GameDay Preview: Cavs vs. 76ers

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Anderson Varejao
David Liam Kyle/NBAE/GettyImages

Game Summary

The Wine and Gold are back at The Q tonight to face the Philadelphia 76ers for the third of four regular season meetings. Tipoff is at 7:00 p.m. ET.

In the two teams' last meeting, Cleveland (11-23) had 10 steals and 10 blocks while setting season-highs in points (127) and assists (28). The Cavaliers went on to win the game in double-overtime, 127-125.

Philadelphia's (12-22) four-game win streak was halted last night, as the Sixers fell to the Minnesota Timberwolves, 126-95. Thaddeus Young led the Sixers with 20 points on 9-of-16 shooting. Philadelphia hit 47.5% from the floor and 8-of-18 from deep.

Probable Starters/Injury Report* presented by Cleveland Clinic

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

76ers: PG - Michael Carter-Williams, SG - Hollis Thompson, SF - Evan Turner
PF - Thaddeus Young, C - Spencer Hawes

Status Update: (Cavs) - Kyrie Irving, (Left Knee Contusion, Probable), Jarrett Jack, (Lower Back Spasms, Questionable)

(76ers) - Arnett Moultrie, (Left Ankle Injury, Out), Nerlens Noel, (Left Knee Injury, Out)

*Subject to change

Head-to-Head Matchup

When the two teams squared off at The Q on Nov. 9, Kyrie Irving (39 points, 12 assists) made a driving layup with 0.6 seconds left in double-overtime to give the Cavs a 127-125 victory.

Cleveland is 89-101 all-time against Philadelphia including a 52-42 record while playing in their own arena (35-59 on the road).

Key to the Game/Key Matchup

Key to the Game

Defensive Intensity

Since the calendar turned to 2014, the Cavs are holding opponents to a combined .392 (91-232) shooting from the field, while outrebounding them by nearly 10 rebounds per game (51.0 to 41.3).

As mentioned, the Wine and Gold used 10 steals and 10 blocks to help them defeat the Sixers in the two teams' last meeting and the Cavs will need that same intensity on defense tonight.

Key Matchup

Frontcourt Battle

Sixers forward Thaddeus Young was recently named Eastern Conference Player of the Week. Over this past week, he averaged 25.0 points (56.6 FG%), 7.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 3.7 steals per game.

Joining Young in the starting frontcourt is Spencer Hawes. Hawes is enjoying his best season as a pro, averaging 14.6 points and 8.8 rebounds.

Battling Hawes and Young inside will be the Wine and Gold's big man duo of Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao.

Since the New Year, Thompson and Varejao are averaging a combined 26.3 rebounds per game (three contests). On the season, Thompson (9.8) and Varejao (9.6) are pulling down 19.4 rebounds per game this season, which is the 2nd-highest for a rebounding duo in the Eastern Conference.

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 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.

Available Ticket Offers

On Deck

After tonight's game, the Cavs begin their five-game West Coast trip on Friday, January 10th against the Utah Jazz at 9:00 p.m. ET.