GameDay Preview: Cavs vs. Suns

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Dion Waiters, Marcin Gortat
Barry Gossage/NBAE/GettyImages

Game Summary

The Cleveland Cavaliers (3-11) return to The Q tonight following a three-game road trip to take on the Phoenix Suns (6-8) at 7:00 p.m. ET.

The Wine and Gold will look to bounce back from yet another hard-fought loss, falling to the Grizzlies 84-78 in Memphis last night. The Suns will also look to rebound from a tough 104-101 loss to the Sixers in their last game on Sunday in Philly.

Anderson Varejao continued his All-Star caliber play last night, tallying his eighth double-double of the season with 15 points and 22 rebounds. Varejao leads the NBA in rebounding at 14.7 boards a game. Dion Waiters tied Varejao with a team-high 15 points in last night's loss, and with Kyrie Irving still nursing an injured finger, Waiters leads the Wine and Gold in scoring average at 14.9 points per game.

Phoenix will try to avoid its worst road start in a decade. The Suns have a balanced scoring attack with five players averaging double-figures led by their floor general Goran Dragic whom is averaging 16.0 points to go along with 7.1 assists.

Probable Starters/Injury Report* presented by Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland ClinicCavaliers: PG - Jeremy Pargo, SG - Dion Waiters, SF - Alonzo Gee
PF - Tristan Thompson, C - Anderson Varejao

Suns: PG - Goran Dragic, SG - Shannon Brown, SF - Markieff Morris
PF - Michael Beasley, C - Marcin Gortat

Injuries: (Cavs) - Luke Harangody (Right Knee Orthoscopy, Out), Kyrie Irving (Hairline/Non-Displaced Fracture in Left Index Finger, Out),
(Suns) - Channing Frye (Enlarged Heart, Out)

*Subject to change

Head-to-Head Matchup

The Cavaliers trail the all-time series, 39-61, posting a 27-22 mark in games played at home with the Suns holding a 39-12 advantage while playing in their own arena.

Wednesday's contest will be the second, and final, matchup between the Cavs and Suns this season. In their first meeting on November 9th in Phoenix, the Cavs fell to the Suns 107-105. Waiters scored a team-high 23 points for the Cavs, who had six players score in double figures.

Key to the Game/Key Matchup

Key to the Game

Finish Strong
Over their recent three-game road trip, the Wine and Gold held leads late, but were unable to finish strong and hold on for the victory. In the two teams’ last meeting, the Cavs held any early lead, but couldn't finish off the Suns.

Cleveland must keep their foot on the gas pedal if they jump out to another early lead and execute better down the stretch.

Key Matchup

Cavaliers defense vs. Suns defense
So far this season, the Cavaliers and Suns have struggled at the defensive end with both teams ranking in the top five in opponent's points per game.

Phoenix is yielding a league-worst 103.3 points per game, and their opponents are 22-for-45 from three-point range over the last two contests. Cleveland is allowing the fourth-highest points per contest at 100.9 and opponents are shooting a league-high 49 percent from the field against the Wine and Gold.

The game may come down to whoever can buckle down on the defensive end and get some stops.

Where to Catch the Action

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

Promotions

Toy Drive: Help underserved children throughout the Northeast Ohio community enjoy the magic of the holiday season by donating new, unwrapped toys to the 2012 Cavaliers and Monsters Holiday Toy Drive. More Info