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Cleveland Cavaliers

Pregame: Hornets at Cavs

By Jason Lloyd Published: February 22, 2012

New Orleans Hornets (7-25) at Cleveland Cavaliers (13-17)
Time: 7 p.m.; Venue: The Q; TV/Radio: Fox Sports Ohio/WTAM, WAKR, WHBC
Cavs probables: PG Kyrie Irving (18.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 4.9 apg), SG Daniel Gibson (8.0, 3.0, 2.1), SF Omri Casspi (7.7, 3.5, 1.3), PF Antawn Jamison (17.2, 6.3, 1.9), C Semih Erden 3.3, 2.5, 0.4)
Hornets probables: PG Greivis Vasquez (8.3 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 4.8 apg), SG Marco Belinelli (10.6, 2.6, 1.2), SF Trevor Ariza (12.3, 5.7, 3.4), PF Gustavo Ayon (5.7, 4.5, 0.9) C Chris Kaman (11.2, 7.3, 1.7)
Injuries: Cavs -- Anthony Parker (back) doubtful; Hornets -- Eric Gordon (knee) out, Carl Landry (knee) out, Emeka Okafor (knee) out, Jason Smith (concussion) out.
Officials: Ken Mauer, Michael Smith, Ben Taylor

* Much to the surprise of the rest of the league, the Cavs refuse to excuse themselves from the playoff race. They're now 4-3 on this homestand and can clinch a winning record on it with a victory tonight in the final game before the All-Star break.

* Byron Scott is adamant about trying to make the playoffs, and all he's concerned about is the loss column. In that regard, the Cavs are tied with the Knicks (who are presently the seventh seed) with 17 losses. The Celtics, seeded eighth today, have one fewer loss. So the Cavs are right in the hunt.

* Now they geta Hornets team that is tied for the second-worst record in the league and is playing their third game in three nights. They lost the first two and last night went to overtime before falling at Indiana. They're without star guard Eric Gordon, who will miss at least five more weeks following another procedure on his knee. This is a game the Cavs are expected to win.

* A victory tonight would make the Cavs 14-17. They were 8-23 through 31 games last season and didn't win their 14th game until their 71st game of the season. It's an incredible turnaround and, should it hold up, will be enough to make Scott a frontrunner for Coach of the Year.

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