Cleveland Cavaliers

Miami Heat vs. Cleveland Cavaliers, Game 21

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Cavs (15-5) host the Miami Heat (7-15) at 7:30 tonight in the first of a three-game homestand.

What’s up with the Cavs: LeBron James needs 26 points to pass Elvin Hayes (27,313 points) for 9th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. James also needs 12 assists for 7,000 in his career — he’d become the first forward in league history to reach 7,000 assists. Only 15 players (all guards) reached that number in their careers. The Cavs are 9-2 and averaging 115.3 points at home with five games where they scored at least 120. Cleveland doesn’t expect J.R. Smith to be out long.

Cavs injuries: J.R. Smith (left knee hyperextension) is “to be determined,” according to team release.

What’s up with the Heat: This is the start of an unwanted reunion tour for Miami, which sees LeBron tonight and Dwyane Wade in Chicago Saturday. What a depressing sight — the Heat won three total championships and went to five Finals with Wade or Wade and James. Now, well, the Heat has lost three straight and can barely field a team with all these injuries. Hassan Whiteside has led Miami in rebounding in all 22 games — a franchise record. The Heat has beaten Cleveland 14 out of the last 17 games.

Heat injuries: Rodney McGruder (sprained left ankle) is questionable; Dion Waiters (pectineus tear), Luke Babbitt (right hip flexor), James Johnson (strained right rotator cuff), Josh Richardson (sprained right ankle), and Justise Winslow (sore left wrist) are out.   

Probable starters:

Cavs

F LeBron James (23.9 ppg; 7.6 rpg; 9.1 apg)

F Kevin Love (21.4 ppg; 10.3 rpg; 1.6 apg)

C Tristan Thompson (6.5 ppg; 10.3 rpg; 1.0 apg)

G DeAndre Liggins (2.6 ppg; 1.7 rpg; 0.8 apg)

G Kyrie Irving (24.6 ppg; 3.1 rpg; 4.8 apg)

Heat

F Wayne Ellington (15.5 ppg; 1.8 rpg; 2.0 apg)

F Josh McRoberts (3.8 ppg; 3.8 rpg; 2.3 apg)

C Hassan Whiteside (17.6 ppg; 14.7 rpg; 0.7 apg)

G Rodney McGruder (6.5 ppg; 3.4 rpg; 1.2 apg)

G Goran Dragic (18.0 ppg; 3.8 rpg; 6.5 apg)

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