GameDay Preview: Cavs vs. Spurs

Tristan Thompson
David Liam Kyle/NBAE/GettyImages

Game Summary

The Wine and Gold host the San Antonio Spurs tonight at Quicken Loans Arena. Tipoff is at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Cleveland (24-37) has won four of their last five games versus Western Conference opponents, outscoring them by an average margin of 6.8 points over that span (101.8-95.0).

The Cavs are 8-4 over the last 12 games, which includes a 4-2 mark at The Q.

San Antonio (43-16) seeks their fourth straight victory tonight after knocking off the Dallas Mavericks 112-106 on Sunday. In that victory, Tony Parker paced the Spurs with 22 points while Tim Duncan added 17 points.

Probable Starters/Injury Report* presented by Cleveland Clinic

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

Spurs: PG - Tony Parker, SG - Danny Green, SF - Kawhi Leonard
PF - Tim Duncan, C - Tiago Splitter

Status Update: (Cavs) - Carrick Felix, (Left patellar Stress Fracture, Out), Anderson Varejao, (Sore Back, Out), Dion Waiters, (Left Knee Hyperextension, Probable), C.J. Miles, (Left Ankle Sprain, Out)

(Spurs) - None to Report

*Subject to change

Head-to-Head Matchup

In the two teams' last matchup on Nov. 23, .Matthew Dellavedova set career highs with 14 points on 6-8 (.750) shooting and four steals, while also tallying two rebounds and two assists in 34 minutes.

All-time, the Wine and Gold are 29-55 against the Spurs (23-19 Home, 6-36 Road).

Key to the Game/Key Matchup

Key to the Game

Defensive Intensity

Over the last 12 games, Cleveland is outscoring opponents 99.9 to 95.7, while also holding the opposition to .430 shooting from the field.

Since Feb. 8, the Cavs are holding teams to the 4th-lowest field goal percentage in the NBA (.423) as well as the 5th-lowest points per game (94.1). Cleveland’s defense has allowed less than 100 points in nine of their last 11 games.

Cleveland owns an 11-1 record when they allow opponents to shoot under .400 shooting from the field. The Cavs’ defense has held five of their last 11 foes under .400 shooting, including a .350 (28-80) percentage in their latest home game, a 99-79 win over Utah last Friday.

If the Wine and Gold can continue their solid play at the defensive end of the floor, they increase their chances of coming away with a victory tonight.

Key Matchup

Frontcourt Battle

The Cavaliers have been getting consistent production from their frontcourt trio of Tristan Thompson, Spencer Hawes and Tyler Zeller.

Thompson has registered a double-double in seven of the last 10 outings, averaging 15.3 points on .598 (61-102) shooting and 11.5 rebounds in 32.4 minutes per game over that stretch. On the season, he has a team-leading 29 double-doubles, which is the 3rd-most in the Eastern Conference. In Saturday’s game at Memphis, Thompson had 18 points on 8-10 (.800) shooting and eight rebounds in 29 minutes. He has shot 21-29 (.724) from the field in the last three contests.

Hawes hit double figures in scoring for the 5th straight game after tallying 13 points, four rebounds, three assists and one block in 33 minutes at Memphis on Saturday. In his six games as a member of the Cavs, Hawes is averaging 13.8 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.3 blocks in 32.0 minutes per contest. The 7-1 center is also shooting .500 (12-24) from the three-point line since being acquired by Cleveland on Feb. 20. He has connected on at least three triples in three of the last four games (10-17 3FG over that stretch).

Over the past eight games, Zeller is averaging 10.4 points on .509 (29-57) shooting, a .893 (25-28) mark from the free throw line, 6.5 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 22.4 minutes per game.

Battling the Cavs bigs in the paint will be the Spurs duo of Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter.

So far this season, Duncan has collected 24 double-doubles and is averaging 15.6 points to go along with 10.1 rebounds.

San Antonio is a perfect 16-0 when Splitter scores in double figures this season.

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.

Programming Note

Tonight, FOX Sports Ohio is airing the Cavs – Spurs game (7:00 p.m.) and the Blue Jackets – Stars game (7:00 p.m.). Click here for programming details.


  • Kyrie Irving Bobblehead giveaway presented by Pepsi MAX

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On Deck

After tonight's game, the Cavs travel to Charlotte on Friday to face the Bobcats at 7:00 p.m. ET.