CLEVELAND — In one of the more important games of the season, the Celtics, after Doc Rivers threatened trades following the 103-88 loss to the Detroit Pistons on Sunday, take on the struggling Cavaliers. Don’t take Cleveland lightly, it has given the Celtics trouble over the past two years with Kyrie Irving running point guard. The Celtics won the first meeting Boston on Dec. 19 but nearly coughed up a 20-point lead in the process.
BOSTON CELTICS (20-20)
PG Rajon Rondo
SG Leandro Barbosa
SF Paul Pierce
PF Brandon Bass
C Kevin Garnett
CLEVELAND CAVALIERS (10-32)
PG Kyrie Irving
SG Dion Waiters
SF Alonzo Gee
PF Tristian Thompson
C Tyler Zeller
Officials: Tom Washington, Courtney Kirkland, Kevin Scott
TV/Radio: 7 p.m. Comcast SportsNet / WEEI
• The Cavaliers have five players born in the 1990s — Irving, Josh Selby, Thompson, Waiters and Zeller.
• Cleveland acquired Selby along with Marreese Speights, Wayne Ellington and a first-round draft pick for forward Jon Leuer in a salary cap dump for the Memphis Grizzlies. None of the three acquired players are expected to play tonight.
• Paul Pierce is 29-for-73 shooting (39.7 percent) in the past five games but he said he is not concerned about his slump. He scored just 10 points Sunday against the Pistons
• Avery Bradley will start despite sore ribs. He was visibly wincing during the Detroit game but reported no setbacks,
• The Cavaliers went 1-4 on a just-concluded West Coast road trip, pulling out a victory in Portland. Thompson has led the Cavaliers in rebounding in 14 of the past 16 games.
• After having knee surgery, Cleveland forward Anderson Varejao was declared out for the season after doctors discovered a blood clot in his lung. He was the league’s leading rebounder when injured on Dec. 18.