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- The Cavaliers continue to play without their top three scorers in All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving (left shoulder sprain), shooting guard Dion Waiters (left knee soreness), and center Anderson Varejao (season-ending right knee surgery). Irving and Waiters both worked out on the court before the game, raising hopes that they could return in early April. “If they’re out there, I guess that’s a good sign,” Cleveland coach Byron Scott said. “But I have no official update on their status.”
- Reigning NBA Rookie of the Year Irving will miss his eighth straight game since being injured on March 10 at Toronto, while Waiters is sitting out his fourth contest in a row after being temporarily shut down by the Cavaliers’ medical staff. Irving, Waiters and Varejao have only played in 131 combined games out of a possible 210 this season. “We’ve got to figure out a way to stay healthy,” Scott said. “Those guys have to play more than half the season for us to be successful.”
- The 76ers are 1-16 on the road since Jan. 2 and have the fifth-worst away record in the NBA at 7-26. Philadelphia is ninth in the Eastern Conference standings, but sits seven games behind Milwaukee in the race for the eighth and final playoff spot with 11 contests to play. “It’s been a tough year for our whole franchise,” 76ers coach Doug Collins said. “It’s a lot like what’s happened to Cleveland, where injuries have really affected what they were trying to do.”
- Philadelphia’s lineup is point guard Jrue Holiday, shooting guard Damien Wilkins, small forward Evan Turner, power forward Thaddeus Young, and center Spencer Hawes. Wilkins — the son of former Cleveland shooting guard Gerald Wilkins — attended eighth grade at Revere Middle School, which was located several miles from the Cavaliers’ arena at the time, The Coliseum in suburban Richfield.
- Cleveland’s starters are point guard Shaun Livingston, shooting guard Wayne Ellington, small forward Alonzo Gee, power forward Tristan Thompson, and rookie center Tyler Zeller. The Cavaliers were officially eliminated from postseason contention Thursday when the Bucks defeated the Lakers 113-103. Cleveland also is riding its longest losing streak of the season at six games.
- The 76ers’ inactives are shooting guard Jason Richardson (season-ending left knee surgery) and center Andrew Bynum (season-ending knee surgery). Philadelphia leads the all-time series with the Cavaliers 98-88, including a 17-16 edge at Quicken Loans Arena, which opened with the 1994-1995 NBA season.
– Brian Dulik