PACERS AT CAVALIERS, 3 P.M. ET

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  • Pacers center Andrew Bynum (right knee soreness) is expected to play again this season, according to coach Frank Vogel. Bynum signed with Indiana on Feb. 1, but has only appeared in two games, averaging 11.5 points and 9.5 rebounds. “We want Andrew back as soon as possible, but we just don’t know when that will be,” Vogel said. “When he was out there, we saw that he was a heck of a basketball player, not just a really big guy.” Bynum began the season with the Cavaliers and played in 24 games before being suspended for conduct detrimental to the team, then was traded to the Bulls on Jan. 7, who immediately released him.
  • Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving (left biceps strain) will miss his eighth straight game, but is being re-evaluated today. The two-time All-Star, who is averaging team highs of 21.2 points and 6.2 assists, was injured on March 16 at the Clippers. Cleveland is 3-4 during Irving’s ongoing absence. “You have to give (coach) Mike Brown credit because they’re playing really well without Kyrie,” Vogel said. “They’ve had some impressive performances — even in losses — because they’ve been able to reshape their team on the run, which is not easy to do.”
  • Indiana holds a 1 1/2-game lead on Miami for the best record in the Eastern Conference. The Pacers’ starters are All-Star center Roy Hibbert, power forward David West, All-Star small forward Paul George, shooting guard Lance Stephenson, and point guard George Hill. “Let’s be realistic, the No. 1 seed is important, but how you’re playing is more important,” Vogel said. “That’s all that really matters once you get into the playoffs.”
  • The Cavaliers trail Atlanta by three games in the race for the final playoff spot in the East. Cleveland’s lineup is center Spencer Hawes, power forward Tristan Thompson, small forward Luol Deng, shooting guard Dion Waiters, and point guard Jarrett Jack. “Obviously, we wish we were a little closer, if not in the top eight in the conference,” Brown said. “But any time there is still a prize at the end of tunnel, it helps you.”
  • Pacers point guard C.J. Watson (right hamstring strain) is traveling with the team — unlike Bynum — and is expected to return to action in approximately one week. Cavaliers shooting guard C.J. Miles (left ankle sprain), rookie power forward Anthony Bennett (left patellar tendon strain), and rookie shooting guard Carrick Felix (left patellar stress fracture) remain out.

– Brian Dulik

 

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