Cleveland Cavaliers (4-15) at Minnesota Timberwolves (8-9), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Cleveland Cavaliers look to halt a three-game losing
streak on Friday night when they hit up the Target Center for a matchup with
the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Without their young, dynamic starting backcourt on Wednesday, the Cavaliers
fell to the Chicago Bulls 95-85 at home. They are 2-10 on the road this
season and Kyrie Irving will still be out with a broken finger and rookie Dion
Waiters' status in unknown for Friday night with a left ankle sprain.
In their last two losses, the Cavs have shot 33.7 percent against the Pistons
and 36.5 percent against the Bulls. It's not hard to imagine the offense
struggling without 38.1 ppg in suits on the bench.
"One thing we'll be and always will be is a no excuse team, and we're going to
play the guys that we have available," head coach Byron Scott said after the
Chicago loss. "We're not going to cry about the guys that aren't here and
can't participate because when they're healthy, they'll come back and supply
us with the parts that we need. Right now the guys that we have out there are
playing as hard as they can and that's all you can ask for."
When it comes to playing as hard as you can, no one on the Cavs' roster
exemplifies that more than Anderson Varejao. Against the Bulls, Varejao
registered 11 points and 15 rebounds for his 10th straight double-double. He
is the third player in Cavs' history to accomplish the feat, but here's
something no Cavs player can claim - all 10 of Varejao's double-doubles have
come with 15 rebounds or more.
Varejao leads the league in rebounding, but next on that list is Kevin Love of
the T-Wolves. In the eight games since his return from a broken hand, Love is
averaging 19.4 ppg and 14.4 rpg.
Minnesota is only 3-5 since Love rejoined the lineup. They've won two of their
last three, but a 104-94 loss the last time out in Boston became a disaster in
the third quarter. Up four at the half, the Timberwolves lost the third
quarter by 11.
After a scorching night shooting Tuesday en route to victory in Philadelphia,
Minnesota shot 44 percent against the Celtics. Perhaps more troubling than the
field-goal number was that the T-Wolves shot a putrid 46.7 percent from the
"The second half, they got the lead and we missed a lot of free throws," said
head coach Rick Adelman. "I thought we were playing pretty well, but in the
second half, they took control."
The Timberwolves are 4-3 at home, but have gone 1-3 in their last four. Six of
their next 10 are in Minnesota.
The Cavaliers are 10-2 in their last 12 against the Timberwolves and have won
six of their last seven in Minnesota.
12/07 10:40:12 ET
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