UPDATE: Cavs guards Dwyane Wade (rest) and Iman Shumpert (foot) won't play tonight and the Wolves' Marcus Georges-Hunt is out, too, because of illness. The Cavs' Tyronn Lue said he will coach after he left last night's game in Orlando in the second quarter because he was ill. END UPDATE
The last time the Timberwolves played Cleveland, they led by as many as 41 points and won by 28.
That was a month ago, at Target Center.
That 127-99 victory was the start of a stretch for the Cavaliers when they've lost nine of their last 13 games now after Tuesday's loss at Orlando. They're 30-22 and in third place in the East, 7 1/2 game behind leading Boston.
Things have unwound enough that James was asked after Tuesday's game if he would waive his no-trade clause if asked. He can become a free agent this summer.
"No," he told reporters. "I'm here for the long haul. I'm here for this season right now, to try to figure out ways we can still compete. I couldn't give up on my teammates like that. I couldn't do that. I just can't do it. We've put too much into the game every single day. We go out prepared. Win, lose or draw, at the end of the day we're all brothers and we understand that, so I owe it to my teammates to finish this season out, no matter how it ends up. I would never waive my no-trade clause."
Tonight's game comes with Thursday's trade deadline -- 2 p.m. Central time -- closing in fast and the Cavs, in particular, seeking to make some changes.
Asked if he expects much action around the league between now and then, Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau said, "There could be. Before any trade deadline there’s always a lot of talk, but usually not a lot gets done. There will be some moves, I would expect. That’s normal at this time of year."
Asked if his team will participate, he said, "We’ll see. If there’s something there that could make us better, we’ll take a look at it."
The Cavs led by 21 points in the first half at Orlando and ended up losing 116-98 on a night when coach Ty Lue went to the locker room ill in the second quarter and never returned to coach. The Cavaliers are playing without injured All Star Kevin Love for the next eight weeks after he broke a hand for the third time in his NBA career.
"The thing is, they still have a great record at home," Thibodeau said of their 19-7 home record. "It's a prideful team. They have LeBron. I think there's great danger anytime you play a team he's on. When you look at what they've done at home, they're a tough matchup because of what he can do to you. And then they have shooting. They have rebounding. They have a lot of weapons."
The Wolves lost eight of nine road games in January after they had started the season 11-8 away from Target Center.
The Wolves haven't played since beating New Orleans at home on Saturday. That's a three-day break -- they took two days off from practice before returning Tuesday -- in a schedule where they didn't have consecutive days off the entire month of January.
Remember: Tonight's tip is an hour later than usual, at 7 p.m. Central time, because it's an ESPN game as well as televised on FSN.