All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving is not expected to be in the lineup when the Cleveland Cavaliers host the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday. Irving sat out Tuesday's road win over the Chicago Bulls with a hyperextended knee that had been bothered him for the previous two games. Despite the absence of the top overall pick in the 2011 draft, the Cavaliers ended an 11-game losing streak at the hands of the Bulls. Winners of three of four, Cleveland kicks off a five-game homestand Wednesday.
The Raptors had won six of seven before suffering a 90-84 home loss to the Washington Wizards on Monday. Toronto has rebounded from a wretched 4-19 start to claw into a tie for ninth place with Philadelphia, five games behind Milwaukee for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Raptors have split a pair of meetings with the Cavaliers this season and have been victorious in their last four visits to Cleveland.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, Rogers SportsNet (Toronto), Fox Sports Ohio (Cleveland)
ABOUT THE RAPTORS (23-34): Rudy Gay had his worst game since arriving in Toronto via trade, scoring seven points on 1-of-11 shooting against Washington. That came on the heels of a 32-point performance in a two-point win over the New York Knicks. The Raptors are 7-4 since acquiring Gay, but they realize they can't have any clunkers down the stretch. "We can't afford to not come out and not play in a desperate mode," coach Dwane Casey said. "If we don't play that way, we're not giving ourselves a chance."
ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (19-38): Irving, who is sixth in the league in scoring at 23.3 points, is listed as day-to-day. He burned the Raptors in the last meeting a month ago, hitting a 3-pointer with 0.7 seconds left in Cleveland's 99-98 win. Rookie Dion Waiters filled the scoring void with 26 points and showed why the Cavaliers took him with the No. 4 selection. Waiters has scored 51 points in his last two - his highest two-game total of the season - and is averaging 19.8 points in the past five games.
1. Cleveland is 3-14 in the second game of back-to-backs.
2. Toronto has won three straight on the road as it prepares to play five of the next six away from home.
3. The Cavaliers have not cracked 100 points in the last six meetings with the Raptors.
PREDICTION: Raptors 97, Cavaliers 93.