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News » Cavaliers-Pacers Preview 2009-11-19

Cavaliers-Pacers Preview 2009-11-19

Cavaliers-Pacers Preview 2009-11-19Already without Shaquille O'Neal, the Cleveland Cavaliers don't want to think about the possibility of LeBron James' sore wrist causing him to miss any time.

He's caused enough of a headache for the Indiana Pacers of late.

James recorded two triple-doubles and a 47-point performance in his past four trips to Conseco Fieldhouse, and the Cavaliers hope the reigning MVP's wrist won't hinder him as they seek their 11th win in 12 games against the Pacers.

Cleveland (8-4) was without O'Neal (shoulder) in the past three games and forward Anderson Varejao (hip) for the last two. While Varejao is expected to return Friday, a bigger concern may have arisen Wednesday.

James banged his wrist on the basket while dunking late in the game in Washington. Cleveland blew a 17-point second-quarter lead and went on to lose 108-91.

"I hit it pretty bad on the rim," said James, who finished with 34 points and nine assists. "It's like you hit your funny bone, but it's not funny at all."

James' teammates didn't give him much help Wednesday. No other Cavalier scored more than 10 points, and second-leading scorer Mo Williams shot 2 of 13.

"In general, our entire team - including LeBron - brought the ball to a standstill," coach Mike Brown said.

Williams averaged 11.3 points and shot 27.1 percent in Cleveland's four losses while scoring 20.1 points per game and shooting 53.8 percent in its eight wins.

O'Neal is likely to miss games Friday and Saturday, while James' status isn't clear - though he said the wrist was sore, no X-rays were taken.

James has certainly enjoyed playing at Conseco recently. He topped 30 points and had a triple-double in both visits in 2007-08, and averaged 42.0 points in two games there last season.

James' 47-point effort Feb. 10, though, wasn't enough. He was called for a controversial foul on Indiana's Danny Granger with 0.1 seconds left and the score tied, and Granger sank 1 of 2 free throws to give the Pacers a 96-95 win - their only victory in the past 11 games against Cleveland.

Indiana (5-4) had won three straight at home and five overall heading into a visit from New York on Wednesday, and Granger scored 30 points in the first half to give the Pacers a 69-54 edge at the break. However, they shot 24 percent after halftime, Granger was held to three points and the Knicks rallied for a 110-103 win.

"They're going to take the attitude, are all teams against this particular group that we're playing right now, that somebody else (besides Granger) is going to have to beat us," coach Jim O'Brien said. " ... Somebody else needs to be that scorer and tonight we just didn't get that after they took Danny out of the game."

While the Cavaliers are dealing with injuries, the Pacers have had a few key players out far longer. Troy Murphy has missed six straight games with a bruised back, Jeff Foster has been out the last seven with a high ankle sprain and offseason knee surgery has kept Mike Dunleavy off the floor all season.

Murphy is considered the closest to returning, but likely won't play Friday.

Granger averaged 22.8 points against the Cavaliers last season, scoring 38 in a 117-109 home loss April 13.

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: November 19, 2009


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