GameDay Preview: Cavs at Sixers

Tristan Thompson
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/GettyImages

Game Summary

The Wine and Gold travel to Philadelphia tonight to take on the 76ers at 7:00 p.m. ET.

During their current four-game winning streak, Cleveland (20-33) is outscoring opponents 102.0 to 96.0. The Cavs are also shooting .465 (33-71) from beyond-the-arc and dishing out 22.8 assists.

Defensively, the Cavs have held foes to .436 shooting, including .313 (26-83) from deep.

Philadelphia (15-39) enters tonight's game following the All-Star Break on an eight-game losing streak.

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

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

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

(76ers) - Brandon Davies, (Fractured Right Small Finger, Out), Nerlens Noel, (Left Knee Injury, Out)

*Subject to change

Head-to-Head Matchup

The Cavs and Sixers will square off for the fourth and final time in 2013-14. Cleveland leads the series 2-1 and has averaged 105.7 points and 26.3 assists, while holding a +7.3 edge in rebounding (50.3-43.0) against Philadelphia this season.

Cleveland is 90-101 all-time against Philadelphia including a 53-42 record while playing in their own arena (35-59 on the road).

Key to the Game/Key Matchup

Starting Strong

There is a buzz around the team after a four-game winning streak and a spectacular weekend put in by Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters during All-Star Break.

It would be advantageous for the Wine and Gold to come out strong and keep the momentum going early.

In the most recent meeting between the Cavs and Sixers on Jan. 7 at The Q, Cleveland got off to a fast start with a 36-20 lead after the first quarter en route to a 111-93 victory.

Key Matchup

Backcourt Battle

Guard Michael Carter-Williams has been a bright spot for Philadelphia in his rookie season averaging 17.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 2.1 steals in 34.6 minutes per game.

Battling Carter-Williams will be the Wine and Gold's trio of Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters and C.J. Miles.

Irving was named MVP of the 2014 NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans on Sunday after tallying a team-high 31 points on 14-17 (.824) shooting, including 3-6 (.500) from long range, a game-high 14 assists and five rebounds in 34 minutes. Coming into tonight’s contest, Irving has topped 20 points in 12 of the last 15 games (since Jan. 15). After shooting a perfect 9-9 from the free throw line last Wednesday versus Detroit, Irving is shooting .923 (72-78) from the charity stripe over the last 15 contests.

Waiters is leading the Cavs bench with an Eastern Conference-best 14.6 points per game as a reserve (3rd in NBA). His 12 20-point games as a reserve this season are the 3rd-highest total in the NBA, behind Nick Young (16) and Jamal Crawford (13). During All-Star Weekend in New Orleans, Waiters led Team Hill to a 142-136 win in the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge after putting up a team-high 31 points on 10-14 (.714) shooting, including 4-6 (.667) from deep, a team-high seven assists and a team-high three steals in 22 minutes.

In the Cavs last meeting against Philly, Miles set a franchise record with 10 made three-pointers and tallied season-high 34 points, five rebounds and two steals in 31 minutes. Miles has connected on a team-best .394 (80-203) shooting from the three-point line this season, which includes a .437 (45-103) mark since Jan. 1.

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 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 back home to take on the Orlando Magic on Wednesday, February 19th at 7:00 p.m. ET.