Cleveland Cavaliers rookie Dion Waiters is hoping he can return to the court Tuesday night versus the Toronto Raptors.
Waiters said his conditioning is good after Monday's practice after he has missed eight straight games with a sore left ankle. The first-year phenom is averaging 15.2 points and 3.4 assists this season for a struggling Cleveland team that could use his services.
"I felt good out there," a perspiring Waiters said Monday.
The former Syracuse star said he worked out at least two to three times a day to strengthen the ankle. Cleveland can only hope the hard work has paid off and will try to get back into the win column at home versus Toronto. The Cavaliers have lost three in a row and eight of nine games, including a 103-102 setback against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
Reigning Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving scored a career-high 41 points and made 15-of-25 shots from the floor. Irving scored 17 points in the fourth quarter alone and buried 5-of-8 3-pointers. Irving has scored 20-plus points in 10 of his 14 games played and leads the team with 23.8 ppg.
"Kyrie (Irving) took over in the second half," Cavaliers coach Byron Scott said. "We made some mistakes that got us in trouble. For the most part we battled, we competed and we played with (a) sense of urgency."
C.J. Miles tallied 17 points and eight rebounds for Cleveland, which will try to improve its 3-7 home record. Cleveland will play its second straight four games in five nights set Tuesday.
Toronto looks to put the brakes on an 11-game road losing streak and is just 1-14 away from Canada. The longest road losing streak in Raptors history is a 14-game slide, which has happened twice. The last time was January 7-March 16, 2011.
The Raptors have won two in a row -- both at home -- following a six-game slide and haven't put together a three-game winning streak since April 1-4, 2012. In Sunday's 103-96 victory versus Houston, Jose Calderon recorded his second triple-double of the season with 18 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds.
Alan Anderson netted 24 points and DeMar DeRozan added 19 points and seven boards for Toronto, which recorded a season-high 13 blocks and season-low seven turnovers. Amir Johnson led the way with a season-high five blocks.
"The key was we didn't turn the ball over. In the first half we gave up threes, in the second half we held them. We're getting back to playing defense," Toronto head coach Dwane Casey said.
Toronto is riding its first two-game winning streak since last April 13-15.
DeRozan has played well in his career against the Cavaliers, averaging 14.0 points and 3.4 rebounds in 11 meetings. In his last five games overall, DeRozan is averaging 17.6 points and 5.0 boards. Ed Davis, who had 13 points in the win over the Rockets, is averaging 12.6 ppg in his previous five.
Raptors center Andrea Bargnani (elbow) and guards Landry Fields (elbow) and Kyle Lowry (triceps) are all still sidelined.
The Raptors took three of four matchups from the Cavs a season ago and have won five of the past seven meetings between the teams. Toronto is unbeaten in its last three trips to Quicken Loans Arena, but has dropped 13 of the previous 18 contests at the Q.