Pistons-Cavaliers Preview

Kyrie Irving won’t be able to help. Rookie guard Dion Waiters

wishes he could, but that doesn’t look like it’s going to

happen.

Likely missing their top two scorers for a fourth consecutive

game, the host Cavaliers will look to snap a four-game losing

streak Saturday night when they face the Detroit Pistons for the

second time in six days.

Out the last 10 games with a broken left index finger, Irving,

who is scoring 22.9 points per game, isn’t expected back for a

couple of weeks.

Waiters, second on the Cavs (4-16) with 15.2 ppg, has missed the

last three contests – starting with Monday’s 89-79 loss at Detroit

– with a sprained left ankle, and he’s not likely to return until

at least Tuesday against the Los Angeles Lakers.

“He wants to try to play tomorrow, I just don’t see it after

watching him walk,” coach Byron Scott said after Friday’s

shootaround. “The other thing is, I’ve always believed when a

player comes back, he has to have a full day or practice too. His

first chance of doing that would be Monday.”

That’s bad news for a Cavs team that’s averaging 79.0 points and

shooting 34.8 percent since Waiters went down.

With the No. 4 overall pick back in Cleveland to receive

treatment, the Cavs lost for the 14th time in 16 games on Friday,

91-73 to Minnesota.

There was no excuse for their season low-tying 30 field goals,

but Scott found one for the season-low nine free throw

attempts.

“(The officiating) was that bad. It really was. It was that

bad,” he said. “I mean I understand we’re playing in Minnesota, but

35-9, we went to the basket just as much as they did. I think we

had 38 attempts in the paint to their 34, we get nine free throws,

I think that speaks for itself.”

So does the Pistons grabbing just five more rebounds than

Chicago’s Joakim Noah (23) in Friday’s 108-104 loss.

“Energy. It’s disappointing,” coach Lawrence Frank told the

Pistons’ official website after his team gave up a 17-point

second-quarter lead.

Even though Detroit (6-15) had 13 blocks on Monday when it held

the lowly Cavs to a season-low 33.7 percent from the field, heading

to Cleveland is no guarantee that the Pistons can get back into the

win column.

They’re 1-10 outside Auburn Hills this season.

The Cavs, meanwhile, are going for their first home win in four

tries.

Cleveland center Anderson Varejao will try to start a new

double-streak after his run ended at 10 on Friday when he scored

four points with 14 rebounds. Varejao had also grabbed at least 15

boards in each of the previous 10 games, including 18 in Monday’s

loss.

Pistons center Greg Monroe had five rebounds Friday to extend

his streak with that many boards to 112. Monroe had 14 rebounds and

rookie Andre Drummond pulled down 12 on Monday to help Detroit win

its third straight in this Central Division matchup.