GameDay Preview: Cavs at Lakers

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CJ Miles
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Game Summary

The Wine and Gold will play the third contest of this five-game road trip as they visit the Los Angeles Lakers tonight at STAPLES Center. Tipoff is at 10:30 p.m. ET.

Since the calendar turned to 2014, Cleveland (13-24) is holding opponents to a combined .429 (206-480) shooting from the field.

The Cavs have held three of their six opponents to shoot under .400 from the field (Orlando-.381, Indiana-.364, Philadelphia-.395).

Los Angeles (14-23) comes into tonight's contest having dropped 10 of 11 and four in a row, including their worst-ever loss to the Clippers on Friday, 123-87.

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

Lakers: PG - Kendall Marshall, SG - Jodie Meeks, SF - Wesley Johnson PF - Pau Gasol, C - Robert Sacre

Status Update: (Cavs) - None to Report

(Lakers) - Kobe Bryant, (Fractured Left Knee, Out), Steve Blake, (Torn Ulnar Collateral Ligament, Out), Jordan Farmar, (Left Hamstring Tear, Out), Xavier Henry, (Right Knee Bone Bruise, Out), Steve Nash, (Nerve Root Irritation, Out), Nick Young, (Sore Back, Probable)

*Subject to change

Head-to-Head Matchup

The two teams split last season’s series 1-1. In the Wine and Gold's 100-94 victory last season, Kyrie Irving recorded a double-double with 28 points, including 4-6 (.667) from the three-point line, six rebounds and a season-high 11 assists in 38 minutes. C.J. Miles also tallied 28 points, including 5-10 (.550) from behind the arc.

All-time, the Wine and Gold are 42-60 against the Lakers (28-23 Home, 14-37 Road).

Key to the Game/Key Matchup

Key to the Game

Forcing Turnovers

The Lakers main ball-handlers (Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Jordan Farmar and Steve Blake) have been sidelined with injuries, and as a result, Los Angeles' turnover numbers have increased. L.A. committed 21 turnovers in their blowout loss to the Clippers on Friday.

Cleveland forced the Lakers to turn the ball over 41 times in two games last season. If they can apply that same pressure on defense, the Wine and Gold should benefit from L.A.'s miscues which will lead to fastbreak opportunities.

Key Matchup

Backcourt Battle

With a plethora of injuries to their backcourt, Jodie Meeks and the newly acquired Kendall Marshall spearhead the Lakers backcourt.

Since coming over from Phoenix, Marshall has done a solid job running Mike D'Antoni's offense and in his five starts at point guard is averaging 13.6 points, 11.2 assists and 4.8 rebounds.

Meeks seems to have benefited from Marshall playing the majority of the point guard minutes, leading the team in scoring (19.4 points) over that five-game stretch.

Battling Meeks and Marshall in the backcourt will be the Cavs trio of C.J. Miles, Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters.

Miles has notched double figures in scoring in every game in 2014 (six games), averaging 19.8 points on .548 (40-73) shooting, including a .583 (21-36) mark from beyond the arc, 4.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 29.3 minutes per game this month.

In 2012-13 versus the Lakers, Irving averaged 21.5 points on .500 (18-36) shooting, including .556 (5-9) from the three-point line, 4.0 rebounds, 9.0 assists and 2.0 steals in 36.0 minutes per game.

Waiters (15.4 ppg) is averaging more points off the bench than any Cavalier player since Hot Rod Williams scored 16.9 points per game off the pine in 1989-90 (minimum 20 games).


Watch Practice Interview: Coach Brown

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 continue their road trip tomorrow night in Portland against the Trail Blazers at 10:00 p.m. ET.