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Cleveland Cavaliers

Pregame: Celtics at Cavs

By Jason Lloyd Published: February 28, 2012

Boston Celtics (15-17) at Cleveland Cavaliers (13-18)
Time: 7 p.m.; Venue: The Q; TV/Radio: Fox Sports Ohio/WTAM, WAKR, WHBC
Cavs probables: PG Kyrie Irving (18.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 5.1 apg), SG Anthony Parker (6.0, 2.4, 2.2), SF Omri Casspi (7.6, 3.4, 1.4), PF Antawn Jamison (17.4, 6.5, 1.9), C Semih Erden (3.3, 2.6, 0.4)
Celtics probables: PG Rajon Rondo (14.8 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 9.5 apg), SG Ray Allen (14.5, 3.1, 2.8), SF Paul Pierce (17.6, 5.0, 5.3), PF Kevin Garnett (14.4, 7.9, 2.6), C Chris Wilcox (5.2, 3.8, 0.5)
Injury report: Cavs -- Anderson Varejao (wrist) out; Celtics -- Jermaine O'Neal (wrist) out
Officials: Jason Phillips, Nick Buchert, Leon Wood

Notes
* Anthony Parker will return to the starting lineup after missing the last 12 games with a strained lower back. Parker's last game, coincidentally, came against these Celtics in Boston on Jan. 29. Scott needs to confer with trainer Max Benton before setting a minutes limit on Parker.

* Ray Allen is third in the league in 3-point shooting, making 49 percent. Parker will obvioulsy have his hands full right away in his return.

* The Cavs played 31 games in the first half, the fewest of any team in the Eastern Conference and tied for the second-fewest in the league. They'll start to make up for that immediately with four games in five nights this week, beginning with a back-to-back against Boston and New York.

* The Celtics stumbled through the first half of the season with a ton of injuries, which isn't too surprising given their ages. Their Big Four are finally healthy and prepared to make a run in the second half. While they might be clinging to the eighth seed now, they're only four games out of the No. 4 seed in the East, which would give them home-court advantage for the first round.

* The Celtics are a mess at center and have been ever since they dealt Kendrick Perkins at the trade deadline last season. Chris Wilcox is expected to make his return from an adductor strain tonight, while Jermaine O'Neal remains in Boston to see a hand specialist for his ailing left wrist.

* Finally, heard a great story today about Kyrie Irving from All-Star weekend. Now we know how he made all eight of his 3-pointers during Friday's Rising Stars game. As part of the festivities, the NBA set up a "Jam Session" at the Orange County Convention Center filled with tons of basketball courts, games for kids, NBA memorabilia, etc... Irving was there signing autographs Thursday night and at one point decided to wander through the displays. Irving came across a 3-on-3, 3-point shooting contest and decided to challenge a team that had won 74 games in a row. He needed two teammates, so Irving picked up Cavs head of security Marvin Cross and some guy who was just wandering through the convention center. Imagine being that guy. "Hey, you wanna go shoot 3-pointers with the future Rookie of the Year?" The two teams tied in the first game, so they played again and Irving's team won. He made the losing team do 10 push-ups as punishment for losing while he counted them off on a microphone. Ah, youth. The kid still likes to have fun.

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