GameDay Preview: Cavs at Raptors

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Dion Waiters, Amir Johnson
David Liam Kyle/NBAE/GettyImages

Game Summary

The Cleveland Cavaliers (12-32) head north of the border to face the Toronto Raptors (16-27) at the Air Canada Centre. Tipoff is at 7:00 p.m. ET. Tonight marks the Cavaliers 14th of 22 pairs of back-to-backs this season.

The Wine and Gold come into the contest looking to extend their winning streak to three games as they knocked off the Milwaukee Bucks 113-108 last night at The Q.

In that victory, the Cavs shot a scorching 52.3 percent (45-86) from the field while dishing out 27 assists as a team.

Toronto enters Saturday's matchup coming off a last second victory against the Orlando Magic in their last game on Thursday. Guard DeMar DeRozan recorded team highs of 22 points and seven assists while scoring 14 points in the fourth quarter, including a fadeaway jumper at the buzzer for the victory. On the season, DeRozan leads the Raptors in scoring with a 17.3 average.

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

Raptors: PG - Jose Calderon, SG - DeMar DeRozan, SF - Landry Fields
PF - Ed Davis, C - Amir Johnson

Injuries: (Cavs) - Anderson Varejao (Vastus Medialis Split/Surgery, Out), C.J. Miles (Illness, Questionable)
(Raptors) - Andrea Bargnani (Torn Right Elbow Ligament & Strained Right Wrist, Out), Linas Kleiza (Sore Right Knee, Out), Jonas Valanciunas (Fractured Metacarpal on Right Ring Finger, Out)

*Subject to change

Head-to-Head Matchup

The Cavaliers lead the all-time series, 36-30, including a 19-14 mark in games played at The Q and a 17-16 record in Toronto. Cleveland has won 11 of the last 15 home contests against Raptors.

The last time the two teams faced each other, the Raptors knocked off the Cavaliers 113-99 at The Q despite 23 points and seven assists from Kyrie Irving.

Keys to the Game

Bench Play

Last night's Cavaliers' victory was fueled by the bench. The Cavaliers outscored the Bucks 21-5 over the first eight minutes of the fourth quarter -- despite using an all-reserve lineup of center Marreese Speights, power forward Luke Walton, small forward Wayne Ellington, shooting guard Daniel Gibson, and point guard Shaun Livingston. Milwaukee led 90-81 at the start of the period, but trailed 102-95 before head coach Byron Scott put some of the starters back in.

Toronto doesn't have the deepest of benches and with key injuries to their frontcourt, the Wine and Gold's second unit should be able to perform similar to last night.

Containing Jose Calderon

There seems to be certain players that just have the Cavs' number. Toronto point guard, Jose Calderon, is one of those guys.

In the Raptors 113-99 victory at Cleveland on Dec. 18., Calderon scored a team-high 23 points in the contest and had his finger-prints all over the game.

Calderon is a duel threat off the pick-and-roll. If you go under the screen, he can knock down the long range jumper, and if you go over the top, he can penetrate the defense and create open opportunities for his teammates.

Needless to say, a key for tonight's game will be the Cavaliers guards ability to clamp down at the defensive end and play disciplined, tough pick and roll defense.

Where to Catch the Action

TV: FSOhio HD, NBA League Pass
Radio: WTAM 1100, XM 218, Sirius 132, NBA League Pass Audio

Programming Note:

Cavs at Raptors - Saturday, January 26th
Cavaliers Live Pregame Show begins at 6:30 p.m. | Tipoff at 7:00 p.m.

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

• Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, Lima, and Charleston/Huntington 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/
- FSOhio on Direct TV, Dish and AT&T