The Cleveland Cavaliers have made a major addition by acquiring Caris LeVert in a trade with the Indiana Pacers, according to ESPN.

The report claims that the 27-year-old guard, who has been with the Pacers since 2016, joins the Cavs with a 2022 second-round pick via Miami for Ricky Rubio's expiring contract, a lottery-protected 2022 first-round pick and two second-round picks.

The Cavs have been a surprise contender in the Eastern Conference this season, with a 32-21 record, just 1.5 behind the first-placed Chicago Bulls.

LeVert adds scoring power to the Cleveland line-up, averaging 18.7 points this season, highlighted by a 42-point haul against the Chicago Bulls on Friday. He also has 3.8 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game this season.

Cleveland had lost Rubio to a season-ending ACL injury in December and his addition for Indiana looms as part of their roster rebuild with Domantas Sabonis linked in trade talks.

The Cavs and Pacers were due to meet on Sunday with LeVert not in Indiana's starting line-up having been informed by head coach Rick Carlisle about the trade in the late afternoon prior to the game.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have been dealt a major blow after it was confirmed Ricky Rubio will miss the rest of the 2021-22 season.

Rubio buckled as he planted in the lane during the fourth quarter of Tuesday's road game at the New Orleans Pelicans.

The 31-year-old, who has played a big role in the Cavaliers' strong start to the season in his first year with the team, clutched his left knee and was in clear distress. He had to be helped to his feet and to the locker room for further assessment.

Rubio was unable to put any weight on his left leg and further tests on Wednesday revealed the guard had torn his anterior cruciate ligament, ending his campaign early. 

With Darius Garland having entered the NBA's Health and Safety Protocols, Rubio started at point against the Pelicans and had 27 points while adding 13 rebounds and nine assists in what was a 104-108 defeat for Cleveland.

Rubio had enjoyed a fine start to life with the Cavs, having averaged a joint career-high 13.1 points per game through 34 appearances since his arrival from the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Cavs sit fifth in the Eastern Conference, with a 20-14 record.

Reigning NBA champions the Milwaukee Bucks lost for the fifth time in six games as Bradley Beal led the Washington Wizards to a 101-94 comeback victory on Sunday. 

Washington (7-3) scored the first 12 points of the game, but Milwaukee (4-6) led by three at half-time. The Bucks' edge never got beyond four after that, though, and the Wizards took the lead for good midway through the third quarter. 

The Wizards had lost eight in a row to the Bucks but turned it around behind 30 points and eight assists from Beal, who said it felt like a playoff game. 

Washington played playoff-level defence, limiting the Bucks to 39.4 per cent shooting, including just 10 of 36 (27.8 per cent) from three-point range. 

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 29 points and 18 rebounds but was only five-of-12 from the free-throw line. 

 

Durant, Harden lead Nets past Raptors

Kevin Durant had 31 points, seven rebounds and seven assists while James Harden added 28 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists as the Brooklyn Nets (7-3) defeated the Toronto Raptors 116-103. Fred VanVleet led Toronto (6-5) with 21 points and eight assists. 

The Golden State Warriors improved to an NBA-best 8-1 with a 120-107 rout of the team that shares the worst record in the league, the Houston Rockets (1-9). Jordan Poole had 25 points and Stephen Curry 20 for Golden State. 

Ricky Rubio scored a career-high 37 and became the first player in NBA history to post at least 35 points, 10 assists and eight three-pointers off the bench as the Cleveland Cavaliers (7-4) rolled to a 126-109 defeat of the New York Knicks (6-4).

 

Hornets' woes continue

The Charlotte Hornets' franchise-best 3-0 start is a distant memory after the Hornets watched the Los Angeles Clippers (5-4) close the game with a 27-4 run on the way to a 120-106 victory. The Hornets (5-6) shot just 40.6 per cent from the field en route to their fourth successive defeat. 

World champions Spain and Luka Doncic's Slovenia are set for a top-of-the-table shoot-out in Group C at Tokyo 2020 after both teams were victorious on Thursday.

In a tough preliminary round pool, both Spain and Slovenia have two wins from two to reach the quarter-finals heading into an intriguing match-up.

With perennial Olympic champions the United States looking a little ordinary, the two nations will fancy their chances of breakthrough golds.

Their latest exploits ensured Sunday's game will attract plenty of attention, considering it could open the door to a potentially easier route through the knockout rounds.

RUBIO INSPIRES SPAIN AGAIN

Spain reinforced their status as the team to beat as they eased past Argentina, the opponents they also defeated in the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup final.

Ricky Rubio was the MVP at that event, leading the champions with 20 points in the final, and he was highly influential once more in Tokyo on Thursday.

The Minnesota Timberwolves guard had 26 points – 13 in each half – with 83 per cent three-point shooting in an 81-71 success.

It was all painfully familiar for Argentina, as Nicolas Laprovittola explained: "We know Spain, we know how they play, we know Ricky Rubio is the key."

With Doncic up next, Spain coach Sergio Scariolo added: "We are 2-0. We beat a very strong team, so we take it and we move forward." Doncic is 15-0 in Slovenia colours in all competitions.

'IT'S NOT ONLY LUKA... THAT TEAM CAN HOOP!'

Doncic is undoubtedly Slovenia's player to watch, having added to his 48-point Olympic debut against Argentina with 25 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, two blocks and two steals in a 116-81 demolition of hosts Japan.

But Slovenia – described by Japan coach Julio Lamas as "a very complete team with one amazing player" – have more to them than the 22-year-old alone.

Zoran Dragic weighed in with 24 points, while Vlatko Cancar shot five of five from the field – including three of three from deep – for 16. Klemen Prepelic added 12 in 20 minutes off the bench.

"It's not only Luka," said the Washington Wizards' Rui Hachimura, whose 34 points were in vain. "That team has guys who can actually hoop. There's a lot of guys who can score."

Turning their focus towards the Spain game, Slovenia coach Aleksander Sekulic said: "We want to play our game and we're going to prepare and we're going to be ready for them.

"We have a great coaching staff; they're really doing an amazing job. We want to play our style, our game, and also make Spain think about us."

ROJA REVENGE AS WOMEN SINK SERBIA

It was double delight for Spain on Thursday as their women claimed an eye-catching win over Serbia, the new European champions.

Spain had won back-to-back EuroBasket Women titles prior to co-hosting this year's event, where they were beaten by Serbia in the quarter-finals.

Serbia went on to take the championship and named a strong team again for the Games, but Spain fought back in Group A.

Alba Torrens put up 25 points and Astou Ndour added 20 along with nine rebounds in an 85-70 win that puts them top of the pool.

"We know they badly wanted this revenge from Valencia," said Serbia coach Marina Maljkovic, while Jelena Brooks added: "Knowing Spain and what they came here to do because of the Eurobasket, we knew they were going to punish our mistakes twice as bad as Canada did [in the opening game]."

Canada, meanwhile, recorded a 74-53 triumph over South Korea early in the day.

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