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- Cavaliers point guard Jeremy Pargo makes his first start with the team, filling in for reigning NBA Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving (left index finger fracture). Fellow second-year pro Donald Sloan will be Pargo’s backup, but rookie shooting guard Dion Waiters also could spend some time running Cleveland’s offense. Irving, whose broken finger has been placed in a splint, is expected to be sidelined until mid-December. “The other guys might not be able to score his points, but they can still bring the energy,” 76ers shooting guard Jason Richardson said.
- Pargo made five starts as a rookie with Memphis in 2011-2012, but has only played in three of the Cavaliers’ first 10 games — totaling 23 minutes — and is averaging 2.7 points and 1.3 assists. Irving is the NBA’s sixth-leading scorer at 22.9 points and ranks 25th in assists at 5.6. “Kyrie is such a bright young player, obviously, this is a huge loss for them,” Philadelphia coach Doug Collins said. “He’s had some freak injuries already, going back to hurting his toe at Duke, so you just hope this isn’t something that he’ll be bothered by his whole career.”
- The 76ers will start point guard Jrue Holiday, Richardson, small forward Evan Turner, power forward Thaddeus Young, and center Kwame Brown for the fifth game in a row. That quintet is 3-1, but Collins is “not happy” with its slow starts to games. “I thought about changing it, but we’re going to give it another shot,” the coach said. “This might be a night, though, where I go to the bench a little earlier than usual if I don’t see the energy I want.”
- Cleveland’s lineup consists of Pargo, Waiters, small forward Alonzo Gee, power forward Tristan Thompson, and center Anderson Varejao. Collins said he plans on using Young to defend Varejao, hoping to use his long arms and athleticism to keep the mop-topped Brazilian off the glass. Varejao is the second-leading rebounder in the NBA at 13.1, trailing Memphis’ Zach Randolph, who is at 13.8.
- Irving was injured Saturday when he attempted to steal the ball from Mavericks point guard Darren Collison, but his left hand smacked Collison’s foot. Initial X-rays were negative, prompting Irving to play Sunday at Philadelphia before the non-displaced fracture was detected Monday when the Cavaliers returned home.
- For Cleveland, Thompson (nasal cavity fracture) and center Tyler Zeller (left orbital bone fracture) will play with protective masks, while shooting guard Daniel “Boobie” Gibson (bruised right elbow) was a last-minute scratch for the second game in a row.
- The Cavaliers’ inactives are Irving and power forward Luke Harangody (right knee surgery), while Philadelphia is not dressing center Andrew Bynum (right knee bone bruise).
– Brian Dulik