GameDay Preview: Cavs at Suns

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Shannon Brown, Daniel Gibson

Game Summary

The Cleveland Cavaliers (2-3) play the fourth game of their six-game road trip tonight as they travel to the US Airways Center to take on the Phoenix Suns (2-3) at 9:00 p.m. (ET).

The Wine and Gold look to bounce back from a hard-fought, 106-96 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday while the Suns are looking to build off their 117-110 road victory against the Charlotte Bobcats in their last game.

For the Cavaliers, it is still uncertain whom will be taking the floor tonight as Kyrie Irving (24.6 ppg) and Anderson Varejao (14.0 ppg, 15.0 rpg) are listed as probable and Dion Waiters (15.4 ppg) and C.J. Miles (5.4 ppg) are questionable. Through their first five games, the Suns have had a balanced scoring attack with five players averaging between 14.0 and 15.2 points per game with the newly acquired Luis Scola leading the team at that 15.2 mark.


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

Suns: PG - Goran Dragic, SG - Jared Dudley, SF - Michael Beasley
PF - Luis Scola, C - Marcin Gortat

Injuries: (Cavs) - Kyrie Irving (Gastroenteritis, Probable), Dion Waiters (Right Quad Contusion, Questionable), C.J. Miles (Gastroenteritis, Questionable), Tyler Zeller (Left Cheek Contusion/Concussion, Out), Anderson Varejao (Right Knee Contusion, Probable)
(Suns) - Channing Frye (Enlarged Heart, Out)

*Subject to change


Head-to-Head Matchup

The Cavaliers trail the all-time series, 39-60, posting a 27-22 mark in games played at home with the Suns holding a 38-12 advantage while playing in their own arena.

Wednesday's contest will mark the first of two meetings between the Cavs and Warriors this season. The Cavs have won three of their last four contests in Phoenix, which includes a 101-90 victory last season on Jan. 12, 2012. In their most recent win at the U.S. Airways Center, the Cavs shot 10-19 (.526) from behind the three-point line and Kyrie Irving poured in a game-high 26 points on 11-17 (.647) shooting and six assists in 28 minutes.


Key to the Game/Key Matchup

Key to the Game

Bench Play
With the Cavs a little banged up, bench play and contributions from the reserves will be a key factor. On top of that, with the Wine and Gold in the midst of their fourth game of a six-game road trip and fatigue (both physically and mentally) setting in, they will need all hands on deck tonight.

Daniel Gibson helped out in this department last game, notching a season-high 12 points and two steals, while shooting 4-8 (.500) from long range in 22 minutes off the bench.

Key Matchup

Cavs rebounding vs. Suns rebounding
The Cavs have tied or outrebounded their opponents on the offensive end in every game so far with an average of 13.4 offensive rebounds per game to their opponents’ 8.4. Cleveland hasn’t allowed more than nine offensive rebounds in four straight games and their 8.4 offensive rebounds per game allowed is the 2nd-lowest in the NBA.

The Suns are a very good rebounding team and extremely active around the basket with high-energy big men like Luis Scola and Marcin Gortat. Gortat comes into the game as the league's fourth-ranked rebounder at 11.8 boards per game. As a team, the Suns rank sixth in rebounding at 45.8 rebounds per contest.

Anderson Varejao, the league's second-ranked rebounder at 15.0 boards per game, is listed as probable. On top of that, with Tyler Zeller out, the Cavaliers will have to rebound-by-committee in an effort to win the battle on the glass.


Where to Catch the Action

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