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Cavaliers get back forward Dean Wade against Celtics. Center Jarrett Allen still out with rib injury

Sport

Cavaliers get back forward Dean Wade against Celtics. Center Jarrett Allen still out with rib injury
Sport

Sport

Cavaliers get back forward Dean Wade against Celtics. Center Jarrett Allen still out with rib injury

2024-05-12 09:02 Last Updated At:09:10

CLEVELAND (AP) — Cavaliers forward Dean Wade made his playoff debut in Game 3 — and made an immediate impact — against the Boston Celtics on Saturday night after being sidelined the past two months by a strained right knee.

Wade hadn't played since March 8, three days after he scored a career-best 23 points — 20 in the fourth quarter — to fuel a comeback win over the Celtics.

Wade checked in with 4:18 left in the first quarter and made a 3-pointer 23 seconds later, drawing a huge ovation from Cleveland's crowd.

While Wade gives coach J.B. Bickerstaff some depth, the Cavs remain without starting center Jarrett Allen, who missed his sixth straight game with badly bruised ribs.

Allen got hurt during the Cavs' opening-round series against Orlando and missed the final three games, including Game 7. He sat out the first two games of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Celtics as Evan Mobley moved from forward to center.

The Cavs had hoped the 6-foot-11 Allen, who played at an All-Star level for much of this season and was dominant against the Magic, would be back by now. But his ribs are still sore and he's not quite ready.

The 27-year-old Wade gives Bickerstaff another offensive option and another shooter for the Celtics to worry about.

The 6-foot-9 forward only averaged 5.4 points in 54 games this season, but he had his best game as a pro against the Celtics on their last visit to Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

Wade made six 3-pointers — all five in the fourth — as the Cavs rallied from a 22-point deficit in the fourth to stun the Celtics.

Boston center Kristaps Porzingis missed his fourth straight game with a calf injury.

AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA

FILE - Cleveland Cavaliers forward Dean Wade brings the ball up against the Memphis Grizzlies during an NBA basketball game Feb. 1, 2024, in Memphis, Tenn. Wade is expected to make his playoff debut in Game 3 against the Boston Celtics on Saturday night, May 11, after being sidelined the past two months with a strained right knee. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill, File)

FILE - Cleveland Cavaliers forward Dean Wade brings the ball up against the Memphis Grizzlies during an NBA basketball game Feb. 1, 2024, in Memphis, Tenn. Wade is expected to make his playoff debut in Game 3 against the Boston Celtics on Saturday night, May 11, after being sidelined the past two months with a strained right knee. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill, File)

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin is seeking to strengthen ties with longtime partner Vietnam on a state visit Thursday that comes as Moscow faces growing international isolation because of its military actions in Ukraine.

Putin was greeted by dignitaries upon his arrival in the Southeast Asian country as soldiers in white dress uniforms stood at attention. He arrived from North Korea, where he and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signed an agreement that pledges mutual aid in the event of war.

The strategic pact that could mark the strongest connection between Moscow and Pyongyang since the end of the Cold War comes as both face escalating standoffs with the West.

In Hanoi, the Russian leader is scheduled to meet Vietnam’s most powerful politician, Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, the new President To Lam and other officials. The trip has resulted in a sharp rebuke from the U.S. Embassy in the country.

Much has changed since Putin's last visit to Vietnam in 2017. Russia now faces a raft of U.S.-led sanctions for its invasion of Ukraine. In 2023, the International Criminal Court in Hague issued an arrest warrant for Putin for war crimes. The Kremlin rejected it as “null and void,” stressing that Moscow doesn’t recognize the court's jurisdiction.

Putin's recent visits to China and now North Korea and Vietnam are attempts to “break the international isolation,” said Nguyen Khac Giang, an analyst at Singapore’s ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute.

The U.S. and its allies have expressed growing concerns over a possible arms arrangement in which Pyongyang provides Moscow with badly needed munitions for its use in Ukraine, in exchange for economic assistance and technology transfers that could enhance the threat posed by Kim’s nuclear weapons and missile program.

Both countries deny accusations of weapons transfers, which would violate multiple U.N. Security Council sanctions that Russia previously endorsed.

