GameDay Preview: Cavs vs. Raptors
The Cleveland Cavaliers (19-38) return home from their three-game road trip to take on the Toronto Raptors (23-34) tonight at Quicken Loans Arena. Tipoff is at 7:00 p.m. ET.
With an impressive 101-98 victory in Chicago last night, the Wine and Gold are now 8-2 in their last ten games against Eastern Conference opponents, which includes a perfect 5-0 at The Q.
Toronto comes into tonight's contest having won a season-high three straight games on the road (Feb. 8-19). Forward Amir Johnson and guard Alan Anderson are averaging 17.5 points apiece in two games against the Cavs this season.
Probable Starters/Injury Report* presented by Cleveland Clinic
Cavaliers: PG - Shaun Livingston, SG - Dion Waiters, SF - Alonzo Gee
PF - Tristan Thompson, C - Tyler Zeller
Raptors: PG - Kyle Lowry, SG - DeMar DeRozen, SF - Rudy Gay
PF - Amir Johnson, C - Jonas Valanciunus
Injuries: (Cavs) - Kyrie Irving (Sore Right Knee/Hyperextended, Out), Omri Casspi, (Appendectomy, Out), Anderson Varejao, (Vastus Medialis Split/Surgery, Out)
(Raptors) - Linas Kleiza (Sore Right Knee, Out)
*Subject to change
The Cavaliers lead the all-time series, 37-30, including a 19-14 mark in games played at The Q and a 18-16 record in Toronto. Cleveland has won 11 of the last 15 home contests against Toronto.
In their last matchup, Kyrie Irving nailed a deep three-pointer in the final seconds to down the Raptors 99-98 in Toronto. Irving led the Cavaliers with 32 points.
Key to the Game/Key Matchups
Key to the Game
Fighting Through Fatigue
With tonight's contest, the Cavaliers are on the back end of their 18th back-to-back this season. In the second game of the back-to-back, the Wine and Gold are just 4-13.
Having won a big game on the road last night, the Cavaliers must come out with the same intensity and focus in front of their home crowd. If the Cavs come with intensity early, fatigue may be an issue with it being the fourth game in five days.
In order for them to maintain a consistent high level of play, Cleveland will need to have contributions from everyone and fight through to fatigue.
Cavs Offense vs. Raptors Defense
The Cavaliers are on pace to put up one of their highest-scoring months in the past 20 seasons. Through the first 11 games in February, Cleveland is averaging 106.7 points, while dishing out an average of 23.5 assists to only 11.7 turnovers per game.
Behind February 2010’s 107.5 points per game, the Cavs’ 106.7 points per game in February 2013 would be their 2nd-highest scoring month since February 1993 (109.1 points per game). Their 106.7 points is the 2nd-highest in the Eastern Conference this month and 5th in the NBA. The Cavs are also receiving 41.5 points per game from their reserves in February, which is the 6th-most in the NBA.
Toronto’s defense ranks among the NBA’s best during the month of February. The Raptors are holding opponents to the fourth fewest points allowed (92.6) through 11 games this month. Toronto has held opponents under 100 points in eight of the last nine games (Feb. 6-25) and under .450 field goal shooting in six of 11 games in February.
Where to Catch the Action
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