GameDay Preview: Cavs at Wizards

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Anderson Varejao, Marcin Gortat, C.J. Miles
Ned Dishman/NBAE/GettyImages

Game Summary

The Wine and Gold are back on the road tonight to take on the Washington Wizards at 7:00 p.m. ET.

In their first two meetings this season, Cleveland (16-33) has held Washington to .424 (75-177) shooting from the field, including .318 (14-44) from the three-point line.

Over the last 15 games, the Cavs are averaging 22.3 assists and 12.5 turnovers, which is the 3rd-lowest turnover per game average in the NBA since Jan. 7. In Wednesday’s game against the Lakers, Cleveland had 24 assists and 11 turnovers.

Washington (24-24) beat Portland 100-90 on Monday to move above .500 for the first time since 2009, but couldn't keep it up in Wednesday's 125-118 double-overtime loss to San Antonio.

The Wizards are the only team in the NBA this season to currently have at least six players averaging at least 11.0 points per game. (John Wall 20.0, Bradley Beal 16.7, Trevor Ariza, 14.3, Nene 13.7, Marcin Gortat 11.9, Martell Webster 11.0)

Probable Starters/Injury Report* presented by Cleveland Clinic

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

Wizards: PG - John Wall, SG - Bradley Beal, SF - Trevor Ariza
PF - Nene, C - Marcin Gortat

Status Update: (Cavs) - Carrick Felix, (Left patellar Stress Fracture, Out)

(Wizards) - Kyrie Irving, (Illness, Game-Time Decision), Al Harrington, (Right Knee Surgery, Out)

*Subject to change

Head-to-Head Matchup

The Cavs and Wizards meet for the third time this season after splitting the first two games of the series with each team winning on their opponent’s home floor. The two teams will wrap things up in 16 days when they meet at The Q on Feb. 23.

Cleveland is 93-104 all-time against Washington including a 59-39 record while playing in their own arena (33-64 Road).

Key to the Game/Key Matchup

Bench Production

In their most recent game on Wednesday night versus the Lakers, the Cavs had a 59-31 advantage in bench points. On the season, Cleveland ranks 2nd scoring bench in the Eastern Conference at 36.7 points per game (6th in NBA).

Through the first two games against Washington this season, the Cavs reserves have outscored the Wizards reserves 78-19 (39.0 to 9.5).

Key Matchup

Backcourt Battle

Much of the Wizards success this season can be contributed to their dynamic backcourt tandem of John Wall and Bradley Beal.

Wall is averaging career-highs in points per game (20.0 ppg) and assists with 8.5 apg. Wall scored 20+ points in eight straight games (12/14-1/1) for the first time in his career. Beal is second on the team in scoring with 16.7 points per game.

Battling Wall and Beal tonight in the backcourt will be C.J. Miles, Dion Waiters and Kyrie Irving.

On Wednesday, Miles hit four three-pointers and finished with a game-high 27 points, three rebounds and three assists in 29 minutes off the bench. Since Jan. 2, Miles is shooting .429 (39-91) from beyond-the-arc.

Waiters is leading the Cavs bench with an Eastern Conference-best 14.2 points per game as a reserve.

In his last four games against Washington, Irving is averaging 31.0 points on .494 (42-85) shooting from the field, including .500 (13-26) from the three-point line, 4.0 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 1.0 steal in 35.8 minutes per game. He poured in a career-high tying 41 points (nine in OT) on 14-28 (.500) shooting, four rebounds, five assists and two steals in 42 minutes in the 103-96 overtime win at Washington on Nov. 16.

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.

Programming Note

On Friday, February 7th, FOX Sports Ohio is airing the Cavs – Wizards game (7:00 p.m.) and the Blue Jackets – Sharks game (10:30 p.m.). Click here for programming details.

On Deck

After tonight's game, the Cavs return to The Q on Sunday to square off against the Memphis Grizzlies at 6:00 p.m. ET.