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Cleveland Cavaliers

Pregame: Cavs (9-29) at Lakers (15-21)

By Jason Lloyd Published: January 13, 2013
The wounded Lakers are reeling after losing six straight and falling five games out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)


Time: 9:30 p.m.; Place: Staples Center; TV/Radio: FS Ohio/WTAM, WLEC, WAKR


Injury report: Cavs: Anderson Varejao (knee) out; Lakers: Dwight Howard (shoulder) questionable, Pau Gasol (concussion) out; Jordan Hill (hip) out; Steve Blake (abdominal) out.


Officials: Danny Crawford, Courtney Kirkland, JT Orr


Cavs probables

Name Ht, Wt Pts Rebs Asts
PG Kyrie Irving 6-3, 191 23.6 3.8 5.6
SG C.J. Miles 6-6, 222 11.3 2.8 0.7
SF Alonzo Gee 6-6, 219 11.4 4.2 2.1
PF Tristan Thompson 6-9, 227 9.9 9.1 1.1
C Tyler Zeller 7-0, 250 8.0 5.7 1.1



Lakers probables

Name Ht, Wt Pts Rebs Asts
PG Steve Nash 6-3, 180 10.8 3.0 8.8
SG Kobe Bryant 6-6, 205 30.0 5.1 4.8
SF Metta World Peace 6-7, 260 13.8 5.8 1.5
PF Earl Clark 6-10, 225 3.5 3.0 0.7
C Robert Sacre 7-0, 260 1.7 1.2 0.2


* The Lakers have lost six straight, the league's longest current losing streak, and folks in L.A. are beginning to lose hope that the Lakers can even make the playoffs. It's a staggering fall for a team considered one of the best two teams in the West when the season began.

* The Lakers are old, they can't defend and most importantly, they've been ravaged with injuries. Robert Sacre, the final pick in the draft last summer out of Gonzaga, is presently the Lakers' starting center. It's that bad.

* Pau Gasol has not been cleared from the league's concussion program and has already been ruled out. Dwight Howard will have his shoulder examined prior to the game and is considered a game-time decision. 

* The Cavs, of course, need the Lakers to make the playoffs in order to claim their pick. Technically it's a pick swap. The Cavs can swap the Heat's first-round pick, which they own, with the Lakers' pick, but only if the Lakers make the playoffs. They don't get it if it's a lottery selection. 

* In that sense, the Cavs may want to start rooting for the Lakers -- beginning tonight. Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni, clearly feeling the pressure after two unsuccessful months in charge, has told his players and the media that the season begins tonight. Flush everything else away and start over tonight. He even went so far as to call it a must win -- stunning considering the season isn't even half over. But that's the type of pressure facing the Lakers.

* Byron Scott said Saturday that Daniel Gibson is out of his rotation for now. He is pleased with the way Shaun Livingston and Dionn Waiters are playing as reserve guards, so he's sticking with them for at least the next few games. 

* The Cavs are one of four teams to score wins over both L.A. teams already. They beat the Clippers at Staples Center early in the season and beat the Lakers last month at the Q. The only other teams to do it: Oklahoma City, Denver and Orlando. Yes, Orlando, which scored a win over the Clippers on Saturday.

* Kyrie Irving is on a mini-tear. He has scored at least 28 points in four of the last five games, averaging 27.8 points and 5.8 assists and shooting .517 (15-29) on 3-pointers.

* In his 12 starts in place of Anderson Varejao, Tyler Zeller is averaging 10.1 points and 7.1 rebounds.


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