#CavsWolves Game Preview - January 8, 2018

Target Center at 8:00 p.m. ET
Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

Game Summary

The Cavaliers (26-13) travel to the Land of 10,000 Lakes on Monday to do battle with the Western Conference's Minnesota Timberwolves (25-16). Tipoff from the Target Center is at 8:00 p.m. (ET).

The Wine & Gold enter Monday night's contest coming off a 131-127 victory over the Orlando Magic on Saturday night.

In the win, Cleveland scored a season-high 131 points on 47-94 (.500) shooting as well as 25 assists and 60 points in the paint (second-most this season), 23 second chance points (season high) and 25 fast break points (season high). Defensively, the Cavs swiped 11 steals and scored 33 points (second-most this season) off of 20 Magic turnovers.

The Cavs also shot 15-34 (.441) from three-point range against the Magic and have now nailed at least 10 three-pointers 34 times this season, including in 27 of the last 28 games. On the season, Cleveland is averaging 12.5 threes per game, which ranks second in the NBA.

The fact that the Cavs notched 131 points, as well as 107 through the first three quarters against Orlando, proves that Cleveland's fire power is second to none. As the team grinds through the middle of the 2017-18 campaign, this scoring output is a great sign of things to come down the road.

Not only was Saturday's victory a boost for the Cavs, it was also highlighted by Isaiah Thomas' first-ever start with the squad. Dating back to his tenure with the Boston Celtics, I.T. has made at least one three-pointer in 59 consecutive games, the second-longest active streak in the NBA (Klay Thompson-94), with his first trey against Orlando. In total, Thomas tallied 19 points (7-13 FG, 2-4 3FG) and four assists in 21 minutes.

The Cavaliers will hope this scoring explosion transitions into Monday's game against the Timberwolves, who are also excelling thanks to a revamped roster chock full of new faces.

Jimmy Butler, who was traded to Minnesota this past offseason from the Chicago Bulls, is currently averaging 21.5 ppg to go along with 5.0 assists and 5.3 rebounds in his first campaign with the Wolves.

Alongside Butler, Minnesota will look to swingman Andrew Wiggins and big man Karl-Anthony Towns if they want to grab a win over the Wine & Gold. The club won their most recent matchup with the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday night thanks to big performances by those three starters. In the win, Butler and Towns led their squad with 21 points a piece while Wiggins trailed not far behind with 20. In total, six Timberwolves scored in double digits against the Pelicans (Butler-21, Towns-21, Wiggins-20, Gibson-15, Dieng-14, Jones-10).


Where to Catch the Action

TV: FOX Sports Ohio

Radio: WTAM 1100, 100.7 WMMS, 87.7 La Mega

Programming Note: On Monday, FOX Sports Ohio is airing the Blue Jackets – Maple Leafs game (7:00 p.m.) and the Cavs – Timberwolves game (8:00 p.m.). To view TV listings, CLICK HERE.

For live in-game updates, follow @cavs, @CavsJoeG, @CavsFredMcLeod, @MrCavalier34, @CavsJMike and @chones22 on Twitter.


Probable Starters/Status Update*

#3 - Isaiah Thomas

#5 - JR Smith

#23 - LeBron James

#99 - Jae Crowder

#0 - Kevin Love

#1 - Tyus Jones

#23 - Jimmy Butler

#22 - Andrew Wiggins

#67 - Taj Gibson

#32 - Karl-Anthony Towns

Status Update: (Cavs) - Derrick Rose, (Left ankle sprain, Out), Iman Shumpert, (Left knee effusion, Out)

Status Update: (Timberwolves) - Jeff Teague, (Sprained MCL, Out)

*Subject to change.


Head-to-Head Matchup

Monday night's matchup with the Wolves will be the first of two contests this season between the two clubs. Since the 2014-15 season, Cleveland is 6-0 against Minnesota and have outscored the Timberwolves by an average of 17.7 points (118.5-100.8), while also averaging 26.2 assists (12.8 TOs) and shooting .516 from the field (.389 3FG%).

