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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, February 11th (All times Eastern)

Sacramento Kings (17-34) at Cleveland Cavaliers (18-33), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - Kyrie Irving will try to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to a third straight win when they entertain the Sacramento Kings Tuesday at Quicken Loans Arena.

Irving scored 28 points in Sunday's 91-83 overtime win versus the Memphis Grizzlies and tied the game at 78-78 on an acrobatic layup with 18.1 seconds remaining. Irving also sank four free throws in overtime, where the Cavs scored 13 of the 18 points.

Irving has scored a league-high 44 points in overtime this season.

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, Irving has scored 20 or more points in seven of eight and 11 of his last 13 games, posting an average of 22.1 points per game in the longer span.

Dion Waiters scored 18 points off the bench and provided an emphatic dunk down the lane in overtime. He is averaging a conference best 14.6 ppg as a reserve.

"We had a lot of good performances from everybody on the team. I thought Dion's dunk towards the end of overtime was huge for us," said Cavaliers coach Mike Brown. "We called a play in the huddle and he recognized where he had an advantage. He took it to the hole strong and finished the right way. That was a big difference in the ball game."

C.J. Miles added 14 points off the bench and Luol Deng returned from a one- game absence because of the flu to post 14 points. Miles is averaging 17.3 ppg in his last four contests.

The Cavaliers, who are averaging 105.3 ppg in the last four, have a 2-0 mark since general manager Chris Grant was fired on the heels of a six-game slide and last won three straight from Dec. 7-13. They are 12-13 at Quicken Loans Arena this season and will later visit Detroit and Philadelphia.

Sacramento is winless (0-2) so far on its four-game road trip after dropping bouts with Boston and Washington. In Sunday's 93-84 loss to the Wizards, Isaiah Thomas continued to shine as a starter and pumped in 30 points on 11- of-24 shooting. He also dished out eight assists.

Thomas is averaging 21.7 points per game in his last 32 games, all starts.

DeMarcus Cousins added another double-double of 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Kings, losers in nine of the last 11 games. Ben McLemore scored 11 points off the bench in defeat for Sacramento, which pulled within 77-73 early on in the fourth quarter before the Wizards took a 91-78 advantage.

"I just want a consistent effort. We got back in the game because we played the right way. When you use so much energy to get back in the game, you can't close it out. I am very proud of how we played in the second half," said Kings coach Michael Malone.

Rudy Gay had just five points, but is still posting an average of 20.3 ppg since coming over via trade with Toronto in early December.

Meanwhile, Cousins has posted a double-double in 19 of his last 20 games and has at least one block in 13 consecutive games.

The Kings, who have a 1-6 road mark against teams from the East, are winless in their last six road games and 6-18 as the guest. They will visit the New York Knicks Wednesday at Madison Square Garden.

Sacramento crushed Cleveland 124-80 back on Jan. 12 at home and was led by Thomas' 26 points and 20 from Gay. Irving had just seven points in that one for the Cavs, who have still won 10 of the past 14 meetings with the Kings.

Sacramento has lost five of its last seven trips to Cleveland.

02/11 10:23:44 ET