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Cleveland Cavaliers

Pregame: Raptors at Cavs

By Jason Lloyd Published: January 5, 2011

Toronto Raptors (11-23) at Cleveland Cavaliers (8-26)
Time: 7 p.m., Venue: Quicken Loans Arena: TV/Radio: FS Ohio/WAKR

Cavs probable starters: PG Mo Williams, SG Daniel Gibson, SF Anthony Parker, PF Antawn Jamison, C Anderson Varejao
Raptors probable starters: PG Jerryd Bayless, SG DeMar DeRozan, SF Linas Kleiza, PF Amir Johnson, C Andrea Bargnani
Officials: Jason Phillips, Bennie Adams, Scott Bolnick
Injury report: Cavs -- Joey Graham (quad) out; Raptors -- Jose Calderon (sprained right ankle) questionable, Jerryd Bayless (sprained left ankle) questionable), Andrea Bargnani (strained left calf) probable, Reggie Evans (fractured right foot) out, Sonny Weems (back spasms) out, Peja Stojakovic (swollen left knee) out.

* Cavs coach Byron Scott confirmed this morning that both Anderson Varejao and Daniel Gibson will play tonight against the Raptors. Both have missed the last two games with injuries.

* That means the Cavs should be back to full strength, while the Raptors have dealt with a rash of injuries. Leading scorer Andrea Bargnani just returned to the lineup last night against Chicago after missing four games with a strained calf. The Raptors have also been without starting point guard Jose Calderon. His backup, Jerryd Bayless, just returned from an ankle injury of his own. And leading rebounder Reggie Evans is out for quite a while with a broken foot.

* The Raptors love to push the ball and lead the league in fastbreak points (21 per game). That has Scott concerned with the Cavs' transition defense. Also, Toronto shooting guard DeMar DeRozan is shooting 50 percent (30 of 60) from the floor over the last three games.

* That makes this a game the Cavaliers should win, despite getting blown out by the Raptors in Toronto during the first week of the season. The Raptors have lost three straight and 12 of their last 15. If the Cavs let this one slip away, they could have another double-digit losing streak looming.

* This is the final game before the Cavs depart on a 10-day, five city west coast trip through Golden State, Phoenix, Los Angeles (Lakers), Utah and Denver. That makes tonight important in terms of a victory.

* The return of Gibson will cut into the minutes of some of the youngsters, but Scott said this morning he likes what he's seen from them. He will still try to get Alonzo Gee, Manny Harris and Christian Eyenga quality minutes.

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