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- Cavaliers coach Byron Scott opted to keep his starting lineup intact against the Thunder, even though he benched the entire group for the fourth quarter Friday in a 117-99 loss at Detroit. Point guard Kyrie Irving, shooting guard Dion Waiters, small forward Alonzo Gee, power forward Tristan Thompson, and center Tyler Zeller are 6-6 in 12 starts, but have been dismal during Cleveland’s current two-game losing streak. “We’ve got a lot of 20-something year olds and they’re still trying to learn how to be professional basketball players,” Scott said. “We’ll see how they respond tonight.”
- The Thunder is starting point guard Russell Westbrook, shooting guard Thabo Sefolosha, small forward Kevin Durant, power forward Serge Ibaka, and center Kendrick Perkins. Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said he was not concerned about Westbrook’s on-court tantrum Thursday during a 106-89 win over Memphis. “Russell plays with a lot of emotion and, at times, he can get too competitive,” Brooks said. “But I like that because you can always tone it down. If it’s not there in a player, there is nothing you can do to light a fire in him.”
- Not in uniform for the Cavaliers are shooting guard Daniel “Boobie” Gibson (right big toe sprain), power forward Luke Walton (personal matters), and center Anderson Varejao (season-ending right knee surgery). Gibson will miss his third straight game, but said he hopes to return Wednesday against Charlotte. Walton is out for the fourth straight contest and has temporarily left the team.
- Inactive for the Thunder is shooting guard Jeremy Lamb (lower back strain), who did not travel to Cleveland. Center Daniel Orton, who has only played in one game this season, was elevated to the 12-man active roster. Orton scored two points in two minutes against the Cavaliers on Nov. 11.
- Oklahoma City is playing at Quicken Loans Arena for the first time since March 13, 2011. The Thunder did not visit Cleveland during the lockout-shortened 2011-2012 NBA season.
– Brian Dulik