GameDay Preview: Cavs vs. Timberwolves

Kyrie Irving

Game Summary

After a short weekend road trip, the Wine and Gold return to Quicken Loans Arena tonight to take on the Minnesota Timberwolves at 7:00 p.m. ET.

In Cleveland’s latest contest on Saturday at Indiana, Anderson Varejao tallied a season-high 14 points on 6-9 (.667) shooting from the field, six rebounds and three steals in 29 minutes. Varejao also passed Larry Nance (3,561) for 6th place in franchise history as he now has 3,565 total rebounds.

Dion Waiters posted a team-high 17 points, two rebounds and a career-high tying four steals in 29 minutes on Saturday. Waiters did not miss a single shot in his only career appearance against Minnesota last season (Feb. 11) after finishing with 12 points on 6-6 shooting and one steal in 21 minutes.

Minnesota comes into tonight's game unbeaten with a 3-0 record after having knocked off the New York Knicks, 109-100, last night at Madison Square Garden. Kevin Love had a monster game, pouring in 34 points, 15 rebounds and five assists.

The TWolves are 3-0 for the first time since the 2001-02 Season.

Probable Starters/Injury Report* presented by Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland ClinicCavaliers: PG - Kyrie Irving, SG - Dion Waiters, SF - Earl Clark
PF - Tristan Thompson, C - Anderson Varejao

Timberwolves: PG - Ricky Rubio, SG - Kevin Martin, SF - Corey Brewer
PF - Kevin Love, C - Nikola Pekovic

Injuries: (Cavs) - Carrick Felix, (Mild Sports Hernia, Out)

(Timberwolves) - Ronny Turiaf, (Right Elbow, Out), Chase Budinger, (Left Knee, Out)

Head-to-Head Matchup

The last time the Cavs and TWolves squared off on February 11, 2013 at The Q, Cleveland shot .506 (40-79) from the field, dished out 24 assists and outscored the Minnesota 48-34 in points in the paint. The Cavs also forced 22 turnovers and scored a season-high 34 points off of Minnesota’s miscues.

The Wine and Gold hold a 28-17 all-time record against the Timberwolves including a 10-7 mark at Quicken Loans Arena.

Key to the Game/Key Matchup

Key to the Game

Defensive Intensity

Minnesota is averaging 109.7 points per game which is good enough for 5th best in the NBA and have many weapons in an up-tempo style offense.

Kevin Love leads the league in scoring at 29.7 points per game while newly acquired Kevin Martin comes in averaging 20.7 points a contest.

Mike Brown's defense has been stout to start the season, allowing just 91.0 points per game. The Wine and Gold must continue their intensity and focus at the defensive end, especially on the two Kevins.

Key Matchup

Bench Battle

Anytime a team is in the midst of a back-to-back, their bench plays a key role in the second game with fatigue of their starters becoming a factor. Minnesota will have to rely heavily on their reserves having played the night before in New York.

Cleveland’s reserves are averaging 33.7 points per game in 2013-14, led by C.J. Miles’ 13.3 points on .484 shooting from the field, 2.3 rebounds and 1.7 steals in 21.0 minutes per game.

Jarrett Jack has come off the bench to produce solid numbers in his first three regular season contests as a Cavalier, averaging 11.7 points on .519 shooting from the field, 2.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.0 steal in 25.0 minutes per game.

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.

Use the official mobile app of the Cleveland Cavaliers to enhance your experience with the team 24/7. Feel like you’re at the game with real time updates during the action and easy access to team news, social media, and forums.


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On Deck

After tonight's game, the Cavaliers head back out onto the road on Wednesday night to take on the Bucks in Milwaukee before wrapping up the week with a home-and-home with the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday and Saturday.