GameDay Preview: Cavs at Nets

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Game Summary

The Cavaliers visit the Barclays Center tonight at 7:30 p.m. ET to take on the Brooklyn Nets for the second of four regular season matchups in 2013-14.

The two teams first met in the 2013-14 regular season opener on Oct. 30 when the Cavs defeated the Nets 98-94 in front of a sellout crowd at Quicken Loans Arena.

Cleveland (11-21) is coming off an 87-81 overtime victory over the Orlando Magic at The Q on Thursday. The Wine and Gold overcame a nine-point deficit (79-70) with less than 1:04 remaining in the fourth quarter and outscored the Magic 17-2 (including 8-2 in OT) the rest of the way.

Brooklyn (11-21) was also victorious in their last game on Thursday night as they knocked off the Oklahoma City Thunder 95-93 on a Joe Johnson jumper as time expired.

Probable Starters/Injury Report* presented by Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland ClinicCavaliers: PG - Jarrett Jack, SG - C.J. Miles, SF - Earl Clark
PF - Tristan Thompson, C - Anderson Varejao

Nets: PG - Shaun Livingston, SG - Deron Williams, SF - Joe Johnson
PF - Paul Pierce, C - Kevin Garnett

Status Update: (Cavs) - Kyrie Irving, (Left Knee Contusion, Out), Andrew Bynum, (Excused from all team activity, Out)

(Nets) - Brook Lopez, (Fractured Right Foot, Out)

*Subject to change

Head-to-Head Matchup

In Cleveland's home opening win against Brooklyn, the Cavs held the Nets to just 33-82 (.402) shooting from the field and had a 48-37 advantage on the glass. Six Cavs players scored in double figures, led by Tristan Thompson’s 18 points on 8-13 (.615) shooting from the field to go along with a team-high nine rebounds in 35 minutes.

All-time, the Wine and Gold are 88-70 against the Nets (56-24 Home, 32-46 Road).

Key to the Game/Key Matchup

Key to the Game

Forcing Tough Shots

Brooklyn's small starting lineup features a bevy of shooters, and from point guard to center, the Nets can stretch the floor with their perimeter precision. The Wine and Gold should look to close out hard on their shooters and force them into taking tough, contested shots.

Defensively, Cleveland is a perfect 5-0 when holding opponents under .400 shooting from the field this season. On Thursday, the Magic were held to 32-84 (.381) shooting from the field, including .280 (7-25) from the three-point line.

Furthermore, over the last five games (since 12/26), the Cavs are holding foes to a combined .296 (42-142) shooting from behind-the-arc.

Key Matchup

Frontcourt Battle

With Brooklyn's All-Star center, Brook Lopez, out for the season with a foot injury, the Nets have gone with a small starting lineup which features Paul Pierce at power forward. The radical lineup should create some unique matchups in tonight's frontcourt battle.

The Wine and Gold's frontcourt tandem of Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao has proved to be a solid combination.

With Anderson Varejao’s franchise-record tying 25 rebounds against Orlando on Thursday and Tristan Thompson’s career-best 21 boards versus Denver on Dec. 4, the Cavs now have two different players with 20-plus rebound performances this season. The last time the Cavaliers had two players with 20-plus rebound games in a single season was in 1994 (Michael Cage & Tyrone Hill). (Elias)

Watch: Coach Shootaround Interview

Where to Catch the Action

TV: FOX Sports Ohio, Radio: WTAM 1100, NBA League Pass Audio, XM & Sirius 219

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.

Programming Note

Tonight, FOX Sports Ohio is airing the Cavs – Nets game (7:30 p.m.) and the Blue Jackets – Blues game (8:00 p.m.). Click here for programming details.

On Deck

After tonight's game, the Cavs head back to Cleveland tomorrow night to take on the Indiana Pacers at 6:00 p.m. ET.