GameDay Preview: Cavs vs. Warriors

Tyler Zeller, Klay Thompson, Tristan Thompson
David Liam Kyle/NBAE/GettyImages

Game Summary

The Wine and Gold face the Golden State Warriors tonight for their only meeting at Quicken Loans Arena this season. Tipoff is at 6:00 p.m. ET.

Cleveland (10-19) will look to bounce back after their comeback fell short in Boston yesterday as Kyrie Irving led all scorers with 32 points and the bench outscored the Celtics reserves, 43-24.

The Cavaliers are 5-3 in the last eight games at The Q where they are 8-6 on the season. Cleveland has held opponents to under 100 points in nine of 14 contests at home.

Golden State (18-13) embarks on a seven-game road trip beginning tonight in Cleveland. The Warriors enter tonight's matchup having won four consecutive games including a 115-86 victory against the Phoenix Suns on Friday night.

Probable Starters/Injury Report* presented by Cleveland Clinic

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

Warriors: PG - Stephen Curry, SG - Klay Thompson, SF - Andre Iguodala
PF - David Lee, C - Andrew Bogut

Status Update: (Cavs) - Andrew Bynum, (Conduct Detrimental to the Team, Out)

(Warriors) - Festus Ezeli, (Right Knee Surgery, Out), Ognjen Kuzmic, (Right Hand Fracture, Out), Jermaine O'Neal, (Right Wrist Surgery, Out)

*Subject to change

Head-to-Head Matchup

Dion Waiters and power forward Tristan Thompson had 18 points apiece for the Cavs in the two teams' last matchup on Jan. 29, 2013 at The Q.

All-time, the Wine and Gold are 49-52 against Golden State (32-20 Home, 17-32 Road).

Key to the Game/Key Matchup

Bench Production

Having played yesterday in Boston, the Wine and Gold will need production from their second unit in an effort to keep fresh legs on the floor.

The Wine and Gold have the highest scoring bench in the Eastern Conference at 41.0 points per game (4th-best in the NBA) and has outscored the opponent’s reserves in 23 of 29 contests.

Key Matchup

Backcourt Battle

Golden State has one of the most dynamic starting backcourt tandems in the entire NBA with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.

Curry notched the third triple-double of his career (second this season) scoring 14 points while setting career-highs in rebounds (13) and assists (16) in 34 minutes against the Suns on Friday. On the season, Curry ranks second in the NBA in assists per game (9.5) and eighth in scoring (23.2).

Thompson scored 21 points on 9-of-11 (.818) shooting, 2-of-3 (.667) from three for his second consecutive 20-point effort on Friday. He has posted 15, 20-point games this season and is averaging 19.6 points per game.

Going head-to-head against the Curry and Thompson will be the Cavs backcourt trio of Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters and Jarrett Jack.

After pouring in 41 points and nine assists on Thursday at The Q, Irving followed up that performance by bucketing a game-high 32 points yesterday in Boston. Irving enters tonight's contest averaging 22.5 points and 6.0 assists on the season.

Waiters has picked up right where he left off after having missed three of the Cavs previous five games with wrist tendinitis. The second-year guard from Syracuse has averaged 18.5 points since returning from the injury. Waiters 15.5 points per game leads all Eastern Conference reserves in scoring off the bench.

Along with Waiters, Jack has provided a spark off the Cavaliers bench this season. Jack chipped in 14 points yesterday in Boston and comes into tonight's contest averaging 10 points to go along with 3.7 assists.

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

On Sunday, December 29th, FOX Sports Ohio is airing the Cavs – Warriors game (6:00 p.m.) and the Blue Jackets – Penguins game (6:00 p.m.). Click here for programming details.

Promotions/Available Ticket Offers

For tonight's game, the Andrew Bynum Fathead Tradeable will no longer be available. All kids 14 and under will receive a handout upon entering The Q with details on how to redeem it for a FREE Cavs Fathead Tradeable pack each week for the next five weeks at any Northeast Ohio Discount Drug Mart location. More Info

Available Ticket Offers

On Deck

After tonight's game, the Cavs travel to Indiana to take on the Pacers on Tuesday, December 31st at 3:00 p.m. ET.