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Cavaliers rookie Evan Mobley leaves loss vs. Celtics with elbow sprain; will get MRI on Tuesday, per report

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Cleveland Cavaliers rookie Evan Mobley was off to such a terrific start this season that other NBA coaches were reportedly telling JB Bickerstaff that they were jealous they didn’t get to coach the talented big man. On Tuesday night against the Boston Celtics, however, Mobley was reminded that things aren’t always going to be so easy in this league.

Although he still finished with nine rebounds, five assists and two blocks, he struggled to get anything going on the offensive end and was held to one point on 0 of 11 from the field. To make things worse, he suffered an elbow sprain in the fourth quarter and will need to get an MRI on Tuesday, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com.

It’s difficult to tell exactly what happened from the broadcast angle, but late in the third quarter Mobley was trying to defend a pick-and-roll and swung his arm around to try and deflect a pass from Marcus Smart. His effort helped force a turnover, but after the ball went out of bounds he clutched at his elbow and doubled over, seemingly in pain. 

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Mobley initially stayed in the game but checked out with 11:04 left in the fourth quarter and did not return. At this point it’s too early to say whether Mobley has suffered a significant injury. Bickerstaff did not provide an update after the game, saying he had not yet had a conversation with the medical staff. 

Everyone in Cleveland and across the league will be hoping this is a minor issue that does not keep Mobley sidelined for long. The big man has been so much fun to watch and is already drawing comparisons to players such as Kevin Garnett and Anthony Davis because of his skill, athleticism and defensive prowess. Even with his rough game against the Celtics, he’s still averaging 14.6 points, eight rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game, and is displaying poise well beyond his years. 

Thanks in large part to his presence, the Cavs have gotten off to a great start and sit in fifth place in the Eastern Conference at 9-6. It would be a real shame if they get sidetracked because of a Mobley injury. 

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Blue Jays employ long ball to secure a series split in Tampa

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Through a season-defining stretch that featured 16 of 21 games against the Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles, and which saw them post a 10-6 record, the Toronto Blue Jays head home with a solid grip on the top wild-card spot and a playoff-berth clinch imminent.

Their magic number is down to five after a 7-1 win Sunday over the Rays secured a four-game weekend split at Tropicana Field, the soul-less circus tent where so many Blue Jays dreams have gone to die. Alejandro Kirk opened the second by rocking a 97 m.p.h. fastball from AL all-star starter Shane McClanahan over the wall in left, while George Springer took the lefty deep in the third and fifth innings, leading the way in a second straight win after three straight losses.

Teoscar Hernandez added a two-run shot in the eighth and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. an RBI single in the ninth, helping five shutout innings of hard contact but little damage from Ross Stripling and four frames of clean relief stand up before a crowd of 16,394.

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At 86-67, the Blue Jays moved two games clear of the Rays (84-69) atop the wild-card race, with the Seattle Mariners (83-68), who were at Kansas City, beginning the day 1.5 games off the pace. A loss by the Baltimore Orioles (79-72), who were hosting Houston, could further cut Toronto’s magic number.

The Blue Jays were in a much more precarious spot back before this gruelling run began, heading into a Sept. 5 doubleheader at Baltimore trailing both the Mariners and Rays in the wild-card standings and just 1.5 games on the Orioles for the third wild-card.

A sweep of that twin-bill spring-boarded them into a 13-8 run that included a 5-2 mark against the Orioles and a 5-4 run against the Rays, their perennial nemesis, that helped reset the standings.

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Nine games remain, beginning with the first of three against the New York Yankees on Monday night, and if not for the losses in five games last Sunday to Friday, that series would have at least placed a run at the AL East on the spectrum of possibility.

Instead, the Yankees will arrive on the verge of securing the division title, leaving the Blue Jays playing for homefield advantage in the wild-card round, where they may very well encounter the Rays once again.

Recovering to earn a split and finish 4-5 at the Trop this year — they were 5-5 versus the Rays at Rogers Centre — should help steel them for another meeting against a rival that dogged them in all 19 meetings.

McClanahan had been tough on the Blue Jays in the past, allowing only six earned runs in 26.1 innings over five previous starts, but gave up a career-high three homers in his five innings Sunday.

That support came after Stripling dodged damage in a first inning that included four balls put in play at 98.8 m.p.h. or harder. He better suppressed hard contact from there, allowing just a Taylor Walls double and Randy Arozarena sacrifice fly in the third over the next four innings.

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A brilliant pick by third baseman Matt Chapman on an Isaac Paredes chopper with men on the corners to end the third helped, too.

Zach Pop, Adam Cimber, Trevor Richards and Yusei Kikuchi each threw an inning to close things out.



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Panthers' Defense shuts down Saints in a 22-14 Week 3 victory

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The Carolina Panthers’ Defense held the New Orleans Saints in check while recording two interceptions, one blocked field goal and a fumble returned for a touchdown in the Panthers’ 22-14 victory.



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K.J. Osborn leads Vikings to victory over Lions with a game-winning touchdown reception

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K.J. Osborn led the Minnesota Vikings to the victory over the Detroit Lions with a game-winning touchdown reception.



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