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Thompson confident Cavs still top of the east without LeBron

Tristan Thompson is still confident the Cleveland Cavaliers are the leaders of the Eastern Conference, even after LeBron James’ departure. 

The Cavaliers lost James to the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency after the three-time NBA champion led Cleveland to last season’s Finals.

James’ move to the west appears to have opened up the east but Thompson pointed to Cleveland’s four Eastern Conference championship titles as he took a shot at rivals the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers and Toronto Raptors.

“We’re still four-time Eastern Conference champions, so until you take us down from that, teams ain’t got much to say,” Thompson told reporters on Thursday.

“Boston, Philly, they ain’t got much to say. Boston had home court game seven and lost. Philly, you guys almost got swept. Toronto — we know that story.”

At least one player in the Eastern Conference heard Thompson’s comments and responded on social media as Celtics forward Marcus Morris took a shot of his own at the Cavaliers.

The Cavaliers are coming off a season in which they made it to the NBA Finals before being swept by the Golden State Warriors, but they did that with James.

After playing four seasons in his second stint with Cleveland, James signed with the Lakers during the offseason.

The Cavaliers will now have to face a young 76ers team and a strong Boston squad, who will have two of their star players back with Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving returning from injuries.

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Ivorian duo join Thompson in 100 meters final

LONDON-Double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson powered into the women’s 100 meters final at the World Championships on Sunday with another easy win in her semi.

The Jamaican, who won Olympic gold in the 100 and 200 meters in Rio de Janeiro last year, clocked the fastest time in the three heats of 10.84, making her as favorite for the final later on Sunday.

Thompson also won her opening heat on Saturday on the same track where she scorched to victory at a Diamond League meeting one month ago despite running in cushioned trainers to prevent injury.

Brazil’s Rosangela Santos set a South American record of 10.91 seconds as she finished second to Thompson and qualified.

Ivory Coast, who have never won a gold medal in any event at the World Championships, will have two chances to break their duck after Marie-Josee Ta Lou and Murielle Ahoure made the final.

Ta Lou impressively won her heat in 10.87, ahead of world 200 meters champion Dafne Schippers who also went through.

Ahoure finished second in the last heat behind Olympic silver medalist Tori Bowie of the United States.

Trinidadian pair Kelly-Ann Baptiste and Michelle-Lee Ahye qualified as the two fastest losers.

(Editing by Ed Osmond)