Both the Orlando Magic and Cleveland Cavaliers will be shorthanded when the two 10-21 clubs do battle Thursday night at Quicken Loans Arena. Magic center Nik Vučević, who sprained his left ankle in Tuesday's loss to the Golden State Warriors, "tested his sprained ankle and determined it was too tender," according to John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com. Kyrie Irving, who sustained a knee injury in Cleveland's previous game against the Indiana Pacers, will not play either, says the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Vučević has started 27 games for Orlando in his third season. He's averaging 13.4 points, 11.1 rebounds, and two assists per game on 51.8 percent shooting from the field. The USC product previously sprained the same ankle in a game against the Washington Wizards, and Orlando went 0-4 in his absence.
Irving, an All-Star a season ago, is posting per-game averages of 22.2 points and 6.1 assists on 42.8 percent shooting from the field and 35.4 percent from three-point distance. He scored a game-high 31 points in Cleveland's victory over Orlando on December 13th.
Jason Maxiell will start in Vučević's stead, while Jarrett Jack will take Irving's spot in Cleveland's backcourt.