GameDay Preview: Cavs at Trail Blazers

Dion Waiters
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Game Summary

The Wine and Gold will play the fourth contest of this five-game road trip as they visit the Portland Trail Blazers tonight. Tipoff is at 10:00 p.m. ET.

Cleveland (14-24), winners of three of their last four, will look to build upon last night's 120-118 victory against the L.A. Lakers.

Luol Deng was perfect in five three-point attempts to lead everyone with 27 points while Anderson Varejao followed up with 18 points, 18 rebounds and six assists in the win.

Portland (28-9) seeks their third straight victory tonight in their final home game before an extended road trip. The Trail Blazers open that trip in San Antonio on Friday before playing Dallas, Houston and Oklahoma City.

Probable Starters/Injury Report* presented by Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland ClinicCavaliers: PG - Kyrie Irving, SG - C.J. Miles, SF - Luol Deng
PF - Tristan Thompson, C - Anderson Varejao

Trail Blazers: PG - Damian Lillard, SG - Wesley Matthews, SF - Nicholas Batum
PF - LaMarcus Aldridge, C - Robin Lopez

Status Update: (Cavs) - None to Report

(Trail Blazers) - None to Report

*Subject to change

Head-to-Head Matchup

In the two teams' last matchup nearly one month ago at The Q, Portland point guard Damian Lillard sank a long 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Blazers a 119-116 victory.

All-time, the Wine and Gold are 49-63 against Portland (31-25 Home, 18-38 Road).

Key to the Game/Key Matchup

Key to the Game

Forcing Tough Shots

Thanks to an efficient, high-scoring offense, the Trail Blazers have the second-best record in the Western Conference. Portland averages a league-leading 109.1 points per game thanks to some superb shooting.

Portland ranks second in the NBA with a 39.6 shooting percentage from three-point range and is near the top in overall field-goal percentage.

Needless to say, the Wine and Gold will have to bring their best defensive effort in forcing the Blazers into tough shots.

The Cavs held the Trail Blazers to just .392 (31-79) shooting from the field in the two teams' last meeting.

Key Matchup

Frontcourt Battle

LaMarcus Aldridge is having an MVP-like season. The former Texas Longhorn is averaging 23.6 points and 11.0 rebounds on the season.

In Portland's last two wins, he's averaged 28.5 points and 11.0 rebounds, shooting 60.0 percent from the field and 90.0 percent from the free throw line.

Another former Longhorn, Tristan Thompson, will look to slow down Portland's go-to guy. Thompson tallied 15 points to go along with 13 rebounds in last night's victory in L.A.

Assisting Thompson in the Wine and Gold's frontcourt will be Anderson Varejao. As mentioned, Varejao recorded 18 points and 18 rebounds against the Lakers on Tuesday.

On the season, Varejao (10.0, 3rd in East) and Thompson (9.8, 4th in East) are pulling down a combined 19.8 rebounds per game, which is the 2nd-highest for a rebounding duo in the Eastern Conference.

Where to Catch the Action

TV: FOX Sports Ohio, Radio: WTAM 1100, NBA League Pass Audio, XM & Sirius 219

For live in-game updates, follow @cavs, @CavsJoeG, @CavsFredMcLeod, @MrCavalier34, @CavsJMike and @chones22 on Twitter.

Be sure to check for Joe Gabriele's live in-game blog providing instant analysis and game notes. Plus, get into the discussion as die-hard Cavs fans talk about the game on CavFanatic's GameDay Thread.

On Deck

After tonight's game, the Cavs conclude their road trip Friday night in Denver against the Nuggets at 9:00 p.m. ET.