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Game Preview: Cavaliers @ Clippers


Photo Credit: cavs.com

The scorching hot Cleveland Cavaliers will take on the surging Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night, as both teams are playing their second leg of a back-to-back.


Game Information:

Matchup: Cavaliers @ Clippers

Location: Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles CA

Time: 10:30 ET/7:30 PT

Watch: NBATV or NBA App


Injury Report:

CLE: OUT: Ricky Rubio (Knee). QUESTIONABLE: Dylan Windler (Ankle).


LAC: OUT: Kawhi Leonard (Knee/Load Management), John Wall (Load Management), Luke Kennard (Chest). QUESTIONABLE: Reggie Jackson (Knee).


Photo Credit: clippers.com

Star Matchup:

Donovan Mitchell: The sixth year guard has averaged north of 30 points per game in the early going this season, pushing the Cavaliers to eight straight wins despite the prolonged absence of running mate Darius Garland. Mitchell will undoubtably continue to be Cleveland's primary option on the offensive end of the floor.


Paul George: George has carried a heavy load this season as the Clippers have attempted to navigate a variety of injuries, including Leonard's ACL rehab, on their way to a 5-5 record to open the season. The do-it-all wing is on pace for his highest point per game average as a Clipper, all while adding over six rebounds, nearly five assists, and close to 1.8 steals per outing. Along with his offensive prowess, the four-time All-NBA defender will be tasked with leading Los Angeles' defensive effort against a persistent Cavaliers offense.


X-Factors:

Dean Wade: The Kansas State product has been a good all-around player thus far for the Cavs, providing valuable spacing to go along with solid perimeter defense, and a modest four rebounds and one assist per game, usually off the bench. The key, however is his shooting. Wade's smooth stroke has been converting from range at a near 47% clip. Cleveland has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to scorers, so when Wade has the green light and knocks his shots down, like in his 22 point performance against the Knicks, the Cavs are borderline unbeatable.


Norman Powell: Powell has turned into a key piece for this Clippers team, and head coach Tyronn Lue is leaning on him more than usual as Los Angeles tries to get healthy. Unfortunately for the Clippers, he hasn't delivered. While he is a solid defender, Powell's scoring production of 10 points per game is just half of what he consistently poured in last season, and his 25% on three-pointers is well below the 40-plus percent that it has been in recent years. The Clippers will almost certainly need more efficient play from Powell if they want to hang with the Cavs.


Photo Credit: clippers.com

Prediction:

The Cavs will come out of the gates sluggish after grinding out a win on Sunday against the Clippers' Los Angeles counterparts, allowing George to take over the first quarter with double digit scoring. The Cavs quickly pull themselves back into it, however, with Darius Garland finding shooters all over the floor on his way to a gaudy assist total. The Clippers get a good shooting night from either Powell or Terance Mann to keep them within striking distance, but the Cavs elite frontcourt duo of Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley eventually wears down Ivica Zubac and Marcus Morris Sr.


Final Score: Cavs: 107 | Clippers: 100


Be sure to follow along on Twitter @Cavs_District and @ClipsDistrict for in game updates, live reactions, team stats, and more!

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