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Cavaliers Vs. Celtics: Cleveland Could Gain Ground On Boston

The Cavs host Boston just 1.5 games behind the Celtics in the Eastern conference. Kyrie Irving and company will look to close the gap Tuesday in Cleveland.

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The Cleveland Cavaliers kick off the post-All-Star Game docket with a game against the slumping Celtics on Tuesday.

The Cavs won four of their final eight games heading into the break, including two of their last three. They notched one-point wins over Sacramento and Detroit before falling to New Orleans on Wednesday.

The Celtics, meanwhile, lost seven of eight before the All-Star game, including five in a row. Five of those eight losses came by double-figures, setting off alarms around Boston as the C’s fell to 15-17 and into eighth place in the East, just 1.5 games ahead of the ninth-place Cavs, who are 13-18.

Kyrie Irving has scored at least 22 points in three of the last five games. The rookie had one of his best games as a pro in Cleveland’s win over the Pistons, going for 25 points, eight assists and five boards. He tacked on two steals and two blocks, both tied for season highs.

Anderson Varejao is still out with a fractured wrist. He is expected to miss at least a few more weeks.

The Celtic have lost 9 of 13 road games, while Cleveland is 8-9 at home.

The game tips at 7 ET and will be on Fox Sports Ohio in HD.

For more on the Cleveland Cavaliers, go to Fear The Sword. You can also head over to SB Nation's main NBA hub at SBNation.com/NBA.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.