Cavaliers: 69 – Timberwolves: 61
The Cavaliers are shooting 56.5% from the field and 41.2% from three.
The Timberwolves are shooting 53.5% from the field and 54.5% from three.
CLE: C. Frye – 14 points
MIN: A. Wiggins – 18 points
CLE: 25 (C. Frye – 9 rebounds)
MIN: 20 (G. Dieng – 4 rebounds)
CLE: 17 (L. James – 8 assists)
MIN: 17 (R. Rubio – 9 assists)
UPCOMING MILESTONES: With four more three pointers, Kyle Korver becomes only the seventh player in the NBA to hit 2000 in his career.
After a strong 125-109 game against the Denver Nuggets at home, the Cavaliers head to the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” to take on the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Timberwolves are coming of a 89-117 win against the Chicago Bulls on Sunday, but have lost five of their last seven. This season, they are 21-34, which puts them 13th in the Western Conference. Tonight sees the probable return of Iman Shumpert after missing the last three games with an ankle injury. Unfortunately for the Cavaliers, just as one starter comes back, another leaves – Kevin Love will be out for an estimated six weeks after arthroscopic knee surgery.
Against the Timberwolves, the Cavaliers have historically come out strong – winning 34 of the 52 total games. More importantly, the Cavaliers have won five straight against Minnesota, with the most recent loss coming in 2013. One of these wins came this season, where the Cavaliers won 125-97 behind 27 points from LeBron James and 20 from Kyle Korver. On the other end, Karl-Anthony Towns put up 26 points and 12 rebounds while Andrew Wiggins added another 23 points. Interestingly, Kevin Love also missed this game, meaning he will miss both games against his former team this year.
The Timberwolves tend to stay away from threes – shooting just 22.2 per game, which is good for second fewest in the league. They’ve utilized their 11.4 offensive rebounds per game (7th in the league) fairly effectively, creating 14.5 second chance points per game. However, despite their offensive rebounding strengths, they’ve managed the second fewest defensive rebounds per game. They’ve allowed their opponents to shoot the fourth highest field goal percentage at 47.3% and the eight highest three point percentage at 36.5%, so the Cavaliers may be able to score with efficiency tonight. Without Love, the Cavaliers have are still able to spread the floor with the starters by using Channing Frye, but this leaves the bench a little thin. With Derrick Williams’ recent play, he may have another chance to prove himself tonight.
Key players for the Timberwolves will be Karl-Anthony Towns (averaging 23.7 points and 11.8 rebounds per game), Andrew Wiggins (averaging 22.6 points per game), and Rick Rubio (averaging 8.3 assClutcists per game).
Tipoff is set for 8:00 EST and will be broadcast on FOX Sports Ohio.