GameDay Preview: Cavs vs. Clippers

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Dion Waiters
David Liam Kyle/NBAE/GettyImages

Game Summary

The Wine and Gold return to Quicken Loans Arena tonight to square off against the Los Angeles Clippers at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Cleveland (6-13) will look to bounce back from last night's 108-89 loss to the Hawks in Atlanta.

Despite the defeat, the Cavaliers got solid performances from Dion Waiters and Andrew Bynum. Waiters led all scorers with 30 points while Bynum doubled-up with 20 points and 13 rebounds.

Los Angeles (13-7) enters tonight's contest winners of five of their last seven. While the Clippers are near the top of the NBA at 105.7 points per game, they are surrendering 101.1 points to rank in the bottom third.

However, during their recent 5-2 stretch, the Clippers have allowed just 93.6 points per, giving up 82 or fewer on three separate occasions.

Probable Starters/Injury Report* presented by Cleveland Clinic

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

Clippers: PG - Chris Paul, SG - Willie Green, SF - Jared Dudley
PF - Blake Griffin, C - DeAndre Jordan

Injuries: (Cavs) - None to Report

(Clippers) - Matt Barnes, (Retinal Tear Left Eye, Out), J.J. Redick, (Fractured Right Hand/Torn Ligament in Right Wrist, Out), Maalik Wayns, (Torn Meniscus Left Knee, Out)

*Subject to change

Head-to-Head Matchup

Last season, the Cavs and Clippers split their two-game series, 1-1, as each team won on their opponent’s home floor.

All-time, the Wine and Gold are 68-48 against L.A. (43-16 Home, 25-32 Road).

Key to the Game/Key Matchup

Taking Care of the Basketball

L.A. likes to play an up-tempo game with Chris Paul pushing the ball down the floor to his athletic bigs, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.

As mentioned, the Clippers are one of the highest scoring teams in the league and if the Wine and Gold want to hold them under their season average, they must to take care of the basketball and limit the amount of fastbreak opportunities by L.A.

Key Matchup

Bench Battle

The Wine and Gold will need fresh legs at all times to keep up with the Clippers rapid style of play. Cleveland reserves are going to play a key role in tonight's game especially since the Cavaliers are on the heels of a back-to-back.

Cleveland’s bench has scored at least 50 points in five of the last eight games, while outscoring the opposing team’s bench 49.6 to 31.9 over that stretch.

On the season, the Cavs reserves are averaging 40.9 points (5th-most in the NBA) and have outscored the opponent’s bench in 16 of 19 contests.

The Clippers bench has emerged as one of the best in the league since Nov. 24. In the last six games, the reserves have combined to outscore the Bulls, Knicks, Kings, Pacers, Hawks and Grizzlies, 246-126, including a season-high 50 points against Memphis on Dec. 5.

Jamal Crawford leads the Clippers bench bunch and with his 20 points against the Indiana Pacers on Dec. 1, it marked the fourth time he’s bucked 20+ this season. Crawford led the NBA in games with 20+ points off the bench last season with 29 and is tied with Dion Waiters, Isaiah Thomas and Markieff Morris for the most so far this season.

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 will host the New York Knicks at Quicken Loans Arena on Tuesday, December 10th at 7:00 p.m. ET.