Friday, December 9th, 2016
WHEN: 7:30 PM EST
WHERE: @TheQArena, Cleveland, Ohio
WATCH: @FOXSportsOH, @FoxSportsHeat
LISTEN: @WMMS 100.7 FM, @wtam1100, La Mega 87.7FM, @790TheTicket
– Cavaliers (15-5, 1st in Central): As a result of their impressive 126-94 win over the New York Knicks inside Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night, the Cavaliers will be coming into tonight’s game carrying a two-game winning streak.
Tonight’s match-up will be the first game of a back-to-back set for the Cavaliers (vs. Charlotte tomorrow).
Through the quarter mark of the season, the Cavs are still holding serve atop the Eastern Conference standings.
In an article from www.NBA.com, Cavs Head Coach Tyronn Lue touched on his team’s performance through their first 20 games of the season, saying:
“It’s going to take more than (20 games). Until we get a backup point guard. When we get a backup point guard, we can understand what our rotation’s going to be. We don’t have to switch it on a night-to-night basis, so our team can get in a better flow.”
* Milestone alert *
LeBron James (27,288) needs 26 points to pass Elvin Hayes (27,313) for ninth place amongst the NBA’s all-time leading scorers.
LeBron James (6,988) is just 12 assists shy of 7,000 for his career.
Kyrie Irving is three made three-pointers from reaching 600 for his career.
Kevin Love is four three-pointers away from 800 for his career.
* Cavaliers projected starting lineup (subject to change) *
(PG) Kyrie Irving (6′-3″, 193 lbs)
(SG) DeAndre Liggins (6′-6″, 209 lbs)
(SF) LeBron James (6′-8″, 250 lbs)
(PF) Kevin Love (6′-10″, 251 lbs)
(PF) Tristan Thompson (6′-10″, 238 lbs)
* Cavaliers injury report *
– (SG) J.R. Smith (knee): Out
– (PF/C) Channing Frye (personal): Out
– (PF) Kevin Love (back spasms): Questionable
– Heat (7-15, 5th in Southeast): After their disappointing 103-95 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night inside Philips Arena, the Heat find themselves riding a three-game losing streak.
Goran Dragic leads the Heat in both scoring and assists, averaging 18.0 points, 6.5 assists, and 3.8 rebounds per game.
Hassan Whiteside trails just behind Dragic in scoring. The former Marshall University stand-out and number three pick in the second round of the 2010 NBA Draft is averaging 17.6 points and a team-high 14.7 rebounds per contest.
Miami’s roster has been decimated by injuries this season. In fact, the Heat could have as few as eight players available for tonight’s match-up with the defending champs.
Tonight’s match-up is the first of four games this season between the Cavs and Heat (at Miami on March 4th & April 10th, at Cleveland on March 6th).
* Heat projected starting lineup (subject to change) *
(PG) Goran Dragic (6′-3″, 190 lbs)
(SG) Wayne Ellington (6′-5″, 208 lbs)
(SF) Rodney McGruder (6′-5″, 200 lbs)
(PF) Josh McRoberts (6′-10″, 230 lbs)
(C) Hassan Whiteside (7′-0″, 265 lbs)
* Heat injury report *
– (SG) Josh Richardson (ankle, wrist): Out
– (SG) Dion Waiters (groin): Out
– (SG) Rodney McGruder (ankle): Questionable
– (SF) Justise Winslow (wrist): Out
– (PF) Luke Babbitt (hip): Out
– (PF) James Johnson (rotator cuff): Out
* All stats and information via www.basketball-reference.com, www.rotoworld.com, www.nba.com, www.espn.com, Elias Sports Bureau, and The Associated Press *
NEO Sports Insiders Newsletter
Sign up to receive our NEOSI newsletter, and keep up to date with all the latest Cleveland sports news.