GameDay Preview: Cavs vs. Mavericks

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Brandan Wright, Anderson Varejao

Game Summary

After a six-game, 11-day road trip, the Cleveland Cavaliers (2-6) return to Quicken Loans Arena tonight to face the Dallas Mavericks (5-5) at 7:30 p.m.

The Wine and Gold look to end a four-game losing streak while the Mavs are looking to bounce back from an 103-83 defeat to the Indiana Pacers last night.

The Cavs are among the NBA’s Top 10 leaders in forced turnovers per game (17.5, Tied-3rd), three-point field goal percentage (.371, 8th), steals per game (9.3, Tied 8th), opponent rebounds per game (40.1, 6th) and opponent three-point field goal percentage (.325, 9th).

Dallas is the league's fifth-highest scoring team (100.05 ppg) and shoot the ball well from the field, ranking in the Top 10 in field goal percentage (.457, 8th) and three-point shooting (.400, 4th).

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

Mavs: PG - Darren Collison, SG - O.J. Mayo, SF - Shawn Marion
PF - Elton Brand, C - Chris Kaman

Injuries: (Cavs) - Luke Harangody (Right Knee Orthoscopy, Out)
(Mavs) - Dirk Nowitzki (Right Knee Surgery, Out)

*Subject to change

Head-to-Head Matchup

The Cavaliers lead the all-time series against the Mavs, 34-27, posting a 20-11 mark in games played at home with the Mavs holding a 16-14 advantage while playing in their own arena.

The Wine and Gold have defeated Dallas three of the last four times at The Q. In their only meeting last season on Feb. 4, 2012, the Cavs erased a 15-point third quarter deficit and Anderson Varejao (17 points and 17 rebounds) and Kyrie Irving (20 points and seven assists) both gave strong performances to lead Cleveland to a 91-88 win at The Q.

Key to the Game/Key Matchup

Key to the Game

Clamp Down on Defense
Head Coach Bryon Scott has put a heavy emphasis on defense during the last couple of practices and the Wine and Gold will have to bring effort and intensity against the Mavericks.

As mentioned, Dallas is one of the league's top offensive teams and shoots an impressive percentage from the field. The Cavaliers will hope to force the Mavs into tough shots by cutting off penetration and better rotations on the backside of the defense.

Key Matchup

Byron Scott vs. Rick Carlisle
These two former NBA shooting guards used to do battle back in the 1980s when Scott's "Showtime" Lakers would square off against Larry Bird's Boston Celtics and Carlisle.

They continued to cross paths once both became NBA Head Coaches in the 2000s when Scott's Nets were battling in the Eastern Conference against Carlisle's Pistons and Pacers teams.

Tonight, each coach faces different challenges. Scott will look to get the Cavs back on the winning track, returning home after a long, road trip while Carlisle's squad is in the midst of their second game of a back-to-back.

Where to Catch the Action

TV: FSOhio HD, WUAB TV43, NBA League Pass
Radio: WTAM 1100, XM 220, NBA League Pass Audio