GameDay Preview: Cavs vs. Lakers

Kyrie Irving
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Game Summary

After a three-game road trip, the Wine and Gold are back at The Q tonight to take on the Los Angeles Lakers for the final meeting between the two teams this season. Tipoff is at 7:00 p.m. ET.

The Cavs hold a 7-1 record versus the Lakers at The Q dating back to 2005.

Against the Dallas Mavericks on Monday, Cleveland (16-32) had seven players hit double figures in scoring for the second time in less than a month.

Los Angeles (16-32) enters tonight's contest on a seven-game losing streak after falling 109-99 to the Minnesota Timberwolves last night.

The injury-riddled Lakers took another blow recently when former All-Star forward, Paul Gasol, went down with a groin injury. Gasol is expected to be sidelined for the final five games before the All-Star break.

Probable Starters/Injury Report* presented by Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland ClinicCavaliers: PG - Kyrie Irving, SG - Jarrett Jack, SF - Luol Deng
PF - Tristan Thompson, C - Anderson Varejao

Lakers: PG - Steve Blake, SG - Jodie Meeks, SF - Wesley Johnson PF - Ryan Kelly, C - Robert Sacre

Status Update: (Cavs) - Carrick Felix, (Left patellar Stress Fracture, Out)

(Lakers) - Kobe Bryant, (Fractured Left Knee, Out), Pau Gasol, (Strained Right Groin, Out), Jordan Farmar, (Left Hamstring Tear, Out), Xavier Henry, (Right Knee Bone Bruise, Out), Steve Nash, (Nerve Root Irritation, Doubtful)

*Subject to change

Head-to-Head Matchup

When the Cavs and Lakers squared off at Staples Center on Jan. 14, Cleveland shot a season-high .765 (13-17) from the three-point line and defeated the Lakers 120-118. It marked their highest three-point percentage in a game where they made at least 13 three-pointers in franchise history.

All-time, the Wine and Gold are 43-60 against the Lakers (28-23 Home, 15-37 Road).

Key to the Game/Key Matchup

Taking Care of the Basketball

Over the last 14 games, the Cavs are averaging 22.2 assists and just 12.6 turnovers, which is the 5th-lowest turnovers per game average in the NBA since Jan. 7.

In their most recent game at Dallas on Monday, the Cavs had 21 assists and just 10 turnovers

If the Wine and Gold continue to take care of the basketball and eliminate the amount of Lakers fastbreak opportunities, they will give themselves a good chance at winning tonight's ballgame.

Key Matchup

Bench Battle

With the Lakers facing a plethora of injuries, and on the second end of a back-to-back, they will rely heavily on their reserves to provide a lift off the bench.

This season, the L.A. bench has outscored their counterparts 33 times in 47 games. The Laker bench is 2nd in the league in scoring at 41.0 points per game led by Nick Young's 17.0 scoring average.

Cleveland has the 2nd-highest scoring bench in the Eastern Conference at 36.2 points per game (6th in NBA).

Dion Waiters is leading the Cavs bench with an Eastern Conference-best 14.4 points per game as a reserve.

Where to Catch the Action

TV: FOX Sports Ohio, Radio: WTAM 1100, NBA League Pass Audio, XM & Sirius 220

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.


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On Deck

After tonight's game, the Cavs head back onto the road on Friday to square off against the Washington Wizards at 7:00 p.m. ET.