GameDay Preview: Cavs at Jazz

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Alonzo Gee
Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE/GettyImages

Game Summary

The Cleveland Cavaliers (10-31) will wrap up their five-game road trip tonight when they square off with the Utah Jazz (21-19) for the first of two regular season matchups. Tipoff is at 9:00 p.m. ET.

The Cavaliers are coming off a 93-88 road win at Portland on Jan. 16 with a strong defensive effort. The Cavs held the Trail Blazers to just .392 (31-79) shooting from the field, while tallying 11 steals on the night. Cleveland is now 4-1 this season when holding their opponents to less than .400 shooting from the field. The Cavs also forced Portland to turn over the ball 19 times and converted their miscues into 24 points.

Through the first four games of the road trip, the Cavs are forcing 19.0 turnovers per game, while scoring an average of 21.5 points off of their opponent miscues. The Cavs have forced at least 22 turnovers in two of the four road games this trip and rank 4th in the NBA in opponent turnovers per game at 15.8.

Utah will look to notch their third-straight victory after knocking off the Miami Heat 104-97 in their last game. The Jazz are led by the frontcourt tandem of Paul Milsap and Al Jefferson. Jefferson leads the team in points (17.4) and (9.8) rebounds while Milsap ranks second in both those categories at 14.7 points and 7.7 rebounds per game.

Probable Starters/Injury Report* presented by Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland ClinicCavaliers: PG - Kyrie Irving, SG - C.J. Miles, SF - Alonzo Gee
PF - Tristan Thompson, C - Tyler Zeller

Jazz: PG - Jamaal Tinsley, SG - Randy Foye, SF - Marvin Williams
PF - Paul Milsap, C - Al Jefferson

Injuries: (Cavs) - Anderson Varejao, (Vastus Medialis Split/Surgery, Out)
(Jazz) - Raja Bell, (Not With Team), Mo Williams, (Right Thumb Surgery, Out)

*Subject to change

Head-to-Head Matchup

The Cavaliers trail the all-time series against the Jazz 50-41 posting a 27-18 mark in games played at home with the Jazz tally a 32-14 record in games played in their home arena.

In two games against the Jazz in 2011-12, Kyrie Irving averaged a team-high 21.0 points on .515 shooting and 4.5 assists in 29.5 minutes per game. Alonzo Gee put up 12.5 points on .500 shooting and 4.5 rebounds in 28.5 minutes per game against Utah last season.

Key to the Game/Key Matchup

Key to the Game

40 Full Minutes

Utah has proved to be very resilient this season by leading the league with the most comeback wins after trailing by at least 10 points in a game.

The Wine and Gold have shown a tendency to give up leads despite playing solid basketball for extended periods of time. With the Jazz's knack for the comeback, the Cavaliers will have to piece together a consistent, full 40 minutes.

Key Matchup

Cavs bigs vs. Jazz bigs

The aforementioned duo of Jefferson and Milsap will more than likely dictate the outcome of tonight's contest. If the Cavs young bigs can match them, then the Wine and Gold will have a good opportunity to come away with a victory in their final game of this road trip.

In the absence of Anderson Varejao, the Cavalier young frontcourt tandem has been very effective.

Tristan Thompson notched his 15th double-double of the year with a season-high tying 19 points, a game-high 14 rebounds (seven offensive), two assists and two steals in 37 minutes versus the Trail Blazers on Jan. 16. He has recorded 10 double-doubles in his last 15 contests (since Dec. 19), averaging 13.7 points on .503 shooting and 12.1 rebounds in 34.9 minutes per game over that stretch. Thompson’s 24 career double-doubles are the most among all NBA players who are age 21 and under.

Tyler Zeller had a near double-double against Portland on Jan. 16 as he finished with 11 points, nine rebounds and two blocks, while connecting on all five of his free throw attempts in 40 minutes. Among rookie qualifiers, Zeller is tied for 3rd in rebounds (5.8), while ranking 4th in blocks (1.0), 7th in minutes (27.1) and 7th in points (8.2). In the last 15 games (all starts), he is averaging 10.1 points, including shooting .837 (41-49) from the foul line, 7.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 34.2 minutes per game.

Where to Catch the Action

TV: FSOhio HD, NBA League Pass
Radio: WTAM 1100, XM 221, Sirius 138, NBA League Pass Audio

Cavs @ Jazz - Saturday, January 19th
Cavaliers Live Pregame Show begins at 8:30 p.m. | Tipoff at 9:00 p.m.

  • Cleveland, Youngstown/Erie, Wheeling/Steubenville areas:
    - Main FSOhio cable channel
    - FSOhio on Direct TV, Dish and AT&T

  • Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, Lima, Toledo, Louisville/Lexington, and Charleston/ Huntington 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/ - FSOhio on Direct TV, Dish and AT&T