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The Cavaliers are back in The Land on Sunday for their 2018-19 Home Opener as they take on the Southeast Division's Atlanta Hawks. Tipoff from The Q is at 6:00 p.m. (ET).
The Wine & Gold have had plenty of success during past home openers. In fact, the Cavs are 9-4 in their last 13 home openers at Quicken Loans Arena, winning each of the last three, including a, 102-99, victory over the Celtics last season. Sunday night marks the first time that Cleveland opens their home slate against Atlanta.
Cleveland will hope that their first game at The Q this season will also be their first win after dropping their first two games on the road to Toronto and Minnesota. Despite the 0-2 start the Wine & Gold are putting up solid numbers in each facet of the game.
Through the first two contests of this 2018-19 season, the Cavs are averaging 113.5 points per game. In Friday’s game at Minnesota, the Cavs put up 123 points, including 41 in the third quarter, and shot 25-29 (.862) from the foul line. Cleveland also had 26 assists with six players scoring in double figures (Love-25, Osman-22, Clarkson-19, Sexton-14, Thompson-14, Hood-10).
Kevin Love posted his first double-double of the season on Friday with a team-high 25 points, a game-high 19 rebounds, seven assists, one block and a perfect 10-of-10 from the foul line in 39 minutes of work. It was Love’s NBA-record 27th career game with at least 25 points, 15 rebounds and three, three-pointers.
On Friday, Cedi Osman posted career-highs in points (22) and assists (8), while going 9-for-17 (.529) from the field and 4-of-7 (.571) from deep in 35 minutes. Osman is off to a solid start this season, averaging 19.5 points (.519 FG%, .667 3FG%), 6.5 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 1.5 steals in 34.0 minutes per game.
Cleveland will look to mimic Friday's well-rounded scoring effort on Sunday when the Atlanta Hawks come to town.
The Hawks, who also lost their first two games of the season, giving up 126 and 131 points to the Knicks and Grizzlies, respectively.
The club did see some bright spots emerge from both of those games, including their most recent loss to Memphis. Five players scored in double digits, including Taurean Prince (28 pts) and first-round draft pick Trae Young (20 pts). Young, who was a standout at Oklahoma last year, nearly earned his first career double-double after posting nine dimes.
Sunday's contest will be the first of three matchups between the two teams this season (October 30 at CLE, December 29 at ATL).
TV: FOX Sports Ohio
Tune in for Cavaliers LIVE on FSO for pre-and-postgame coverage starting 30 minutes prior to tipoff and immediately following the conclusion of the game.
Radio: 100.7 WMMS, WTAM 1100, 87.7 La Mega
Status Update: (Cavs) - Larry Nance Jr. (Right Ankle Sprain, Questionable)
Status Update: (Hawks) - Justin Anderson (Tibia Stress Fracture, Out), John Collins (Left Ankle Soreness, Out), Dewayne Dedmon (Avulsion Fracture, Out), Daniel Hamilton (Right Rotator Cuff Tear, Out), Omari Spellman (Left Ankle Sprain, Out)
*Subject to change.
The Cavs enter Sunday night's Home Opener winning seven of their last 11 against the Hawks, including three straight since November 30 of last year. In each of those three contests, the Wine & Gold scored over 121-plus points and dished out 30-plus assists. Cleveland will look to pour on the buckets again on Sunday, but will have to keep Atlanta's sharpshooters at bay in order to emerge victorious.
Trae Young - the Hawks' 2018 first round pick - is one of said sharpshooters. He is off to a solid start this season, averaging 17 ppg in his first two games as the team's starting point guard. Young will likely be guarded by George Hill, who will want to use his veteran skill-set to lock down the rookie early on in order to stymie Trae's hot hand.
Another matchup to look out for will take place at the power forward position between Kevin Love and Taurean Prince. Prince has been red hot for Atlanta, averaging 24.5 ppg on an exceptional .567 shooting. Love, too, has been fiery in the Cavs' first two matchups, averaging a double-double through two games with 23 ppg and 13 rpg. Like GHill with Trae Young, the eleventh-year Love will want to use his experience to blanket the third-year Prince from the get-go, all the while pushing the pace when it's time to go on the offensive.
Opening Night driven by Goodyear: “BE THE FIGHT,” a declaration of focus, attitude and unity that boldly punctuates the Cavaliers long-standing DNA statement “All for One. One for All,” is the call to action for the 2018-19 season. With the team ready to compete at a high level, fans can look forward to watching a fast-paced, exciting style of play executed by hard work and dedication on both ends of the floor.
Wine for the Wearing - Every fan in attendance will receive a wine-colored Opening Night “BE THE FIGHT” Cavs T-shirt presented by Cleveland Clinic to proudly show unity for creating the best home court advantage in the NBA. MORE DETAILS
Following the Sunday's Home Opener, they'll take on the Brooklyn Nets at The Q on Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. (ET) before hitting the road the next day to battle the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena.
Cleveland will then return home to begin a three-game homestand, beginning on Saturday, October 27 against the Pistons (7:30 p.m.), followed by games against the Hawks (October 30, 7:00 p.m.) and the Denver Nuggets (November 1, 7:00 p.m.).