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 Monday, 20 January, 2003, 17:41 GMT
Struggling Cleveland fire Lucas
Cleveland Cavaliers' fired coach John Lucas
Lucas has not enjoyed success at Cleveland
Struggling Cleveland Cavaliers, who have the worst record in the NBA, fired coach John Lucas on Monday.

Assistant coach Keith Smart appears to be the man most likely to replace Lucas.

Smart, 48, was halfway through a three-year contract, but 34 defeats this season have prompted a change of personnel.

The players on the NBA's youngest team have not been showing the kind of progress demanded by general manager Jim Paxson.

Cleveland, who have lost at least 50 games in each of the past three seasons, had devoted this season to rebuilding with their young roster.

Lucas, a former NBA point guard, was named the Cavaliers' 13th head coach in June 2001.

He is the third coach fired by the club since 1999.

The Cavs have been slowed by injuries to several players, including veterans Tyrone Hill, Bimbo Coles and Chris Mihm.

Lucas had a 37-87 win-loss record in his time with the club, his third stint as an NBA head coach.

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