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Friday, January 10, 2020 1:00 am

NBA

Beilein apologizes to players for use of 'thugs'

Associated Press

DETROIT – Cleveland Cavaliers coach John Beilein said Thursday he has apologized after reportedly using the word “thugs” during a film session with his players the previous day.

ESPN.com, citing unidentified sources, reported that Beilein suggested during a Wednesday film session that his players were no longer playing “like a bunch of thugs.”

Beilein told ESPN he had meant to say “slugs” in reference to the team's effort level.

Beilein repeated that explanation Thursday after his team's shootaround in Detroit, where the Cavaliers face the Pistons on Thursday night.

“I was saying: 'We're making a lot of mistakes mentally, and we deserve better because we're really playing hard right now. We're not playing like slugs. We're playing hard,'” Beilein said.

“And somehow that word came out.”

Beilein said he called the players afterward to explain the situation, and he said he apologized.

“There was really positive reinforcement from the guys this morning and last night. Very understanding, but it's something that certainly they understand that it was serious,” Beilein said.

“Something that shouldn't have happened” Beilein added.

76ERS 109, CELTICS 98: In Philadelphia, Josh Richardson scored 29 points, Ben Simmons had 19 and the Philadelphia 76ers won without injured center Joel Embiid.

Embiid will have surgery today for a torn ligament in a finger in his left hand and will be evaluated in one to two weeks.

Embiid, averaging 23.4 points and 12.3 rebounds in 31 games this season, tore the radial collateral ligament in the ring finger Monday night in a victory over Oklahoma City.

CAVALIERS 115, PISTONS 112, OT: In Auburn Hills, Michigan, Kevin Love made a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 37.9 seconds left in overtime and Cleveland snapped a five-game losing streak.

On a tumultuous day for the Cleveland organization, the Cavaliers rallied from a 13-point third-quarter deficit and outlasted Detroit at the end. Tristan Thompson had 35 points and 14 rebounds for the Cavaliers. With the score tied at 110, Love got open in the left corner and connected from long range to put the Cavaliers ahead to stay. Thompson got free for a dunk with 16.7 seconds remaining to push the lead to five.


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