Cavaliers (5-22) vs. Pacers (14-12) – Game #28

OPENING TIP

This isn’t getting any easier to type, but the Cavaliers just keep losing. They’ve now dropped five straight following Wednesday’s loss in Boston — and 10 of their last 11. Worse, Anderson Varejao is expected to miss Friday’s home game against Indiana with a sore knee. Meanwhile, the gritty Pacers are finding a way to stay relevant without injured forward Danny Granger. They’re currently tied for the fifth-best record in the conference (with Milwaukee) and just one game out of fouth.

Venue: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland

TV/Radio: 7:30 p.m. FOX Sports Ohio/WTAM

All-Time Series: Pacers lead, 84-82 and have won three straight.

STARTING LINEUPS

CLEVELAND CAVALIERS (5-22)
C Tyler Zeller
PF Tristan Thompson
SF Alonzo Gee
SG Dion Waiters
PG Kyrie Irving

INDIANA PACERS (14-12)
C Roy Hibbert
PF David West
SF Paul George
SG Lance Stephenson
PG George Hill

Pregame notes:

• Byron Scott said at shootaround that Varejao is officially a game-time decision, but hinted that he’s unlikely to play Friday, or Saturday at Milwaukee.

• The Cavs and Pacers met Dec. 12 in Indiana. The Cavs had a 16-point lead. Then lost, 96-81.

• The Pacers lead the league in rebounding (46.1 rpg). So for the Cavs to not have Varejao, the league’s leading rebounder … well, you get the picture.

• Indiana’s bench scored 36 points Tuesday against Milwaukee, then 39 the next night vs. Utah. So it’s understandable when Pacers forward Tyler Hansbrough says the second unit has turned the corner.