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- Nets small forward Gerald Wallace (left foot soreness) and shooting guard Joe Johnson (left heel soreness) are both inactive, forcing coach P.J. Carlesimo to replace two veteran starters in his lineup. “We’re just going to mix and match and put guys together,” Carlesimo said. Wallace was a late scratch after being hurt Saturday in Brooklyn’s 116-107 loss at Utah, while Johnson is sitting out his fifth game in a row, but is expected to play Thursday against Chicago.
- Shooting guard MarShon Brooks and small forward Keith Bogans will fill in for Johnson and Wallace, respectively, in the Nets’ lineup. Center Brook Lopez, power forward Reggie Evans, and point guard Deron Williams round out their starters. Carlesimo also indicated that power forward Kris Humphries, shooting guard Jerry Stackhouse, and power forward Mirza Teletovic will see increased time coming off the bench.
- Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving (left shoulder soreness) will start in his second game back from a separated shoulder. The first-time All-Star and reigning NBA Rookie of the Year sat out Cleveland’s 102-94 loss in Atlanta on Sunday for precautionary reasons, but played one night earlier when the Cavaliers were beaten 112-92 at New Orleans. “Kyrie is as good a point guard as there is in the league,” Carlesimo said.
- Cleveland’s starters are Irving, shooting guard Wayne Ellington, small forward Alonzo Gee, power forward Tristan Thompson, and center Tyler Zeller. The Cavaliers are riding their longest losing streak of the season at nine games and have the third-worst record in the NBA at 22-51. Their last victory came on March 12 against Washington.
- Inactive for the Cavaliers are shooting guard Dion Waiters (left knee soreness) and center Anderson Varejao (season-ending right knee surgery). Waiters, who has not been ruled out for the season, last played on March 20 against Miami. Varejao remains on blood thinners after developing a clot following his operation.
– Brian Dulik