Cavs (19-38) vs. Raptors (23-34) – Game #58

OPENING TIP

Without question, the Raptors are a much better team since the trade for Rudy Gay. Not only is a Gay a proven slasher and scorer, he’s an underrated guy when it comes to coming through in the clutch. So Cavs forward Alonzo Gee will have his defensive work cut out for him once again. As an important aside, Kyrie Irving will miss his second straight game with a sore/hyperextended right knee.

Venue: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland.

TV/Radio: 6:30 p.m. EST, FOX Sports Ohio/WTAM

All-Time Series: Cavaliers lead, 37-30.

PROJECTED STARTERS

TORONTO RAPTORS (23-34)
C Jonas Valanciunas
PF Amir Johnson
SF Rudy Gay
SG DeMar DeRozen
PG Kyle Lowry

CLEVELAND CAVALIERS (19-38)
C Tyler Zeller
PF Tristan Thompson
SF Alonzo Gee
SG Dion Waiters
PG Shaun Livingston

Pregame notes:

• The Raptors have won three straight on the road, and are 7-4 in February.

• They’re doing it mostly with defense, holding opponents to less than 100 points in eight of their last nine games.

• Johnson is one the league’s most underrated players, a distinguished garbage man who does the dirty work around the rim. He’s averaging 12.4 points and 9.0 rebounds since becoming the starter Jan. 6.

• Along with Gay, DeRozen and Johnson, keep an eye out for reserve swingman Alan Anderson. He may only score four points (as he did in each of the past two games), but he’s capable of erupting for 26 (as he did Feb. 13 vs. New York).

• Daniel Gibson returns for the Cavs after missing the last three games because of personal reasons. Doubtful he’ll play, however, as he hasn’t practiced lately, either.

• The Cavs are 4-13 in second games of a back-to-back. They won Tuesday at Chicago.