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PREVIEW: Cavs hope to avoid season sweep against Pacers on Friday

CLEVELAND – When the Cavs visited Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Dec. 8, they were in the midst of a 13-game winning streak, the longest in franchise history. Everything seemed to be clicking, with Kevin Love having his best season in a Wine and Gold uniform, and a rejuvenated Jose Calderon magically running the first-team offense with ease.

A 106-102 defeat that night spelled the beginning to a 9-12 stretch, and loss of control atop the Eastern Conference ladder.

Cleveland will look to right the ship against Indiana on Friday evening at Quicken Loans Arena. With a win, head coach Tyronn Lue and company would avoid a season sweep in the divisional matchup.

The Pacers have turned the page on Paul George and become a better basketball team, with offseason acquisitions Victor Oladipo (24.1 ppg, 4.0 apg, 5.2 rpg) and Domantas Sabonis (12.4 ppg, 8.3 rpg) each having the best season of their young careers.

The Cavaliers are 3-10 dating back to Christmas Day, as the return of Isaiah Thomas has been problematic on both ends of the floor.

When: 7:30 p.m. ET

TV: FOX Sports Ohio

Online: FOX Sports Go

Radio: WTAM 1100 AM, WMMS 100.7 FM, La Mega 87.7 FM

Cavs probable starters: PG Isaiah Thomas, SG J.R. Smith, SF LeBron James, PF Kevin Love, C Tristan Thompson.

Pacers probable starters: PG Darren Collison, SG Victory Oladipo, SF Bojan Bogdanovic, PF Thaddeus Young, C Domantas Sabonis.

Cavs injuries: SG Dwyane Wade (personal – OUT).

Pacers injuries: C Myles Turner (right elbow – OUT), Glenn Robinson III (left ankle surgery rehabilitation – OUT), TJ Leaf (sprained right ankle – OUT).

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John Alfes is a senior at John Carroll University, and hails from Westlake, Ohio. His love and passion for the game of baseball originated in 1998, when he played catch with his father at the age of two. A former collegiate pitcher, Alfes currently serves as a Cleveland Cavaliers reporter for AP Radio/Metro Networks and the Cleveland Indians Beat Writer for CBS Sports/Scout Media Network, all while majoring in Communications (focus in Journalism) and English (focus in Professional Writing). He is the Sports Editor for The Carroll News, Sports Director for WJCU 88.7 FM and Senior Writer for the John Carroll Sports Information Department. John is an Eagle Scout and loves his two younger brothers (Conrad and Daniel) and two parents (John and Celeste). You can follow John Alfes on Twitter (@JohnAlfes) or reach him through email (jalfes18@jcu.edu).

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