GameDay Preview: Cavs at Magic

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Dion Waiters
Fernando Medina/NBAE/GettyImages

Game Summary

After completing a seven-game homestand, the Cavaliers (17-37) are back on the road for the next three contests, starting with the Orlando Magic (15-40) tonight at the Amway Center. Tipoff is at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Cleveland is 6-1 in their last seven games against Eastern Conference opponents. The Cavs are coming off a 105-100 win over New Orleans on Feb. 20. In the victory, the Cavs reached the century mark in scoring for the fifth time in seven games and had just eight turnovers, including zero in their 37-point fourth quarter.

Over the last seven contests, Cleveland is averaging 107.3 points on .482 shooting, 25.0 assists and just 11.4 turnovers.

Orlando comes into tonight's game having lost 27 of their last 30 games including an 88-82 loss last night in Memphis.

Probable Starters/Injury Report* presented by Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland ClinicCavaliers: PG - Kyrie Irving, SG - Dion Waiters, SF - Alonzo Gee
PF - Tristan Thompson, C - Tyler Zeller

Magic: PG - E'Twaun Moore, SG - Arron Afflalo, SF - Maurice Harkless
PF - Andrew Nicholson, C - Nikola Vucevic

Injuries: (Cavs) - Daniel Gibson, (Personal Matter, Out), Anderson Varejao, (Vastus Medialis Split/Surgery, Out)
(Magic) - Al Harrington (Right Knee Rehabilitation, Out), Glen Davis (Fractured Right Foot, Out), Jameer Nelson (Strained Patella Tendon, Left Knee, Out), Hedo Turkoglu (Strained Calf, Day-to-Day)

*Subject to change

Head-to-Head Matchup

The Cavaliers trail the all-time series against the Magic, 38-48, posting a 24-18 mark in games played at home with the Magic holding a 29-14 advantage while playing in their own arena.

The two teams met just 15 days ago (Feb. 8) at The Q where Cleveland defeated the Magic, 119-108. In the victory, the Cavs had 23 assists and a season-low tying six turnovers. They also made a season-high 34 free throws and held advantages in bench scoring (51-15) and fast break points (20-7).

Key to the Game/Key Matchups

Key to the Game

Bench Play

The Magic roster has been depleted by injuries and trade. In last night's game against Memphis, the Magic had only seven players dress. Although the recent acquisitions are expected to play tonight, there will be questions regarding their continuity.

Compile that with the fact the Magic are coming off having played a game last night, and Orlando may have issues with their depth tonight.

The Wine and Gold have a consistent second unit that has begun to gel, and if they can continue their solid play as of late, it will give the Cavaliers a distinct advantage.

Key Matchup

Tyler Zeller vs. Nikola Vucevic

In the two teams' last meeting a couple of weeks ago, Nikola Vucevic led the Magic with a career-high 25 points and 13 rebounds.

Cavaliers rookie center, Tyler Zeller, will draw the assignment of having to check Vucevic down low.

Zeller recorded 10 points on 5-7 (.714) shooting from the field versus the Hornets on Wednesday. He has scored in double figures 19 times this season and ranks 9th among all NBA rookies in points per game (8.1) and 3rd in rebounds per game (6.2).

If Zeller can match Vucevic, then it will put the Wine and Gold in great position to come out of Orlando with a victory.

Where to Catch the Action

TV: FSOhio HD, WUAB 43, NBA League Pass
Radio: WTAM 1100, XM 220, Sirius 134, NBA League Pass Audio

Programming Notes:

Cavs @ Magic - February 23rd
Cavaliers Live Pregame Show begins at 6:30 p.m. | Tipoff at 7:00 p.m.

• Cleveland, Toledo, Youngstown/Erie, and Wheeling/Steubenville areas:
- Main FOX Sports Ohio cable channel
- Direct TV: FSOhio
- Dish: FSOhio
- AT&T: FSOhio

• Columbus, Lima, Cincinnati, and Dayton, areas:
- The game is being made available to providers to air on the alternate FOX Sports Ohio cable channels. Alternate channel information can be found here: http://www.foxsportsohio.com/pages/channelfinder/
- Direct TV: FSOhio
- Dish: FSOhio
- AT&T: FSOhio