The Cleveland Cavaliers ended their four-game losing streak on Friday night when Alonzo Gee beat the buzzer after a Dion Waiters shot was a little off. They hung with the Hawks all night long and outscored them in the fourth quarter by 11 points, two things they haven’t been able to do as of late without Kyrie Irving. The Cavaliers outrebounded the Hawks 49-28, with Anderson Varejao and Tristan Thompson collecting 13 offensive boards. Three Cavaliers scored 20 points or more, helping spark the offensive outburst that was the 113 points Cleveland scored against the Hawks.
The Cavaliers (4-12) will come back home once again only to leave for Detroit on Monday. The Portland Trail Blazers (6-10) will be visitors to the Q, and the Wine and Gold will be going for their second win in a row for the first time all season. The Blazers have lost their last four games, so the Cavaliers will be riding with more momentum against former Cleveland players Sasha Pavlovic and J.J. Hickson. Hickson is having a pretty good start to the season and has enjoyed success since joining Portland. He is averaging 11.4 points and 10.6 rebounds.
The Trail Blazers are similar to the Cavaliers in a way that reflects their bench production. All Portland starters average over 11 points, and it might be Varejao’s toughest frontcourt battle all season. Hickson and LaMarcus Aldridge, who is averaging 20.5 points and 7.5 rebounds, will be a tough matchup on both sides of the ball, but don’t forget that Tristan Thompson just had a monster game on the glass with Varejao against the Hawks. They have a stud rookie point guard in Damian Lillard, who happens to be putting 18.4 points and 5.9 assists on a nightly basis. It will be interesting to see how Jeremy Pargo responds after his applaud-able performance in the game prior to this game. Pargo needs to play statue-like defense to shut down Lillard.
The Cavaliers won the battle on the boards last night against the Hawks, and the Trail Blazers are 29th in the NBA in rebounding. Here are some other statistics to pay attention to in this game:
Cavaliers (4-12, 2-3 home)
Offensive Efficiency – 99.0 (23rd)
Pace – 95.7 (7th)
Turnover Ratio – 14.8 (23rd)
Effective Field Goal Percentage – 47.0 (23rd)
Defensive Efficiency – 106.5 (29th)
Average Points – 95.6 (20th)
Average Rebounds – 41.7 (15th)
Average Assists – 19.3 (27th)
Average Points Allowed – 100.9 (26th)
Portland Trail Blazers (6-10, 2-7 away)
Offensive Efficiency – 100.6 (18th)
Pace – 94.2 (19th)
Turnover Ratio – 14.3 (15th)
Effective Field Goal Percentage – 48.2 (16th)
Defensive Efficiency – 105.8 (28th)
Average Points – 96.3 (16th)
Average Rebounds – 39.3 (29th)
Average Assists – 18.7 (28th)
Average Points Allowed – 100.8 (25th)
Be sure to watch the game at 7:30 p.m. on Fox Sports Ohio, or listen to the game on WTAM 1100 near Cleveland.