RAPTORS AT CAVALIERS, 7 P.M. ET
February 27, 2013 · 6:16PM
TV: League Pass
- Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving (hyperextended right knee) will miss his second straight game, but remains listed as day-to-day. “I don’t know if we’ll see him Friday (against the Los Angeles Clippers), but I do know that would give him four days rest,” Cleveland coach Byron Scott said. The first-time NBA All-Star was injured in practice late last week, but played in Orlando and Miami before sitting out the Cavaliers’ 101-98 win Tuesday at the Bulls. Cleveland is 3-9 this season without Irving, who underwent an MRI in Chicago that confirmed there was no structural damage.
- With Irving sidelined, point guard Shaun Livingston makes his second start with the Cavaliers. Livingston, who scored a season-high 15 points Tuesday against the Bulls, was claimed off waivers from the Wizards on Christmas Day. “I’ve always been intrigued with Shaun,” Scott said. “He just seems to fit into our system very well, and he’s also probably as healthy as he’s been in this league.” The 27-year-old Livingston is averaging 5.3 points and 3.4 assists in 25 games with Cleveland.
- Joining Livingston in the Cavaliers’ lineup are rookie shooting guard Dion Waiters, small forward Alonzo Gee, power forward Tristan Thompson, and rookie center Tyler Zeller. “They may not have Irving, but our approach definitely cannot change — and will not change tonight,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. “Cleveland plays the same way without him, and Dion Waiters has really come in and taken Kyrie’s place as the attacker in the fourth quarter of games.”
- Toronto’s starters are point guard Kyle Lowry, shooting guard DeMar DeRozan, small forward Rudy Gay, power forward Amir Johnson, and rookie center Jonas Valanciunas. The Raptors are seeking their first four-game road winning streak since March 22-April 5, 2002 — and are 7-4 since Gay joined them in a trade from Memphis. “Toronto isn’t an athletic team, but they have two of the most athletic wings in the league in Rudy and DeRozan,” Scott said.
- The Cavaliers have 11 players in uniform as shooting guard Daniel “Boobie” Gibson has returned after a three-game absence for personal reasons. Cleveland small forward Omri Casspi (appendectomy) is resting at home after undergoing surgery Saturday in Orlando, while point guard Josh Selby (NBA D-League assignment with Canton Charge) and center Anderson Varejao (season-ending right knee surgery) are inactive.
- Raptors small forward Linas Kleiza (right knee soreness) is sitting out his 28th straight contest, while small forward Mickael Pietrus is a healthy scratch for the second game in a row. Toronto enters the evening five games behind Milwaukee in the race for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. “That’s our goal,” Casey said. “Everybody’s goal should be the playoffs.”
– Brian Dulik
SPURS AT CAVALIERS, 7 P.M. ET
February 13, 2013 · 6:17PM
TV: League Pass
- Spurs power forward Tim Duncan (left knee soreness), point guard Tony Parker (right knee bruise), and shooting guard Manu Ginobili (left hamstring tightness) all return to action tonight. San Antonio’s “Big Three” sat out its 103-89 win Monday in Chicago, but will play in the Spurs’ final game before the NBA All-Star break. Duncan and Parker are starting, while Ginobili resumes his role as their sixth man. “Everything will be back to normal for us,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said.
- Spurs center Tiago Splitter (left ankle) also will start after twisting his ankle against the Bulls, but small forward Stephen Jackson (personal reasons) is not with the team for the second straight game. “Tiago is going to give it a shot tonight, but we’ll see what happens,” Popovich said. Small forward Kawhi Leonard and shooting guard Danny Green round out San Antonio’s first five.
- Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving (left ankle) is in the lineup two days after landing awkwardly on the foot of Timberwolves point guard Alexey Shved. The NBA All-Star has the sixth-highest scoring average in the league at 23.9 points. Center Tyler Zeller, power forward Tristan Thompson, small forward Alonzo Gee, and shooting guard Dion Waiters join Irving as starters.
- The Spurs are 3-1 on their annual nine-game, 19-day Rodeo Road Trip. San Antonio owns the best record in the league at 41-12 and has won five straight over Cleveland — all in the post-LeBron James era for the wine and gold. “I expect the Cavs to have (foam) coming out of their mouths and the veins popping when they come out of the tunnel tonight,” Popovich joked.
- The Cavaliers are 3-2 on their seven-game homestand, but are coming off losses to Denver (111-103 on Saturday) and Minnesota (100-92 on Monday). Cleveland is 9-15 this season at Quicken Loans Arena, which is the third-worst home record in the NBA. “As a young team, it is easier to get fired up for teams with a better record,” Popovich said. “We’re very aware of that.”
