GameDay Preview: Cavs at Pistons

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Dion Waiters
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Game Summary

The Wine and Gold travel to Motown tonight to take on the Detroit Pistons at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Cleveland (18-33) seeks their fourth straight victory after defeating the Sacramento Kings 109-99 last night at The Q. Five Cavs tallied double-figures in scoring led by Luol Deng's 22 points.

The Cavaliers are averaging 106 points over the last five games.

Detroit (22-29) will also look for their fourth consecutive win as the Pistons knocked off the San Antonio Spurs 109-100 in their most recent game on Monday.

Probable Starters/Injury Report* presented by Cleveland Clinic

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

Pistons: PG - Brandon Jennings, SG - Kyle Singler, SF - Josh Smith
PF - Earl Monroe, C - Andre Drummond

Status Update: (Cavs) - Carrick Felix, (Left patellar Stress Fracture, Out), Anderson Varejao, (Sore Back, Out)

(Pistons) - Josh Harrellson, (Small Tear of the Meniscus, Left Knee, Out)

*Subject to change

Head-to-Head Matchup

In the two teams' last meeting on Dec. 23 at The Q, Kyrie Irving tallied a team-high 21 points on 7-14 (.500) shooting, including 3-6 (.500) from the three-point line, three rebounds, a team-high seven assists and one steal in 29 minutes. Tristan Thompson added 17 points on 6-10 (.600) shooting and six rebounds in 30 minutes.

All-time, the Wine and Gold are 78-117 against Detroit (51-47 Home, 27-70 Road).

Key to the Game/Key Matchup

Attacking the Basket

Detroit has a big-bodied frontcourt that can clog the paint. Pistons second-year center, Andre Drummond, ranks seventh in the NBA in blocks per game (2.0).

Along with Drummond, forward Josh Smith has been a solid shot blocker throughout his career. As a team, the Pistons are tied for eighth in the league with 5.2 blocks per game.

Detroit's aggressiveness at the rim can make them susceptible to early foul trouble.

With those factors in mind, the Wine and Gold should look to attack the basket in an effort to get to the charity stripe.

Key Matchup

Bench Battle

With the Cavaliers on the second night of a back-to-back, their bench will have to play a major role in tonight's matchup.

The Wine and Gold reserves outscored the Kings bench 50-37 last night as Dion Waiters bucketed 20 points and Anthony Bennett recorded his first career double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds.

Waiters is leading the Cavs bench with an Eastern Conference-best 14.4 points per game as a reserve (3rd in NBA).

Cleveland’s reserves have scored at least 40 points 24 times this season, including each of the last four games. On the season, the Cavs have the 2nd-highest scoring bench in the Eastern Conference at 37.4 points per game (6th in NBA), including 52.8 points over the last three contests.

Where to Catch the Action

TV: FOX Sports Ohio, Radio: WTAM 1100, NBA League Pass Audio, XM 222, Sirius 215

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.

On Deck

After tonight's game, the Cavs head into the All-Star break but return to game action next Tuesday, February 18th in Philadelphia against the 76ers at 7:00 p.m. ET.