TV: League Pass
- For the second game in a row, the Cavs will start Jeremy Pargo at one guard position in place of the injured Kyrie Irving (fractured left index finger). Pargo scored a career-high 28 points, including four 3-point field goals, Wednesday night in a 92-83 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers that snapped the Cavs’ six-game losing streak. Daniel Gibson tried giving his sore right elbow a workout before pregame warmups, but coach Byron Scott would not say whether Gibson will be available.
- The Magic have won their last nine meetings against the Cavs dating back to February 2010, when LeBron James was still in Cleveland and Dwight Howard was still in Orlando. With Howard gone, it’s the Cavs who now boast one of the NBA’s top rebounders in Anderson Varejao. Only Zach Randolph of Memphis owns a better average than Varejao’s 13.7 mark through 10 games.
- Rookie Maurice Harkless, who was part of the 12-player deal involving Howard, is expected to make his second start for the Magic. He had seven points, four rebounds, two assists and one blocked shot in 21 minutes Wednesday night as Orlando defeated Detroit 90-74. Despite being ninth on the Magic in total minutes, Harkless is second only to center Nikola Vucevic in blocks with nine and has more than any member of the Cavs.
- Through their first 11 games, the Magic have had seven different starting lineups, the most of any team. But coach Jacque Vaughn refuses to use that as a reason for their slugglish first-quarter play. “Like I told the guys today, this is your job,” he said. “This is what you do. And whether you’re the first man, second man or 15th man, you’re expected to be ready to play.”
- Magic lineup: Harkless, Glen Davis, Vucevic, Arron Afflalo, Jameer Nelson.
- Cavs lineup: Alonzo Gee, Tristan Thompson, Varejao, Dion Waiters, Pargo.
– Ken Hornack