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Celtics-Cavaliers Preview

After failing to come through in the clutch, LeBron James is looking to help the Cleveland Cavaliers get back on track.

It's uncertain if Kyrie Irving will be back in the lineup as the Cavaliers go for a 12th consecutive home win Tuesday night against the Boston Celtics.

Cleveland (37-24) is coming off its first back-to-back defeats since a six-game skid Jan. 4-13, falling 93-86 at Indiana on Friday and 105-103 at Houston in overtime Sunday.

James (back) sat out Friday as a precaution before returning with 37 points against the Rockets. However, it wasn't enough as the four-time MVP was a season-worst 3 of 11 at the foul line, including two misses with 4.2 seconds left in OT and the Cavs down one.

"There is no excuse. I missed free throws," said James, who is 21 of 40 from the line over his last five games. "I missed the two biggest ones of the game to put us up with seconds on the clock and I didn't come through. I failed my teammates."

Kevin Love scored 21 points and Tristan Thompson added 14 and a season-best 19 rebounds for Cleveland, which wasted a 53-36 edge on the glass.

"We win as a team and lose as a team. The game wasn't determined on those two free throws, there were plenty of opportunities," Thompson said. "I think each of us as individuals need to look back and see where we could have done better. It's part of the game, just have to move on to the next one."

Irving, who has missed the last two games due to a shoulder injury, participated in the team's shoot-around Tuesday and his status will be updated prior to the game. The All-Star guard is averaging 21.7 points to rank second on the team behind James' 26.2, the NBA's third-best mark.

They have to like their chances of regrouping at home, where they're outscoring opponents by an average of 14.8 points during their 11-game streak. They haven't won 12 straight on their own court since stringing 16 together Feb. 11-April 12, 2009.

James poured in 41 points and Irving added 27 to help the Cavs escape with a 122-121 win at Boston on Nov. 14, snapping a three-game skid in the series. James, who made what proved to be the winning free throw with 36 seconds to go, is averaging 30.4 points against the Celtics for his highest mark against any team.

Boston (23-34) appeared headed for a season-best fourth consecutive victory before blowing a 26-point lead in Sunday's 106-101 loss to Golden State. Recently acquired Isaiah Thomas had 20 points to lead six players in double figures for the Celtics, who were outscored 31-15 in the fourth quarter.

"I just told the guys in the locker room I have to look at it objectively and subjectively," coach Brad Stevens said. "I think the biggest thing is that it's a disappointing loss, but I really like the guys in our locker room because they're trying to play the right way.

"Hopefully we can keep growing and getting better, but we've got to play better."

Thomas is averaging 21.8 points and 5.8 assists in five games since coming over from Phoenix before the trade deadline. He's the first Celtic to score at least 19 off the bench in at least four consecutive games since Hall of Famer Kevin McHale in 1989-90.

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