- Inactive for the Spurs are Jackson and point guard Cory Joseph (NBA D-League assignment with Austin Toros), while the Cavaliers’ inactives are center Anderson Varejao (season-ending right knee surgery) and point guard Josh Selby (NBA D-League assignment with Canton Charge).
– Brian Dulik
TIMBERWOLVES AT CAVALIERS, 7 P.M. ET
February 11, 2013 · 6:21PM
TV: League Pass
- The Timberwolves will only have 10 players in uniform, including point guard J.J. Barea (left mid-foot sprain), who dressed but was unable to play Sunday in a 105-88 loss at Memphis. “He may try to play tonight, but I don’t know if he’s going to be serviceable,” Minnesota coach Rick Adelman said. “We’ve got to be careful, too, because with a foot injury, you don’t want to make it worse.” Adelman added that Barea will decide whether he is healthy enough to play a handful of minutes, based on how his foot feels after warming up with his teammates.
- Timberwolves small forwards Andrei Kirilenko (right quadriceps strain) and Chase Budinger (left knee surgery), power forward Kevin Love (right hand surgery), shooting guard Brandon Roy (right knee surgery), and point guard Malcolm Lee (season-ending right knee and right hip surgery) are all out. Kirilenko has been sidelined since being hurt on Feb. 4 against Portland, but Adelman said he should return after the NBA All-Star break. “It’s not just the people we’re losing, it’s the quality of that players we’re losing,” the coach said.
- Minnesota’s starting lineup is point guard Ricky Rubio, shooting guard Luke Ridnour, small forward Mickael Gelabale, power forward Derrick Williams, and center Nikola Pekovic. The Timberwolves, who are making their first appearance at Quicken Loans Arena since Dec. 26, 2010, are 2-15 since Jan. 9.
- The Cavaliers are starting All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving, shooting guard Dion Waiters, small forward Alonzo Gee, power forward Tristan Thompson, and center Tyler Zeller. Cleveland is playing its third home game in four nights, previously beating Orlando (Friday) and losing to Denver (Saturday).
- Irving and Cavaliers coach Byron Scott will face off in a 3-point contest at practice Tuesday. Irving, who is shooting .429 beyond the arc, will compete in the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest at NBA All-Star Weekend. “He’s been talking a lot of trash, but I think I’ve got a good shot at beating him,” Scott said.
– Brian Dulik
NUGGETS AT CAVALIERS, 7:30 P.M. ET
February 9, 2013 · 6:51PM
TV: NBA TV
- The Nuggets are riding an eight-game winning streak, which is their longest since they posted 10 straight victories from March 30-April 15, 2005. “We’re going to try and shock the world and become the first team to win a championship without an All-Star,” Denver coach George Karl said. “There are only about 10 true superstars in the NBA, I think, but I believe Andre Iguodala, Ty Lawson, Andre Miller, and Kenneth Faried are in the next 40 players.”
- The Cavaliers have won a season-high tying three straight games and are 11-11 since Dec. 22. They have not won four games in a row since March 17-24, 2010, which was LeBron James’ final campaign with the franchise. “We’re definitely making steps in the right direction,” Cleveland coach Byron Scott said. “We’re playing good basketball right now, but we still can play better.”
- The Nuggets are scheduled to fly to Boston following the game, but Logan Airport is not expected to re-open until at least 11 p.m. because of the East Coast blizzard. A Denver spokesman said the team still plans on leaving Cleveland tonight, but has hotel rooms reserved in case it must stay in Northeast Ohio. The Nuggets play at the Celtics on Sunday evening.
- Denver’s starting lineup is point guard Lawson, shooting guard Iguodala, small forward Danilo Gallinari, power forward Faried, and center Kosta Koufos. The Nuggets are 32-18, which is the sixth-best record in the NBA. “We’re not that good, it’s a bunch of fake (wins),” Karl quipped. “We’re lucky, not that good at all.”
- Cleveland’s starters are point guard Kyrie Irving, shooting guard Dion Waiters, small forward Alonzo Gee, power forward Tristan Thompson, and center Tyler Zeller. The Cavaliers are playing home games on consecutive nights for the first time this season. They defeated Orlando 119-108 on Friday.
- Not in uniform for Cleveland are center Anderson Varejao (right knee surgery) and point guard Josh Selby (NBA D-League assignment with Canton Charge). Denver’s inactives are shooting guard Julyan Stone and power forward Quincy Miller — both on NBA D-League assignments with the Iowa Energy.
– Brian Dulik