GameDay Preview: Cavs vs. Suns

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Kyrie Irving
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Game Summary

The Wine and Gold host the Phoenix Suns tonight at Quicken Loans Arena. Tipoff is at 6:00 p.m. ET.

Cleveland (16-27) is coming off an impressive 93-78 victory in their last outing on Friday night against the Milwaukee Bucks. The Cavs held Milwaukee to an opponent season-low 78 points on 30-74 (.405) shooting from the field, including 7-24 (.292) from the three-point line.

Phoenix (24-18) embarks on a four-game road trip beginning tonight at The Q. The Suns fell to the Washington Wizards 101-95 in their most recent game on Friday.

In the loss, Goran Dragic recorded his fifth double-double of the season with 19 points and 11 assists .

Probable Starters/Injury Report* presented by Cleveland Clinic

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

Suns: PG - Goran Dragic, SG - Gerald Green, SF - P.J. Tucker
PF - Channing Frye, C - Miles Plumlee

Status Update: (Cavs) - None to Report

(Suns) - Eric Bledsoe, (Right Knee Arthroscopy, Out), Emeka Okafor, (Herniated Disc, Out)

*Subject to change

Head-to-Head Matchup

Tonight marks the first of two matchups between the two teams this season as Cleveland will travel to Phoenix on March 12th.

All-time, the Wine and Gold are 39-62 against Phoenix (27-23 Home, 12-39 Road).

Key to the Game/Key Matchup

Key to the Game

Controlling the Glass

On the season, Cleveland ranks 5th in offensive rebounds per game (12.5).

In January, the Cavs are pulling down 14.3 offensive rebounds per game (most in NBA this month) and scoring 15.3 second chance points (7th in NBA).

If the Wine and Gold can continue to crash the offensive glass in obtaining an edge in the paint, they will give themselves a good chance at winning their second straight game at The Q.

Key Matchup

Backcourt Battle

While the bigs battle for dominance in the paint, the backcourt battle will also be a key matchup that will determine the outcome of tonight's game.

Under rookie head coach, Jeff Hornacek, Suns point guard Goran Dragic has enjoyed a career season. In 35 games this season in which he has started and not had to leave the game early due to injury, Dragic has averaged 20.4 points and 6.3 assists.

Over his last 14 games, Dragic has scored 20+ nine times and is averaging 21.9 points, 6.5 assists, 4.1 rebounds, 1.6 steals and is shooting .516 from the field and .404 from distance.

Looking to match Dragic will be Cavs guards Dion Waiters and Kyrie Irving.

Irving posted his fifth double-double of the season (10th career) against the Bucks after finishing with 10 points, a game-high ten assists (career-high tying seven assists in 3rd Q) and zero turnovers in 28 minutes. It marked the second time this season that Irving had at least 10 assists and zero turnovers in a game (vs. POR on Dec. 17).

Waiters has scored in double figures in 22 of his 29 appearances as a substitute, including in Friday’s win when he poured in 13 points, a career-high tying eight rebounds, three assists and two steals in 28 minutes off the bench against the Bucks.

Where to Catch the Action

TV: FOX Sports Ohio, WUAB 43, Radio: WTAM 1100, NBA League Pass Audio, XM & Sirius 217

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.

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On Deck

After tonight's game, the Cavs conclude their five-game home stand against the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday, January 28th at 6:00 p.m. ET. Get Tickets