GameDay Preview: Cavs at Bucks

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Monta Ellis, Dion Waiters
Gary Dineen/NBAE/GettyImages

Game Summary

The Cleveland Cavaliers (5-23) play their second consecutive Central Division opponent in the Milwaukee Bucks (14-11) tonight at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. Tipoff is at 8:30 p.m. ET.

Tonight, the Wine and Gold will wrap up their eighth of 22 back-to-back sets this season after falling to the Indiana Pacers last night. The Bucks are on the heels of a back-to-back themselves as they knocked off the Boston Celtics Friday night.

Six Cavaliers scored in double-figures in last night's loss led by Kyrie Irving's 17 points. On the season, Irving is averaging 23.2 points and 5.5 assists.

Monta Ellis led the Bucks to Friday's win, scoring 27 points overall including five in overtime. Ellis leads Milwaukee in scoring at 18.8 points per 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

Bucks: PG - Brandon Jennings, SG - Monta Ellis, SF - Marquis Daniels
PF - Luc Mbah a Moute, C - Samuel Dalembert

Injuries: (Cavs) - Anderson Varejao, (Right Knee Contusion, Out)
(Bucks) - Tobias Harris (Right Elbow Laceration, Out), Beno Udrih (Right Ankle Sprain, Out)

*Subject to change

Head-to-Head Matchup

The Bucks lead the Cavaliers in the all-time series, 112-77, including a 64-30 mark in games played in Milwaukee, and the series is all knotted up at 47 in games played in the Cavs home arena.

Tonight's matchup is the third of four regular season contests between the two teams. In their last matchup on Dec. 14 at The Q, the Bucks edged out the Cavs 90-86 despite a combined 43 points from Kyrie Irving and C.J. Miles.

Key to the Game/Key Matchup

Key to the Game

Containing Ellis/Jennings
Monta Ellis lit up the Wine and Gold last week dropping 33 points while Brandon Jennings dished out a team-high eight assists and chipped in 16 points of his own.

Jennings and Ellis are among the top scoring backcourt duos in the league, combining for 35.5 points per game. Not only can they score, but the pair also creates opportunities for their teammates, ranking first (Jennings, 6.0) and second (Ellis, 5.4) on their team in assists.

Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters and Alonzo Gee will be looked upon to contain the two-headed monster, and if they can do so, the Cavaliers will give themselves a big advantage.

Key Matchup

Cavs bench vs. Bucks bench
With both teams coming off back-to-backs, bench play will be a key matchup in tonight's game.

Cleveland's bench tandem of C.J. Miles (10.1 ppg) and Daniel Gibson (7.8 ppg) can light it up at any moment, and with Tyler Zeller inserted into the starting lineup due to Anderson Varejao's injury, Miles and Gibson will have to carry the load for the second unit.

Milwaukee has a solid bench full of former starters including Mike Dunleavy Jr. (10.8 ppg) and Ersan Ilyasova (8.4 ppg, 5.4 rpg).

Whichever bench can come in and give their team a spark will give their squad a better chance of winning.

Where to Catch the Action

TV: FSOhio HD, NBA League Pass
Radio: WTAM 1100, XM 204, Sirius 93, NBA League Pass Audio