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- Cavaliers shooting guard Anthony Parker (lower back strain) is inactive for the 12th straight game, but might return to action immediately after the NBA All-Star break. “I don’t see any reason to have him play tonight — even if he could — with us having four days off after this game,” Cleveland coach Byron Scott said. Daniel “Boobie” Gibson will make his seventh start of the season in Parker’s spot, joining point guard Kyrie Irving, small forward Omri Casspi, power forward Antawn Jamison, and center Semih Erden in the lineup.
- Hornets center Emeka Okafor (left knee soreness) and power forward Jason Smith (concussion) could be back on the court when the team resumes play Tuesday in Chicago, according to New Orleans coach Monty Williams. No timetable has been set for power forward Carl Landry (left knee sprain) and point guard Eric Gordon (right knee contusion) to return. “There is a chance Jason could be back then, and maybe Emeka, but Carl’s situation is a little bit different,” the coach said.
- Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao (right wrist fracture) continues to work out each day with his teammates, but is still 3-5 weeks away from being cleared for action. Varejao was having the best season of his career before he was injured against Milwaukee on Feb. 10, averaging 10.8 points and 11.5 rebounds while shooting .514 from the floor. “Andy is coming along and doing cardio every day,” Scott said. “Looking at the schedule, he could be back for our last 20-25 games.”
- The Hornets will start center Chris Kaman, power forward Gustavo Ayon, small forward Trevor Ariza, shooting guard Marco Belinelli, and point guard Greivis Vasquez. Kaman is averaging 11.2 points and 7.3 rebounds on the season after being acquired from the Clippers in the Chris Paul trade. “Chris has been decent,” Williams said. “But defensively, that’s where he has to understand what we do.”
- New Orleans guard Donald Sloan and forward Lance Thomas are on their second 10-day contracts with the team, while power forward Solomon Jones will have his first such pact expire Friday. “Unfortunately, we probably won’t keep all of them, but they’ve all given themselves a chance to come back or maybe come to training camp down the road,” Williams said.
- New Orleans is completing a three-games-in-three-nights set after losing Monday at Oklahoma City (101-93) and Tuesday at Indiana (117-108 in overtime). “This is the ultimate test of how much you love the game,” Williams said. “It’s like I tell the guys, ‘You’re playing a game. It’s really cool to get to do this for a living. Always remember that.’”
- The Cavaliers are seeking their first three-game winning streak since Nov. 5-9, 2010. They enter the evening 1 1/2 games behind Boston in the race for the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot.
– Brian Dulik