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Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Spoelstra says Cavaliers 'a team on the rise'

By Michael Wallace




MIAMI - The last time the Miami Heat faced Cleveland, the Cavaliers forced LeBron James into one of his toughest outings of the season and nearly left AmericanAirlines Arena with a stunning upset.

Now, two weeks later, No. 1 draft pick Kyrie Irving and the Cavaliers are back to challenge the Heat again Tuesday night. Miami coach Erik Spoelstra spoke after the team's morning shootaround about Cleveland's potential to be a headache for plenty of teams in the East this season amid a push for a playoff spot.

"They're a team on the rise," Spoelstra said of Cleveland, which lost to Miami 92-85 on Jan. 24. "They have a lot to be hopeful for. But that time could also be now."

The Heat, having won seven of their past eight, look to remain hot. The Cavaliers are 3-3 in their last six games, with the victories against high-profile opponents in New York, Boston and Dallas.