Posted January 02, 2013 on
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Golden State Warriors
The Cleveland Cavaliers and Sacramento Kings are each anxiously awaiting the return of a key player. Sacramento has done a better job of weathering the storm in the meantime.
Cleveland, which has lost eight of 10, hopes a Wednesday night home game against Sacramento - one of the NBA's worst road teams - will help stop its latest slide.
The Cavaliers own the league's second-worst record at 7-25, and they've also been trying to overcome the absence of Anderson Varejao for the last six games. The NBA's top rebounder (14.4 per game) has been dealing with a bruised right knee.
He returned to practice on Monday, but remains questionable for Wednesday's game.
"He looked decent today," coach Byron Scott said of Varejao, who's also averaging 14.1 points. "He was moving OK. He still says when he plants to jump is when he feels pain, but it's nowhere near as severe as it was four or five days ago. Obviously he's making progress."
Cleveland recalled forward Samardo Samuels from the NBA Development League on Monday, perhaps to help alleviate the void on its front line. Samuels, who has averaged 3.2 points and 1.6 rebounds in 18 games for the Cavs this season, put up 41 points and 21 rebounds over two games for the Canton Charge.
The Cavaliers got a huge performance from an unexpected source Saturday, but it wasn't enough to prevent a 103-100 loss in Brooklyn, their second straight defeat. C.J. Miles scored a season-high 33 points and hit eight 3-pointers, but did so while Kyrie Irving struggled to 13 points on 5-of-16 shooting.
"We're playing hard," said Miles, who had scored more than 17 points only two previous times this season. "It's just growing pains and learning how to play."
Sacramento (11-20) is tied with Washington for the NBA's worst road record at 1-13, and Wednesday is the second stop on a four-game trip. The Kings suffered their seventh straight defeat away from home in a 103-97 loss at Detroit on Tuesday.
It was also their eighth straight game without Tyreke Evans, who is sidelined with a sore left knee. He did not travel with the team to Detroit and was slated to receive a second opinion on his knee Wednesday in Los Angeles.
Sacramento has held its own without Evans' 15.1 points per game, going 4-4 with home wins against Golden State, Portland, New York and Boston. The Kings are 5-13 when he plays this season.
They likely could have used Evans' spark on Tuesday, though, as they were held to nine fast-break points - only the sixth time they've been limited to single digits in that category. They averaged 17.5 fast-break points over their previous four games, a span in which they went 3-1.
On Tuesday, they were also without Marcus Thornton, who sprained his ankle in a win over the Celtics in the previous game.
"We were a little slow," coach Keith Smart said. "We have been playing at a nice fast pace and we were a little heavy-legged, but sometimes that happens when you get out here on the first one of a road trip."
Cleveland won the teams' last meeting, 93-92 at home Feb. 19. Irving matched Isaiah Thomas with a game-high 23 points, hitting two free throws with 0.4 seconds left to lift his team.
Thornton had 21 points in that game and is averaging 25.3 - 10.6 above his career mark - over four games against the Cavaliers, but his status is unclear for this contest.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
STAYING IN SACTOWN
A recent suspension fueled speculation that the Kings would consider trading DeMarcus Cousins, but the team's GM says that won't happen.
CLEVELAND (AP) -- Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao is out for Cleveland's game against Sacramento because of a bruised right knee.
Varejao, the NBA's leading rebounder, will miss his seventh straight game. He hasn't played since Dec. 18 when he injured the knee against Toronto.
Varejao returned to practice in a limited role Monday, but hasn't gone through contact...
In an otherwise frustrating loss to a bad team on Wednesday night, Shaun Livingston made his Cleveland Cavaliers debut. He came off the Cavs' bench to play just under 13 minutes, finishing with two points, two rebounds, one assist and a plus/minus of +4 on the night.
After the game I caught up with Livingston.
I've talked with Shaun...
Byron Scott ruled out Cavaliers’ center Andy Varejao for tonight’s game against the Sacramento Kings, along with guard Daniel Gibson.
Varejao has been out with a bruised knee since December 18th. He has missed the past six games.
Gibson is still out, having not passed the league’s concussion protocol.
This game brought some big changes for the Cavaliers. First of all, Tristan Thompson was playing without his mask. This game also saw Shaun Livingston make his Wine and Gold debut. But the big change was Coach Scott’s decision to start CJ Miles and bring Dion Waiters off the bench. In the first half, the move paid off as CJ Miles had a big first quarter and then Dion Waiters followed...
Kurt Helin had a good update on the ongoing DaMarcus Cousins situation over at NBC Sports. A few interesting things from the article; first, that Kings GM Geoff Petrie flat out said that Cousins was not on the trading block.
You can put that one to rest. He’s not going anywhere. You can lay that to rest. Some of that stuff lives in its own reality.
While this is what a lot of...
The Celtics need a big man. But so do a bunch of other teams, so acquiring one could be problematic.
Enter DeMarcus Cousins.
The beleaguered Kings forward has been ticking people off recently, but his talent level is undeniable. And according to Kentucky Sports Radio, the Celtics are one of the teams looking to acquire Cousins.
The C’s, Mavericks, Magic and Bobcats are reportedly...
The Sacramento Kings announced Monday that guard Tyreke Evans is getting a second opinion on his sore left knee. He is visiting Dr. Steve Lombardo in Los Angeles on Wednesday. Evans did not travel with the team on its current four-game road trip, which starts Tuesday against the Detroit Pistons. Evans is scoring 15.1 points per game with 4.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 18 games...
In the grand "That NBA Lottery Pick" highlight vault, let's mark this clip from Wednesday night's Cleveland Cavaliers/Sacramento Kings game as a "right place, right time" moment.Nearing the three minute mark of the fourth quarter, Kings center DeMarcus Cousins came up with a steal of Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving and appeared to have an easy lay-up.That...
DETROIT -- DeMarcus Cousins is a very talented NBA player. That doesn't mean the Pistons should try to get him.
Cousins was chosen by the Sacramento Kings with the fifth overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, two slots ahead of Greg Monroe. Because the two play the same position and the Pistons were interested in Cousins back then, people often link the two players.
Brandon Knight had 20 points while Greg Monroe’s double-double of 18 points and 11 rebounds helped sink the Sacramento Kings 103-97 sending the Pistons to their third straight victory.
Pistons guard Will Bynum was hot off the bench once again scoring 15 points while Austin Daye added 13 including a three pointer in the closing seconds of the fourth to seal the win.
In what looked...
The Detroit Pistons beat the Sacramento Kings 103-97 yesterday. Long time veteran Charlie Villanueva was tossed from the game after a flagrant foul on Isaiah Thomas. If you ask me it looked like a normal foul other than the fact that Thomas went to the ground and got back up like he wanted to fight. Villanueva looked to be going after the ball and only made contact to Thomas...
Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva is ejected late in the second quarter after an elbow to Kings point guard, Isaiah Thomas: