GameDay Preview: Cavs at Kings

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DeMarcus Cousins, Luke Walton
David Liam Kyle/NBAE/GettyImages

Game Summary

The Cleveland Cavaliers (9-30) continue their five-game road trip out West with a stop at the Sleep Train Arena to take on the Sacramento Kings (13-24) for the final meeting between the two teams this season. Tipoff is at 10:00 p.m. ET.

Both teams will hope to end losing streaks as they Cavaliers dropped their second straight last night against the Lakers in LA while the Kings aim to stop a four-game losing skid.

Against the Lakers, the Wine and Gold had four players score in double-figures with Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters leading the team with 15 points apiece. Tristan Thompson nearly recorded his 23rd career double-double as he contributed 10 points and eight rebounds.

Sacramento is led by their man in the middle, DeMarcus Cousins. In the two teams last matchup on Jan. 2, the third-year pro recorded 18 points, 16 rebounds and six assists. On the season, Cousins is averaging 17.4 points and 10.1 rebounds.

Probable Starters/Injury Report* presented by Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland ClinicCavaliers: PG - Kyrie Irving, SG - C.J. Miles, SF - Alonzo Gee
PF - Tristan Thompson, C - Tyler Zeller

Kings: PG - Isiah Thomas, SG - Tyreke Evans, SF - John Salmons
PF - Jason Thompson, C - DeMarcus Cousins

Injuries: (Cavs) - Anderson Varejao, (Vastus Medialis Split/Surgery, Out)
(Kings) - Aaron Brooks, (Flu, Questionable)

*Subject to change

Head-to-Head Matchup

The Cavaliers and Kings are all knotted up in the all-time series at 53 apiece with the Wine and Gold posting a 34-20 mark in games played at home and a 19-32 record while playing in the Kings home arena. Furthermore, Cleveland has won 10 of the last 12 games against Sacramento, which includes a 5-2 mark at The Q.

In their last matchup earlier this month, Kyrie Irving recorded a team-high 22 points to go along with six assists while Dion Waiters chipped in 20 points off the bench in a 97-94 loss to the Kings at The Q. Alonzo Gee had a solid overall game, tallying 16 points, 10 rebounds and six assists.

Key to the Game/Key Matchup

Key to the Game

Winning the Battle in the Paint

The Kings boast the talented, young frontcourt tandem of DeMarcus Cousins and Jason Thompson. The duo gave the Wine and Gold bigs all they could handle on Jan. 2. as Cousins and Thompson combined to record 37 points and 26 rebounds.

With Anderson Varejao out, it will be up to Tristan Thompson and Tyler Zeller to contain Cousins and Thompson.

Tristan Thompson has recorded eight double-doubles in his last 13 contests and is averaging 13.1 points on .507 shooting, 11.8 rebounds and 0.9 blocks in 34.6 minutes per game over that stretch. Thompson’s 22 career double-doubles are the most among all NBA players who are age 21 and under.

Among rookie qualifiers, Zeller is ranked 4th in rebounds (5.7), 5th in blocks (0.8), 6th in minutes (26.5) and 7th in points (7.9). He has started in each of the last 13 games, averaging 9.8 points, including shooting .806 (29-36) from the foul line, 6.9 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 33.8 minutes over that stretch.

Key Matchup

Coach Scott vs. Coach Smart

With the two teams having met just 12 days ago, each coach will have fresh tape and a good concept of how to approach tonight's ballgame.

Both coaches have the task of refocusing their squads in hopes of ending losing streaks with Coach Scott preparing the Cavaliers for their 13th back-to-back of the season.

Where to Catch the Action

TV: FSOhio HD, NBA League Pass
Radio: WTAM 1100, XM & Sirius 85, NBA League Pass Audio