Meanwhile, Russia is important to Vietnam for two reasons, Giang said: It is the biggest supplier of military equipment to the Southeast Asian nation, and Russian oil exploration technologies help maintain its sovereignty claims in the contested South China Sea.

“Russia is signaling that it is not isolated in Asia despite the Ukraine war, and Vietnam is reinforcing a key traditional relationship even as it also diversifies ties with newer partners,” said Prashanth Parameswaran, a fellow with the Wilson Center’s Asia Program.

Hanoi and Moscow have had diplomatic relations since 1950, and this year marks 30 years of a treaty establishing “friendly relations” between Vietnam and Russia.

Evidence of this long relationship and its influence can be seen in Vietnamese cities like the capital, where the many Soviet-style apartment blocks are now dwarfed by skyscrapers and a statue of Vladimir Lenin, the founder of the Soviet Union, stands in a park where kids skateboard every evening. Many of the Communist Party's top leadership in Vietnam studied in Soviet universities, including party chief Trong.

In an article written for Nhan Dan, the official newspaper of Vietnam’s Communist Party, Putin vowed to deepen the ties between Moscow and Hanoi and hailed Vietnam as a “strong supporter of a fair world order based on international law, on the principles of equality of all states and non-interference in their domestic affairs.”

He also thanked “Vietnamese friends for their balanced position on the Ukrainian crisis,” in the article released by the Kremlin.

Meanwhile, Vietnam's policy of “bamboo diplomacy” — a phrase coined by Trong referring to the flexibility of bamboo plant, bending but not breaking in the shifting headwinds of global geopolitics — is being increasingly tested.

A manufacturing powerhouse and an increasingly important player in global supply chains, Vietnam played host to both U.S. President Joe Biden and the leader of rival China, Xi Jinping, in 2023.

Vietnam has remained neutral on Russia's invasion of Ukraine. But neutrality is getting trickier, with the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi criticizing Putin's visit, saying that “no country should give Putin a platform to promote his war of aggression and otherwise allow him to normalize his atrocities.” If Putin is allowed to travel freely it “could normalize Russia’s blatant violations of international law," the statement said.

Vietnam needs support from the U.S. to advance its economic ambitions and diversify its defense ties, Parameswaran said. “It has to carefully calibrate what it does with Russia in an environment of rising tensions between Washington and Moscow."

Bilateral trade between Russia and Vietnam was at $3.6 billion in 2023, compared to $171 billion with China and $111 billion with America.

Since the early 2000s, Russia accounted for around 80% of Vietnam's arms imports. This has been declining over the years due to Vietnamese attempts to diversify its supplies. But to entirely wean itself off Russia will take time, said Giang.

An air plane carrying Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives at the Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, Vietnam, Thursday, June. 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Minh Hoang)

An air plane carrying Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives at the Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, Vietnam, Thursday, June. 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Minh Hoang)

An air plane carrying Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives at the Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, Vietnam, Thursday, June. 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Minh Hoang)

An air plane carrying Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives at the Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, Vietnam, Thursday, June. 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Minh Hoang)

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives at the Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, Vietnam, Thursday, June. 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Minh Hoang)

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives at the Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, Vietnam, Thursday, June. 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Minh Hoang)

Russian President Vladimir Putin, second left, shakes hands with Vietnamese officials upon his arrival at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, Thursday, June 20, 2024. (Nikita Orlov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin, second left, shakes hands with Vietnamese officials upon his arrival at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, Thursday, June 20, 2024. (Nikita Orlov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives at the Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, Vietnam, Thursday, June. 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Minh Hoang)

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives at the Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, Vietnam, Thursday, June. 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Minh Hoang)

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives at the Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, Vietnam, Thursday, June. 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Minh Hoang)

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives at the Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, Vietnam, Thursday, June. 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Minh Hoang)

Russian President Vladimir Putin, second left, shakes hands with Vietnamese officials upon his arrival at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, Thursday, June 20, 2024. (Nikita Orlov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin, second left, shakes hands with Vietnamese officials upon his arrival at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, Thursday, June 20, 2024. (Nikita Orlov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha walk together after Putin's arrival at the Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, Vietnam, Thursday, June. 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Minh Hoang)

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha walk together after Putin's arrival at the Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, Vietnam, Thursday, June. 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Minh Hoang)

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