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Wizards vs. Cavaliers preview: Washington returns home to host Cleveland

The Wizards still have multiple players in health and safety protocols.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Washington Wizards Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Game info

When: Thursday, December 30 at 7 p.m. ET

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington D.C.

How to watch: NBC Sports Washington

How to listen: The Team 980 AM, 106.7-2 FM

Injury Report

Wizards: Montrezl Harrell (Health and safety protocols, Out); Bradley Beal (Health and safety protocols, Out); Raul Neto (Health and safety protocols, Out); Kentavious Caldwell-Pope; (Health and safety protocols, Out); Rui Hachimura (Health and safety protocols, Out); Anthony Gil (Health and safety protocols, Out); Aaron Holiday (Health and safety protocols, Out); Thomas Bryant (Knee, Out)

Cavaliers: Collin Sexton (Knee, Out); Ricky Rubio (Knee, Out); Darius Garland (Health and safety protocols, Out); Jarrett Allen (Health and safety protocols, Out); Ed Davis (Health and safety protocols, Out); RJ Nembhard (Health and safety protocols, Out); Lamar Stevens (Health and safety protocols, Out); Dylan Windler (Health and safety protocols, Out);

Pregame notes

The Washington Wizards (17-17) will return to D.C. for a 4-game homestead, starting Thursday night with a matchup against the Cleveland Cavaliers (20-14). The Wizards are 1-1 against the Cavaliers and have lost their last two games with the most recent being against the Miami Heat on Tuesday night. The team has been shaken up a bit due to having 7 players in health and safety protocols and new g-league additions. Cleveland, who currently has 6 players in health and safety protocols, can relate.

The Wizards did show fight in the 7-point loss against the Heat. Their late-game comeback thanks to a 25-11 point run wasn’t enough to secure the win but it was a performance that the team should be proud of given the adjustments they’ve had to make in such a short time. Spencer Dinwiddie and Kyle Kuzma scored 24 and 22 points respectively. Davis Bertans shot 7-12 from the field and finished the night with a solid 19 points. Daniel Gafford stepped up in Montrezl Harrell’s absence, going 7-7 from the field (16 points) and grabbing 11 rebounds.

The Cavaliers have won 11 of their last 15 games and are coming off a loss against the New Orleans Pelicans. They’ll be without Ricky Rubio, who suffered a left knee injury Tuesday night against the Pelicans. With minutes left in the game, Rubio slipped while driving through the paint and his knee bent back awkwardly. Rubio, who finished the game just one assist shy of a triple-double, was helped to the locker room and did not return to the game. An update on his status is expected to be released Wednesday.