GameDay Preview: Cavs vs. Pacers

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Matthew Dellavedova
David Liam Kyle/NBAE/GettyImages

Game Summary

The Wine and Gold return to Quicken Loans Arena tonight where they will square off against the Indiana Pacers at 6:00 p.m. ET.

Cleveland (11-22) looks to bounce back after falling to the Brooklyn Nets 89-82 last night in NYC. Dion Waiters scored a team-high 26 points while connecting on 9-of-18 shots while C.J. Miles added 19 points to go along with eight rebounds.

Indiana (26-6) comes into tonight's game boasting the NBA's best record after beating New Orleans 99-82 despite falling behind by 14 points early. Paul George led the Pacers with 24 points and 10 rebounds.

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

Pacers: PG - George Hill, SG - Lance Stephenson, SF - Paul George
PF - David West, C - Roy Hibbert

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

(Pacers) - None to Report

*Subject to change

Head-to-Head Matchup

The two teams last met on New Year's Eve in Indiana. In that game, Cleveland held a 66-65 lead going into the fourth quarter but were outscored 26-10 in the final period to eventually fall, 91-76.

Cleveland is 82-89 all-time against Indiana including a 52-34 record while playing in their own arena (30-55 on the road).

Key to the Game/Key Matchup

Key to the Game

Ball Movement

Indiana has one of the best defenses in the entire league. With long, quick defenders on the perimeter and physical, big bodies clogging the paint, the Pacers make it difficult for teams to get good looks at the basket.

The Pacers are allowing an NBA-low average of 88.9 points while limiting opponents to 41.3 percent from the field. That has continued in winning six of their last seven games, holding opponents to 84.3 points per game and 40.8 percent shooting - including 28.5 percent from 3-point range.

The Wine and Gold must share the basketball and utilize good ball movement to create open looks at the hoop.

Key Matchup

Bench Battle

Cleveland's reserves held a 33-24 edge in bench points in the two teams' last matchup on Jan. 31, and on the heels of a back-to-back, the Wine and Gold will have to rely on their second unit to provide some productive minutes tonight.

Last night in Brooklyn, Cleveland's bench bested the Nets second unit, 41-35. The Cavs have outscored their opponents’ reserves in 26 of 33 contests and have scored at least 40 points 16 times this season.

Coming into tonight’s game, Cleveland is averaging an Eastern Conference-best 39.2 bench points (4th-best in the NBA).

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 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.

Promotions/Available Ticket Offers

Promotions: Available Ticket Offers:

On Deck

After tonight's game, the Cavs will face the Philadelphia 76ers at The Q on Tuesday, January 7th at 7:00 p.m. ET.