GameDay Preview: Cavs vs. Spurs

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Alonzo Gee
David Liam Kyle/NBAE/GettyImages

Game Summary

Cleveland (16-36) will play the sixth contest of their seven-game homestand tonight against the San Antonio Spurs (41-12) for the first of two regular season matchups. Tipoff is at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Including tonight, the Cavs will head into the All-Star break after wrapping up five home games in eight days (Feb. 6-13). It marks the 6th time in team history that Cleveland has had five home games in eight days or less.

The Cavs enter tonight’s contest with a 6-3 mark over their last nine games at Quicken Loans Arena. Over that stretch, they are averaging 105.9 points on .483 shooting from the field, including .389 from deep, 26.4 assists and just 12.4 turnovers.

San Antonio comes to Cleveland for their fifth game of their "Rodeo Road Trip". The Spurs are currently 3-1 during their nine-game trip having knocked off the Chicago Bulls 103-89 at the United Center on Monday.

Tony Parker leads the Spurs' attack averaging a team-high in both points (20.7) and assists (7.7) while shooting .535 from the field.

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

Spurs: PG - Tony Parker, SG - Danny Green, SF - Kawi Leonard
PF - Boris Diaw, C - Tiago Splitter

Injuries: (Cavs) - Anderson Varejao, (Vastus Medialis Split/Surgery, Out)
(Spurs) - Manu Ginobili, (Left Hamstring Tightness, Day-to-Day), Tim Duncan (Sore Left Knee, Day-to-Day)

*Subject to change

Head-to-Head Matchup

The Cavaliers trail the all-time series against the Spurs, 29-52, posting a 23-18 mark in games played at home and a 6-34 record in games played in San Antonio.

In their last matchup, the Spurs handed the Cavs a 114-98 setback at the AT&T Center on April 22, 2012. Kyrie Irving paced the Cavs averaging 16.0 points and 4.0 assists while Tristan Thompson chipped in 9.5 points and 6.5 rebounds in two games against San Antonio last season.

Key to the Game/Key Matchups

Key to the Game

Ball Movement

Cleveland has scored at least 100 points in four of the five games on this current homestand, averaging 110.2 points on .496 shooting, including .415 from beyond the arc, 26.2 assists and just 12.2 turnovers.

The Cavs improved offensive output is due in large part to their ball movement, players unselfishly passing up good shots for better shots.

San Antonio has made a living off of that concept and rank first in the NBA in assists, averaging 25.1 per game. As a result, the Spurs rank fourth in points per game at 104.4, second in field goal percentage at .488 and fifth in three-point shooting at .385.

Key Matchup

Cavs backcourt vs. Spurs backcourt

As mentioned, Tony Parker is the catalyst of the Spurs attack. Parker, along with backcourt mate and former Cavalier Danny Green, give the Spurs a dynamic one-two punch with Parker's ability to penetrate the defense and Green's knack from knocking down the deep ball.

Parker has stepped his game up with various injuries among his teammates. He has scored 30-or-more points in three of the last six games (he has scored 30-or-more eight times this season) and is averaging 27.2 points, 8.8 assists and 1.33 steals while shooting .627 (64-102) from the field and .891 (33-37) from the free throw line.

The Cavaliers backcourt of Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters will have to match the Spurs' backcourt.

Waiters shot a perfect 6-6 from the field and finished with 12 points in 21 minutes against Minnesota on Monday. He leads all Eastern Conference rookies in points per game (14.0), assists per game (3.1) and steals per game (1.1).

In 19 contests since Jan. 4, Irving has eight 30-point games and is averaging 25.3 points on .485 shooting, including marks of .476 (39-82) from deep and .897 (87-97) from the foul line, 5.4 assists and 2.2 steals in 35.2 minutes per game over that stretch.

Where to Catch the Action

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