#CavsClippers Game Preview - March 9, 2018

Joe Sykes
Mar 9, 2018 8:00 PM ET

Game Summary

The Cavaliers (38-26) travel to the City of Angels on Friday night for a battle with the Los Angeles Clippers (34-29) in the second and final contest between the two teams this season. Tipoff from the STAPLES Center is at 10:30 p.m. (ET).

The Wine & Gold rebounded from a tough homestand and earned some revenge on Wednesday night in Denver after topping the Nuggets, 113-108, in the first of six-straight road games. Heading into Los Angeles for their next two contests, Cleveland fans have a lot to be confident about after their team's second straight win.

Where to Watch: FOX Sports Ohio, NBATV Where to Listen: WTAM 1100, 100.7 WMMS, 87.7 FM La Mega Five Keys: Joe G.'s guide to a victory. Game Notes: Learn more about Friday's matchup. Discuss Forum: Join Wine & Gold Nation and get into the convo.

With Wednesday's win, the Cavaliers have now won five straight road games (since February 9), with each of the last three coming against the West (OKC, MEM, DEN). Over those last five victories, Cleveland has won by an average of 14.8 points (117.8-103.0), while dishing out 25.6 assists (11.0 turnovers) and shooting .509 from the field and .447 (71-159) from beyond the arc.

Defensively, the team has forced an average of 16.4 turnovers and have limited opponents to a combined .435 shooting from the field and .333 (56-168) from three-point territory during that five-game stretch.

With 113 points scored against Denver, the Cavs have now scored at least 110 points in three-straight games and in nine of their last 12 contests. Since February 7, Cleveland is leading the East in points per game (115.1 PPG, sixth-most in NBA) and field goal percentage (.500, third-best in NBA). On the season, the Cavs have put up at least 110 points on 34 occasions (28-6 record).

Another interesting tidbit from Wednesday night's duel with Denver comes from the turnover department. The Cavs forced 21 turnovers against the Nuggets, which is the fifth time this season forcing at least 20 miscues. Four of those contests have come on the road.

From an individual standpoint, LeBron James is averaging 31.5 points, 9.8 rebounds and 10.0 assists, while shooting .541 (73-135) from the field and .500 (17-34) from three-point range in 38.0 minutes over the last six games. In the win over Denver, James scored the Cavs’ final nine points and finished with his team-leading 37th double-double of the season. James also drained a huge insurance bucket from way beyond the arc late in the fourth quarter, helping his squad secure their first victory of the road trip.

Heading into Friday's game against the Clippers, James and Company will be eyeing their third-straight "W", as well as their sixth straight win away from The Q. It won't be an easy task for the Wine & Gold, especially since their opponent on Friday is looking to hold tight to their eighth-seeded playoff spot after leapfrogging Denver.

With L.A. backed into a corner, they're relying on a bunch of new talent acquired in the January 29 trade (Blake Griffin, Willie Reed and Brice Johnson to Detroit in exchange for Avery Bradley, Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic and a couple of future draft picks) to help keep them in the playoff race. The Clippers, who have a 10-5 record since the move, have tallied wins in three of their past five, but stumbled in their last game against the New Orleans Pelicans, 121-116.

In the loss, Harris led his new squad with 27 points to go along with 11 boards while Montrezl Harrell came off the bench with 26 points and eight rebounds. Bradley hasn't played a game yet in a Clippers uniform due to a hernia while Marjanovic is still focusing on earning a consistent roster spot.

Where to Catch the Action

TV: FOX Sports Ohio, NBATV

Radio: WTAM 1100, 100.7 WMMS, 87.7 La Mega

Programming Note: On Friday, FOX Sports Ohio is airing the Blue Jackets – Red Wings game (7:00 p.m.) and the Cavs – Clippers game (10:30 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 - George Hill

#5 - JR Smith

#1 - Rodney Hood

#23 - LeBron James

#22 - Larry Nance Jr.






#25 - Austin Rivers

#4 - Milos Teodosic

#34 - Tobias Harris

#33 - Wesley Johnson

#6 - DeAndre Jordan

Status Update: (Cavs) - Kevin Love, (Left hand fracture, Out). Tristan Thompson, (Right ankle sprain, Out)

Status Update: (Clippers) - None to report

*Subject to change.

Head-to-Head Matchup

As mentioned, Friday's contest between Cleveland and the L.A. Clippers will be the second and final time these two clubs meet this regular season.

In the first meeting against the Clippers this season, the Wine & Gold overcame a 15-point deficit and picked up a 118-113 overtime victory at The Q on November 17. Cleveland held the Clippers to .447 (46-103) shooting from the field, including .286 (10-35) from beyond the arc in the win.

Overall, the Cavaliers have had an excellent record against the Clippers for over the past decade. Since 2005, the Cavs are 19-6 against L.A. and have also won seven of the last 10 meetings versus the Clippers at STAPLES Center.

On Deck

Following the Cavs' final meeting with the Clippers on Friday, they'll stay put in Los Angeles as they take on the Lakers at the STAPLES Center on Sunday at 9:00 p.m. (ET). They'll then take on the the Phoenix Suns (March 13), Portland Trail Blazers (March 15) and Chicago Bulls (March 17) before returning to The Land on March 19 to battle the Milwaukee Bucks.


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