GameDay Preview: Cavs at Spurs

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Luke Walton
David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images

Game Summary

The Cavaliers (22-43) conclude their Texas two-step tonight in San Antonio as they take on the Spurs (50-16) at the AT&T Center. Tipoff is at 8:30 p.m. ET.

The Wine and Gold are on the heels of a back-to-back as they fell to the Dallas Mavericks 96-86 last night at American Airlines Center.

Five Cavaliers scored in double figures led by Dion Waiters 21 points. Tyler Zeller chipped in a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

In their previous meeting with the Spurs on Feb. 13, the Cavs dished out 24 assists and had just 11 turnovers. Waiters finished with a team-high 20 points on 8-15 (.533) shooting, six rebounds, four assists and one steal in 31 minutes, while Zeller recorded a near double-double with 16 points on 7-10 (.700) shooting from the field, nine rebounds, four assists and one block in 34 minutes.

Also in that contest with the Spurs, Cleveland’s 16 offensive rebounds led to 16 second chance points. The Cavs currently lead the Eastern Conference in second chance points per game (15.4) and rank 2nd in the NBA. Cleveland ranks 5th in the East with 12.4 offensive rebounds per game (9th in the league).

San Antonio comes into tonight's game riding a seven-game winning streak against the Cavaliers. The Spurs will once again be without the service of their All-Star point guard, Tony Parker, whom has missed the last six games with an ankle injury.

Probable Starters/Injury Report* presented by Cleveland Clinic

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

Spurs: PG - Cory Joseph, SG - Danny Green, SF - Kawi Leonard
PF - Tim Duncan, C - Tiago Splitter

Injuries: (Cavs) - Kyrie Irving, (Left AC (acromioclavicular) Sprain, Out), Anderson Varejao, (Vastus Medialis Split/Surgery, Out), Wayne Ellington, (Left Lateral Ankle Sprain, Game-Time Decision)
(Spurs) - Tony Parker, (Grade 2 Left Ankle Sprain, Out)

*Subject to change

Head-to-Head Matchup

The Cavaliers trail the all-time series against the Spurs, 29-53, posting a 23-19 mark in games played at home and a 6-34 record in games played in San Antonio.

In the previous matchup with the Spurs on February 13th, the Cavaliers dropped a 96-95 heartbreaker in the final seconds on a Kawi Leonard three-pointer from the corner.

Key to the Game/Key Matchups

Ball Movement

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 ranks first in the NBA in assists averaging 25.1 and is the highest for the Silver and Black since the 1995-96 Spurs team which averaged 24.9 assists. The Spurs have dished out 30-or-more assists 12 times this season and is 12-0 in those games.

Key Matchup

Cavs bench vs. Spurs bench

A team's bench is vital coming into the second game of a back-to-back, and the Cavaliers bench will have their hands full with the Spurs reserves tonight.

Manu Ginobili has been one of the best 6th men in the league for the past decade, and this season has been no different. Ginobili has appeared in 52 games, averaging 12.6 points, 4.5 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.38 steals in 23.4 minutes.

The Cavaliers bench since Feb. 1st is averaging just over 37 points per game led by Mo Speights' 11.4 points since joining the Wine and Gold in late January.

Since Jan. 22, Luke Walton is averaging 4.7 assists per game, which ranks 3rd among all NBA bench players over that stretch.

Where to Catch the Action

TV: FSOhio HD, NBA League Pass
Radio: WTAM 1100, XM 221, Sirius 134, NBA League Pass Audio

Programming Notes:

Cavaliers Live Pregame Show begins at 8:00 p.m. | Tipoff at 7:30 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