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- Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving (right shoulder sprain) returns to action after sitting out one game. The frontrunner for NBA Rookie of the Year honors was injured Friday when he landed awkwardly after running into a screen by Bucks power forward Ersan Ilyasova. “Kyrie looked good this morning at shootaround, so we’re really excited to have him back,” Cleveland coach Byron Scott said. “I think holding him out of the New York game (Saturday) really helped.” Irving leads all rookies in scoring (18.9) and free throw percentage (.872).
- Spurs power forward Tim Duncan, shooting guard Manu Ginobili, and point guard Tony Parker all will play. Each veteran has been rested at least once in recent weeks, which San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said he hopes to continue doing as the playoffs grow nearer. “It’s a little bit more difficult to do than in a normal season, but it’s something that we’ve done here for years,” he said. “The (quality) depth that we have right now also is making it somewhat easier.”
- Cavaliers shooting guard Daniel “Boobie” Gibson (left foot tendon tear) underwent season-ending surgery Monday, but center Anderson Varejao (right wrist fracture) could return to action next week. Varejao has been sidelined for 26 games since being hurt on Feb. 10 against Milwaukee. “The second week of April is the protocol we’re following for Andy to start practicing,” Scott said.
- The Spurs will start Duncan, Parker, center DeJuan Blair, small forward Kawhi Leonard, and shooting guard Danny Green. Duncan, Parker, Ginobili, and power forward Matt Bonner were members of the San Antonio team that swept the Cavaliers in the 2007 NBA Finals, while Gibson and Varejao are the only Cleveland players still around from that four-game series.
- Cleveland’s starters are Irving, shooting guard Anthony Parker, small forward Alonzo Gee, power forward Antawn Jamison, and center Tristan Thompson. Gee played in five games with the Spurs in 2010-2011 before landing a permanent job with the Cavaliers. “Alonzo is a wonderful guy with a great personality,” Popovich said. “He just needed an opportunity.”
- San Antonio shooting guard Cory Joseph is a healthy inactive, while Cleveland power forward Luke Harangody remains on an assignment with the NBA D-League’s Canton Charge.
– Brian Dulik