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Wizards-Cavaliers Preview

AP - Sports

The Cleveland Cavaliers have been a respectable team at home so far this season, which was anything but the case in 2012-13.

The Cavaliers, who went 14-27 in Cleveland last season, will try for their fourth win in five home games Wednesday night against the Washington Wizards.

The Cavs (4-7) snapped a three-game skid Saturday with a 103-96 overtime win at Washington. The victory came amid reports of a physical confrontation during a players-only meeting after last Wednesday's loss in Minnesota.

Guard Dion Waiters returned to practice Monday after missing the last two games with flu-like symptoms and insisted his absence was related strictly to his illness.

"We got it off our chests," Waiters said. "I think we needed it and we can move forward. We're men. Nobody got into no altercations or anything like that. We got everything off our chests that we needed. That's that. All the other rumors, man, are rumors. Don't believe it. It's not true.

"We talked. Everybody talked. Nobody put their hands on nobody."

Waiters is expected to play against the Wizards. Before the illness, he started each of the Cavaliers' nine games and averaged 13.3 points on 39.8 percent shooting.

He hasn't been the only Cavs guard struggling to find his shot. Kyrie Irving is shooting 39.5 percent, though he broke out of his slump by tying a career high with 41 points on 14-for-28 shooting against the Wizards. He's averaging 29.0 points in the four healthy games he's played in his career against Washington.

He's been wearing a protective mask after suffering a broken nose in the loss to the Timberwolves.

"Shots were falling with the mask on," Irving said. "I have to wear it for two more weeks. No excuses. Shots were falling."

Overall, shots haven't been falling for the Cavs. They're connecting on 41.1 percent from the floor this year, though they did finish strong by coming back from a 15-point deficit against the Wizards.

"We were down 15. We could have easily quit," said coach Mike Brown, who continues to experiment with the lineup. "We're kind of discombobulated. Andrew (Bynum) hadn't practiced and threw him out there and started him. Not one unit out there knew anything that we were doing. I didn't know what we were doing. Threw Earl (Clark) in at the four. Earl doesn't know what he's doing at the four. We just kind of made it up on the fly."

The short-handed Wizards (3-7) have also been forced to tinker, though they snapped a four-game losing streak with Tuesday's 104-100 home win over Minnesota.

Trevor Ariza (strained hamstring) missed his second straight game, while Al Harrington (sore knee) has been out for three. Otto Porter Jr. also remains inactive with a right hip flexor injury.

Bradley Beal scored 25 points and John Wall had 14 with a career high-tying 16 assists. Forward Martell Webster made his second straight start and hit 5 of 10 from 3-point range on his way to 17 points.

The Wizards also held a players-only meeting before Tuesday morning's shootaround.

"After halftime I was going to have another one," coach Randy Wittman joked. "I wasn't going to go in there. I'll do whatever it takes for a win, trust me."

Washington shot a season-high 48.2 percent and hit all 15 of its free throws to rally from 16 points down.

The Cavs have won four in a row over the Wizards.

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