Kyrie Irving, Isaiah Thomas
Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving (2) looks to drive on Boston Celtics’ Isaiah Thomas (4) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Cavs (23-7) and Celtics (19-13) play tonight at 8 on TNT.
Last meeting: The Cavs won, 128-122, on Nov. 3 in Cleveland.
What’s up with the Cavs: LeBron James will pass Bingo Smith (720 games) tonight for third on the franchise list in games played. James’ 29.7 points-per-game average against Boston is his highest against any team. The Cavs’ last loss with James in the lineup was Dec. 2 in Chicago. They’ve won 10 straight with him in there. Cleveland is 9-0 against the East’s Atlantic Division this year, and owns the best home winning percentage (.889).
Cavs injuries: J.R. Smith (right thumb surgery) and Chris Andersen (torn right ACL) are out.
What’s up with the Celtics: They’ve won six of their last seven and are fully healthy. As Cavs coach Tyronn Lue mentioned Wednesday, Boston is playing like everybody expected with the off-season addition of Al Horford. This team takes care of the ball: third in the NBA with 24.8 assists and fifth fewest in turnovers at 12.4. Isaiah Thomas is becoming a star. He scored 44 points on 16 shots and was 17-for-17 from the line Dec. 20 against Memphis. DeAndre Liggins will guard him.
Celtics injuries: None.
F LeBron James (25.5 ppg; 7.9 rpg; 8.6 apg)
F Kevin Love (21.7 ppg; 10.8 rpg; 1.7 apg)
C Tristan Thompson (7.0 ppg; 10.2 rpg; 0.8 apg)
G DeAndre Liggins (2.7 ppg; 1.8 rpg; 1.1 apg)
G Kyrie Irving (23.6 ppg; 3.5 rpg; 5.8 apg)
F Jae Crowder (13.2 ppg; 5.3 rpg; 2.2 apg)
F Amir Johnson (6.7 ppg; 4.3 rpg; 1.9 apg)
C Al Horford (15.5 ppg; 6.8 rpg; 5.0 apg)
G Avery Bradley (17.8 ppg; 7.2 rpg; 2.4 apg)
G Isaiah Thomas (26.8 ppg; 2.5 rpg; 6.3 apg)