GameDay Preview: Cavs vs. Celtics

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Dion Waiters, Anderson Varejao
Jared Wickerham/NBAE/GettyImages

Game Summary

The Wine and Gold face the Boston Celtics today for their second of three matchups this season. Tipoff is at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Cleveland (10-17) has scored over 106 points in six of the last eight games, averaging 107.0 points per game over that stretch. Since Dec. 10, the Cavs are 3rd-highest scoring team in the Eastern Conference (8th in NBA).

Against Atlanta on Thursday night at The Q, the Cavs made a season-high 49 field goals and made at least half of their field goal attempts for the third time this season (49-94).

Boston (12-17) comes into tonight's matchup having lost three straight games after falling to the Indiana Pacers 106-79 in their most recent game last Sunday.

Probable Starters/Injury Report* presented by Cleveland Clinic

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

Celtics: PG - Avery Bradley, SG - Jordan Crawford, SF - Jeff Green
PF - Brandon Bass, C - Jared Sullinger

Status Update: (Cavs) - Andrew Bynum, (Conduct Detrimental to the Team, Out)

(Celtics) - Rajon Rando, (Torn ACL, Right Knee, Out)

*Subject to change

Head-to-Head Matchup

In their last matchup on Nov. 29 in Boston, Dion Waiters bucketed a team-high 21 points, four rebounds, a season-high tying six assists and one steal in 35 minutes off the bench.

Cleveland is 71-118 all-time against Boston including a 49-46 record while playing in their own arena (22-71 Road).

Key to the Game/Key Matchup

Starting Strong

In their last matchup on Nov. 29 in Boston, the Celtics jumped out to an 18-2 lead, and although the Cavaliers battled back, the early deficit was too much to overcome.

Even with an unusual start time (1:00 p.m. ET) on Saturday, another big crowd should be expected, placing an emphasis on a fast start by the Wine and Gold in order to neutralize Boston’s rowdy fans. Expect the team to be focused and ready to go from the opening tip.

Key Matchup

Bench Battle

Look for Boston to come out with fresh legs as they have not played a game in nearly a week.

With the Wine and Gold battling through a double-overtime affair just two days ago, the Cavaliers will have to rely on some solid minutes from their bench today.

The Cavs have the highest scoring bench in the Eastern Conference at 40.2 points per game (4th-best in the NBA) and has outscored the opponent’s reserves in 22 of 28 contests.

In that late November matchup between the two teams, the Cavs second unit outscored the Celtics’ reserves 56-16.

Where to Catch the Action

TV: FOX Sports Ohio, Radio: WTAM 1100, NBA League Pass Audio, XM & Sirius 217

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

Be sure to check cavs.com 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 return to Cleveland on Sunday for a matchup at The Q against the Golden State Warriors at 6:00 p.m. ET.