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- Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving (gastroenteritis) will play and start. The NBA Rookie of the Year frontrunner had been listed as doubtful earlier in the day, but refused to sit out Cleveland’s home finale. “He wants to play tonight because of the fans,” Cavaliers coach Byron Scott said. “That’s the only reason he’s going to be out there.” Top overall draft pick Irving is averaging 18.8 points, 5.5 assists and 1.08 steals in 50 games. Scott said Irving’s minutes will be limited, meaning Donald Sloan should see plenty of time off the bench.
- Wizards shooting guard Jordan Crawford (right ankle sprain) and power forward Trevor Booker (left plantar fasciitis) are out. Washington coach Randy Wittman added that both players are likely to miss the final game of the season Thursday against Miami. ”Jordan tried to gut it out for the last 3-4 games, so it’s just not going to get better at this point,” Wittman explained. “We’ll also probably withhold Trevor the next two nights, as well.”
- With Crawford out, Cartier Martin will start at shooting guard with Morris Almond as his backup. The Wizards signed Almond from the NBA D-League’s Maine Red Claws on April 16. “Jordan’s injury will give Morris an opportunity to play, which will be good for him,” Wittman said. The remainder of Washington’s lineup is point guard John Wall, small forward Chris Singleton, power forward Jan Vesely, and center Kevin Seraphin.
- Cleveland’s starters are Irving, shooting guard Anthony Parker, small forward Alonzo Gee, power forward Antawn Jamison, and center Tristan Thompson. Scott said he also plans on taking a look at rookie swingman D.J. Kennedy, who was signed from the NBA D-League’s Erie BayHawks on Saturday. The Cavaliers enter the evening with 21 wins, which is tied with the Kings and Hornets for the third fewest in the NBA.
- Washington power forward Andray Blatche (conditioning) and small forward Rashard Lewis (left knee soreness) are sidelined with season-ending injuries, as are Cleveland center Anderson Varejao (right wrist fracture), center Semih Erden (right ankle sprain), and shooting guard Daniel Gibson (left foot tendon surgery).
– Brian Dulik