Game Preview: Warriors at Cavaliers - 2/1/20

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HEADED FOR OHIO
After dropping their first two games of their five-game Eastern Conference road trip, the Warriors head to Ohio for a Saturday matchup against the Cleveland Cavaliers. This is the first of two meetings between the two teams, and the first time they have gone head-to-head since Apr. 5 of last year when Draymond Green posted 20 points, eight rebounds and five assists.

LAST TIME OUT
D’Angelo Russell and Alec Burks combined for 40 points Thursday, but that was not enough for the Dubs to work their way out of an early 17-point deficit in a 119-104 loss in Boston. Full Recap

MATCHUP AT A GLANCE

GSW CLE
10-39 13-36
15th in West 14th in East
PTS: 105.6 (26th) PTS: 105.4 (27th)
REB: 43.6 (22nd) REB: 44.3 (20th)
AST: 24.8 (12th) AST: 21.8 (27th)

LAST GAME'S STARTERS
GSW: D’Angelo Russell, Damion Lee, Glenn Robinson III, Draymond Green and Marquese Chriss
CLE: Darius Garland, Collin Sexton, Cedi Osman, Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson

INJURY & ROSTER NOTES
GSW: Stephen Curry (left hand fracture), Klay Thompson (left ACL rehab), Kevon Looney (left abdominal soreness) are out. Team Notes
CLE: TBD. Team Notes

WOLVERINES REUNITE
Saturday not only marks the first time the Cavaliers and Warriors meet this season, it also signifies the first NBA meeting of two University of Michigan stars: Dubs rookie Jordan Poole and Cavaliers Head Coach John Beilein. Poole spent two years at Michigan under Beilein who was head coach of the men’s basketball program. Over their brief tenure together, the two won the 2018 Big Ten Tournament championship, went to the 2018 NCAA Championship Game, set a school record 17-0 start to the 2018-19 season, and made it to the Sweet 16 of the 2019 NCAA Basketball Tournament. Beilein said of Poole after hitting a game-winning buzzer-beater in the 2018 tournament: “The guy is an overdose of swag… He dreams of those (game-winning) shots.” Both left the university after the 2019 season as Poole entered the draft and Beilein accepted the head coaching role with the Cavaliers, and now it comes full circle as they reunite on the NBA hardwood.

TEAM LEADERS

GSW CLE
PTS: Russell (24.0) PTS: Sexton (19.6)
REB: Green (6.3) REB: Thompson (10.4)
AST: Russell (6.3) AST: Garland (3.7)

CLEVELAND SCOUTING REPORT
Rookie Head Coach John Beilein and the Cavaliers enter Saturday’s matchup with a 13-35 record after dropping 10 of their last 11 games. The team ranks among the bottom third of the NBA in several team categories, including points per game, opponents’ points per game, and both offensive and defensive rating. Despite the seemingly lackluster team numbers, Cleveland brings a mix of young and veteran talent to the court. The 2015-16 NBA Champion frontcourt duo of Kevin Love (17.4 points, 9.9 rebounds) and Tristan Thompson (12.2 points, 10.3 rebounds) each average double-doubles per game. Rounding out their top four in scoring are their young picks of the last two drafts: sophomore guard Colin Sexton (2018 eighth overall pick, 19.6 points) and Darius Garland (2019 fifth overall pick, 12.2 points). Garland is coming off a recent string of 15 games (Dec. 28 - Jan. 25) where he scored in double-digits across them, averaging 14.9 points with 2.1 treys per game in the process. He returned to Thursday’s game after a night off for rest to put up 16 points, five rebounds, and eight assists. The mix of veteran skill and dynamic scoring will be a different look from what the Warriors have encountered in their previous games on this road trip.

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