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- 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