GameDay Preview: Cavs vs. Mavericks

Dion Waiters
David Liam Kyle/NBAE/GettyImages

Game Summary

After a five-game, nine-day road trip out West, the Wine and Gold return to The Q for their longest home stand of the season, beginning with today's Martin Luther King Day matinee against the Dallas Mavericks. Tipoff is at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Cleveland (15-25) wrapped up their road trip with a 117-109 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Friday for their 6th win against the West this season. Among teams in the East, only Indiana (10), Miami (10) and Atlanta (7) have more wins versus the Western Conference than the Cavs.

Dallas (24-18) begins a three-game road trip today after falling to the Portland Trail Blazers, 127-111, in their most recent matchup in Dallas on Saturday. Forward Dirk Nowitzki netted a team-high 18 points in 22 minutes while Monta Ellis (15), DeJuan Blair (13), Jae Crowder (13) and Vince Carter (11) also scored in double figures despite the loss.

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

Dallas: PG - Jose Calderon, SG - Monta Ellis, SF - Shawn Marion
PF - Dirk Nowitzki, C - Samuel Dalembert

Status Update: (Cavs) - None to Report

(Dallas) - Gal Mekel, (Right Knee Surgery, Out)

*Subject to change

Head-to-Head Matchup

In the two teams' last matchup on March 15, 2013, All five Cavs starters scored in double figures. Dion Waiters notched his third straight 20-point game with a game-high 21 points and three steals in 37 minutes despite the Wine and Gold falling 96-86 in Dallas.

All-time, the Wine and Gold are 34-29 against Dallas (20-12 Home, 14-17 Road).

Key to the Game/Key Matchup

Key to the Game

Offensive Efficiency

The Cavaliers have won four of their last six games, scoring at least 111 points in each of those wins. Furthermore, Cleveland has averaged 101.0 points over their last 20 games (since Dec. 10).

During their recent five-game road trip, the Cavs averaged 105.2 points, including 15.0 second chance points, 45.6 points in the paint, a .418 (38-91) mark from the three-point line, 21.4 assists and only 11.4 turnovers.

The Wine and Gold must look to continue their efficiency at the offensive end today against a potent Mavericks team.

Key Matchup

Frontcourt Battle

Dirk Nowitzki has been the face of the Mavericks franchise for over a decade and is enjoying another solid season. The former NBA Finals MVP is averaging 21.2 points and 5.8 assists.

Looking to contain Nowitzki will be the Cavs big man duo of Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao.

Thompson registered his third consecutive double-double in Friday’s win at Denver after posting 20 points on 8-9 (.889) shooting, 10 rebounds, one steal and two blocks in 37 minutes. He has 19 double-doubles on the season which is the 2nd-most in the Eastern Conference. Thompson has also notched a double-double in eight of the last 11 games (since Dec. 29), including six of the last seven.

With 473 career steals, Varejao is just two steals away from passing John Bagley (474) for 8th place in franchise history. Varejao swiped a season-high tying three steals at Denver on Friday, while also adding seven points, a game-high 16 rebounds, a season-high seven assists and one block in 31 minutes. He has grabbed at least 11 rebounds in 10 of the last 11 contests (since Dec. 29), averaging 14.2 rebounds to go along with 10.4 points, 3.4 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.1 blocks in 32.6 minutes over that stretch.

Where to Catch the Action

TV: FOX Sports Ohio, Radio: WTAM 1100, NBA League Pass Audio, XM & Sirius 218

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.

Promotions/Ticket Offer


  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Available Ticket Offer

On Deck

After tonight's game, the Cavs host the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. ET for WWE Night. Get Tickets