(Sports Network) - The Cleveland Cavaliers look to halt a three-game losingstreak on Friday night when they hit up the Target Center for a matchup withthe Minnesota Timberwolves.
Without their young, dynamic starting backcourt on Wednesday, the Cavaliersfell to the Chicago Bulls 95-85 at home. They are 2-10 on the road thisseason and Kyrie Irving will still be out with a broken finger and rookie DionWaiters' status in unknown for Friday night with a left ankle sprain.
In their last two losses, the Cavs have shot 33.7 percent against the Pistonsand 36.5 percent against the Bulls. It's not hard to imagine the offensestruggling without 38.1 ppg in suits on the bench.
"One thing we'll be and always will be is a no excuse team, and we're going toplay the guys that we have available," head coach Byron Scott said after theChicago loss. "We're not going to cry about the guys that aren't here andcan't participate because when they're healthy, they'll come back and supplyus with the parts that we need. Right now the guys that we have out there areplaying as hard as they can and that's all you can ask for."
When it comes to playing as hard as you can, no one on the Cavs' rosterexemplifies that more than Anderson Varejao. Against the Bulls, Varejaoregistered 11 points and 15 rebounds for his 10th straight double-double. Heis the third player in Cavs' history to accomplish the feat, but here'ssomething no Cavs player can claim - all 10 of Varejao's double-doubles havecome with 15 rebounds or more.
Varejao leads the league in rebounding, but next on that list is Kevin Love ofthe T-Wolves. In the eight games since his return from a broken hand, Love isaveraging 19.4 ppg and 14.4 rpg.
Minnesota is only 3-5 since Love rejoined the lineup. They've won two of theirlast three, but a 104-94 loss the last time out in Boston became a disaster inthe third quarter. Up four at the half, the Timberwolves lost the thirdquarter by 11.
After a scorching night shooting Tuesday en route to victory in Philadelphia,Minnesota shot 44 percent against the Celtics. Perhaps more troubling than thefield-goal number was that the T-Wolves shot a putrid 46.7 percent from thefoul line.
"The second half, they got the lead and we missed a lot of free throws," saidhead coach Rick Adelman. "I thought we were playing pretty well, but in thesecond half, they took control."
The Timberwolves are 4-3 at home, but have gone 1-3 in their last four. Six oftheir next 10 are in Minnesota.
The Cavaliers are 10-2 in their last 12 against the Timberwolves and have wonsix of their last seven in Minnesota.