2,141,025) and John Cornyn ($1,734,950), both of Texas; James “Climate Change Is a Hoax” Inhofe of Oklahoma ($1,256,023), David Vitter of Louisiana ($943,885), and Mitch McConnell of Kentucky ($914,811).

On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: Trumpshambles Abroad! How to Babysit The Donald. Trump wants Flynn probe dropped … so he can rehire him! Chaffetz has one foot out the door, while Nunes has his hand in the cookie jar. Your weekend roundup of smartbrain reading on the special counsel.

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Inti Creates Announces Mighty Gunvolt Burst & Azure Striker Gunvolt: Striker Pack for Switch

Ever since we were named official development partners for the Nintendo Switch, we’ve been going all-in on making games for the system, and at Bitsummit in Kyoto, we have the pleasure of announcing two brand new titles for the Nintendo Switch:

Mighty Gunvolt Burst – Coming to Nintendo Switch and 3DS on June 15, 2017 for $9.99

Azure Striker Gunvolt: Striker Pack – Coming to Nintendo Switch on August 31, 2017 for a price TBD

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