GameDay Preview: Cavs at Pelicans

New Orleans Arena
Flickr: N.O. Arena

Game Summary

The Wine and Gold are back on the road for their 4th back-to-back of the season, starting off at New Orleans Arena against the New Orleans Pelicans at 8:00 p.m. ET.

Cleveland (4-8) will look to bounce back after Wednesday's 98-91 loss to the Washington Wizards at Quicken Loans Arena. In the loss, Kyrie Irving scored 18 of his game-high 28 points in the fourth quarter as the Wine and Gold nearly capped a comeback.

New Orleans (5-6) enters tonight's contest riding a two-game winning streak. The Pelicans are led by Anthony Davis who comes in averaging 21.0 points, 10.8 rebounds and 4.0 blocks (2nd in the NBA).

Probable Starters/Injury Report* presented by Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland ClinicCavaliers: PG - Kyrie Irving, SG - Matthew Dellavedova, SF - Alonzo Gee
PF - Tristan Thompson, C - Andrew Bynum

Pelicans: PG - JRue Holiday, SG - Eric Gordon, SF - Al-Farouq Aminu
PF - Anthony Davis, C - Jason Smith

Injuries: (Cavs) - Tyler Zeller, (Sprained Right Ankle, Questionable), CJ Miles, (Strained Right Calf, Out)

(Pelicans) - Otto Porter, (Left Foot, Out), Greg Stiemsma, (Left Knee Sprain, Out)

*Subject to change

Head-to-Head Matchup

Cleveland and New Orleans split the two-game regular season series in 2012-13.

All-time against the New Orleans Pelicans/Hornets, the Wine and Gold are 43-39 (30-11 Home, 13-28 Road).

Key to the Game/Key Matchup

Key to the Game

Attacking the Basket

The Cavs shouldn't settle for jump shots and take the ball aggressively to the basket, challenging Anthony Davis in hopes of getting the 2nd year big in foul trouble while getting to the free throw line.

On Wednesday night against the Washington Wizards, the Cavs shot 18-21 (.857) from the foul line, which was the 5th time this season the team has made at least .800 of their free throw attempts.

Over the past two contests, Cleveland is shooting a combined 39-43 (.907) from the charity stripe. On the season, the Cavs are ranked 8th in the NBA in free throw percentage (.778).

Key Matchup

Frontcourt Battle

As mentioned, the Pelicans Anthony Davis has been dominate to start the season at both ends of the floor.

Drawing the assignment of slowing down Davis will more than likely be Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao.

Through 12 games, Thompson has recorded seven double-doubles (3rd in Eastern Conference, 8th in NBA). Thompson has notched a double-double in five of his last seven games. He also averaged a double-double in the two contests against New Orleans in 2012-13 with averages of 10.5 points and 11.5 rebounds in 31.0 minutes per game.

Varejao posted his second double-double on the season (74th career) with 14 points on 7-10 shooting (.700) from the field, a game-high 11 rebounds and one steal in 35 minutes off the bench against Washington on Wednesday.

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.

Programming Note

Tonight, FOX Sports Ohio is airing the Cavs – Pelicans game (8:00 p.m.) and the Blue Jackets – Canucks game (10:00 p.m.). Please refer to these programming details by clicking here.

On Deck

After tonight's game, the Wine and Gold head to the Alamo City to square off against the San Antonio Spurs tomorrow night at 8:30 p.m. ET.