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- Dueling three-game losing streaks meet in Washington with Kyrie Irving and the Cavaliers attempting to end their skid on the road. Away from home is where the Cavs (3-7) have struggled most, losing all six games away from the Quicken Loans Arena — and by an average of 14.1 points. In the half-dozen road games, Irving averaged 17.7 points and 5.8 assists compared to 21.8 and 9.3 at home. As for the any positives, Cleveland swept the three-game series from Washington last season, has won two straight at the Verizon Center – and return center Andrew Bynum to the starting lineup. The seven-year veteran has played in six of 10 games this season while recovering from a knee injury that kept him sidelined last season.
- The Cavaliers held a players-only meeting following a 29-point loss to Minnesota on Wednesday. According an ESPN.com report, the meeting became contentious. “They had a players meeting after the Minnesota game,” Cleveland coach Mike Brown confirmed but without delving into specifics. “It’s not usual, it happens. The guys care about winning…They care about trying to do it the right way. They wanted to talk amongst themselves, which is great. I’ll encourage that anytime.” Guard Dion Waiters (illness) did not play in Friday’s loss to Charlotte and didn’t make the trip to Washington. Asked if there was a connection between the meeting and Waiters absence, Brown said the second-year guard has “been to the doctors twice.”
- Irving, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2011 NBA Draft, and John Wall, the first player picked in 2010, are expected to play in the same NBA game for the first time since April 25, 2012. Injuries kept the Wizards star out of the first two meetings versus Cleveland last season while Irving missed the third matchup. That’s not to say the dueling point guards are without physical issues now; Wall took an inadvertent blow to the eye in Wednesday’s loss at San Antonio while Irving deals with a minimally displaced right nasal fracture. Wall is averaging 17.0 points and 8.8 assists on the young season.
- The Wizards selected Bradley Beal third overall in the 2012 NBA draft, one spot before the Cavaliers tabbed Waiters. Alas the wing guards will not square off. C.J. Miles started for the Cavs and scored eight points in Friday’s 86-80 home loss to Charlotte. Meanwhile the knockdown shooting Beal has been a bright spot for the 2-6 Wizards, averaging 21.2 points and 3.7 rebounds while sinking 47.2 percent of his 3-point attempts over his last six games.
- Trevor Ariza, arguably Washington’s top frontcourt option this season, will miss Saturday’s game and perhaps a few more after suffering a strained right hamstring against the Spurs. Martell Webster, who made 62 starts for the Wizards last season, is expected to take over the small forward role. Even before Ariza went down, the Wizards were without other options at that position. Rookie Otto Porter (hip flexor) and Chris Singleton (foot) have not played this season.
– Ben Standig