GameDay Preview: Cavs at Timberwolves

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Anderson Varejao
David Sherman/NBAE/GettyImages

Game Summary

The Wine and Gold travel to Minnesota tonight to take on the Timberwolves at 8:00 p.m. ET.

Cleveland will look to bounce back after falling to the Chicago Bulls, 96-81, on Monday night in the Windy City. The Cavaliers cut Chicago's double-digit lead to a single point early in the fourth quarter before the Bulls pulled away down the stretch.

Kyrie Irving led the Wine and Gold with 16 points while Tristan Thompson tallied a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds.

In Minnesota's last game on Monday, the Timberwolves lost, 109-107, in a hard fought game in Los Angeles against the Clippers.

Timberwolves forward, Kevin Love, continued his stellar play to begin this season, dropping 23 points, 19 rebounds and seven assists. Love became the first player in NBA history with at least four 3-pointers, 19 rebounds and seven assists in a game.

Probable Starters/Injury Report* presented by Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland ClinicCavaliers: PG - Kyrie Irving, SG - Dion Waiters, SF - Alonzo Gee
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), Not With Team: Andrew Bynum, (Family Medical Matter, Out)

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

*Subject to change

Head-to-Head Matchup

In the first meeting on Nov. 4 at The Q, Cleveland held the Wolves to an opponent season low .362 (34-94) shooting from the field, including .179 (5-28) from the three-point line, en route to a 93-92 win. Cleveland also had 10 steals and 12 blocks in a game for the first time since March 16, 2004 (13 blocks, 13 steals vs. CHI).

All-time, the Wine and Gold are 29-17 against Minnesota (15-8 Home, 14-9 Road).

Key to the Game/Key Matchup

Key to the Game

Bench Play

Cleveland’s bench is averaging 32.1 points per game and has outscored the opponent’s bench in seven of eight games this season. In the Nov. 4 win over Minnesota, the Cavs had a 40-27 advantage in bench points.

C.J. Miles and Jarrett Jack lead the bench bunch averaging a combined 22.4 points per game.

Key Matchup

Frontcourt Battle

Minnesota's frontcourt tandem, Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic, bring skill and physical play. Pekovic comes into tonight's contest averaging 13.6 points and 9.3 rebounds while Love is putting up video games numbers at 26.4 points, 15.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists a game.

The Wine and Gold frontcourt did a solid job of containing Minnesota's bigs in their first matchup this season, holding Love to 17 points and 13 rebounds and Pekovic to eight points and 12 rebounds.

Tristan Thompson spearheads the Cavs frontcourt attack and has recorded three consecutive double-doubles. The third-year forward is averaging 15.3 points, 13.0 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 40.7 minutes per game over that stretch.

Thompson has five double-doubles on the season, which is tied for the 3rd-most in the NBA and notched a double-double in this season's first meeting with the TWolves (12 points, 11 rebounds).

Where to Catch the Action

TV: FOX Sports Ohio, Radio: WTAM 1100, NBA League Pass Audio, XM & Sirius 220

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.

On Deck

After tonight's game against the Timberwolves, the Cavs return to The Q on Friday, November 15th to take on the Charlotte Bobcats at 7:30 p.m. ET.