In addition, the Cavs have made at least 10 three-pointers in all six of those games (12.3 3FG per game). The Wine & Gold have scored at least 110 points and shot .500 from the field in five of the six contests.

In his last three games against Minnesota, LeBron James has shot a combined .744 (32-43 FG) from the field, averaging 25.7 points, 11.7 assists and 6.7 rebounds in 37.3 minutes over that span.

Following Monday night's showdown, the Cavaliers and Timberwolves will meet one more time this season when they travel to The Land for a February 7 dual.


On Deck

Following Monday's battle with the Wolves, the Cavaliers will hop over the border for a 8:00 p.m (ET) contest with the Toronto Raptors on Thursday. The club will then round out their five-game roadie with a stop in Indiana as they take on the Pacers this Friday. The Cavs return to The Land on Monday, January 15 for a Martin Luther King Day showdown with the Golden State Warriors. Tipoff from The Q is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. (ET).

FIND SEATS | FULL SCHEDULE

#CavsWolves Postgame: Kevin Love - January 8, 2018

Cavaliers center Kevin Love spoke with the media following Monday's loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center.

Cavs at Wolves - January 8, 2018

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#CavsWolves Postgame: Kevin Love - January 8, 2018

Cavaliers center Kevin Love spoke with the media following Monday's loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center.
Jan 8, 2018  |  02:56

#CavsWolves Postgame: Isaiah Thomas - January 8, 2018

Cavaliers guard Isaiah Thomas spoke with the media following Monday's loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center.
Jan 8, 2018  |  02:45

#CavsWolves Postgame: LeBron James - January 8, 2018

Cavaliers forward LeBron James spoke with the media following Monday's loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center.
Jan 8, 2018  |  02:06

#CavsWolves Postgame: Coach Lue - January 8, 2018

Cavaliers Head Coach Tyronn Lue spoke with the media following Monday's loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center.
Jan 8, 2018  |  03:51

GAME RECAP: Timberwolves 127, Cavaliers 99

Andrew Wiggins leads all scoring with 25 points as the Timberwolves get the win over the Pelicans, 107-99.
Jan 8, 2018  |  02:06

Cedi Osman with the Hoop and the Harm

Cedi Osman crosses up the defense and gets to the basket for the hoop and the harm.
Jan 8, 2018  |  00:21

Green Converts Through Contact

Jeff Green takes the ball strong to the bucket and gets the layup to fall, plus the foul.
Jan 8, 2018  |  00:14

Featured Highlight: LBJ with the Big Block

Tyus Jones thinks he has an easy layup but LeBron James comes up with his trademark chase down block.
Jan 8, 2018  |  00:26

DWade with the Reverse Finish

Dwyane Wade converts the difficult reverse layup in this Goodyear 'More Driven' highlight.
Jan 8, 2018  |  00:19

I.T. Drops Dime to DWade

Isaiah Thomas drops the nice dish to Dwyane Wade glides in for the layup.
Jan 8, 2018  |  00:16

Jeff Green with the Hoop and the Harm

Jeff Green draws the contact and finishes the bucket, plus the foul.
Jan 8, 2018  |  00:16

LBJ with the And-One

LeBron James goes coast-to-coast for the fancy finish, plus the foul.
Jan 8, 2018  |  00:17

#CavsWolves Shootaround: Kevin Love - January 8, 2018

Cavaliers center Kevin Love spoke with the media prior to Monday's shootaround at the Target Center.
Jan 8, 2018  |  05:27

#CavsWolves Shootaround: LeBron James - January 8, 2018

Cavaliers forward LeBron James spoke with the media prior to Monday's shootaround at the Target Center.
Jan 8, 2018  |  04:08

#CavsWolves Shootaround: Isaiah Thomas - January 8, 2018

Cavaliers guard Isaiah Thomas spoke with the media prior to Monday's shootaround at the Target Center.
Jan 8, 2018  |  03:30

#CavsWolves Shootaround: Coach Lue - January 8, 2018

Cavaliers Head Coach Tyronn Lue spoke with the media prior to Monday's shootaround at the Target Center.
Jan 8, 2018  |  02:18