NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, February 11th
(All times Eastern)
Sacramento Kings (17-34) at Cleveland Cavaliers (18-33), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Kyrie Irving will try to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to
a third straight win when they entertain the Sacramento Kings Tuesday at
Quicken Loans Arena.
Irving scored 28 points in Sunday's 91-83 overtime win versus the Memphis
Grizzlies and tied the game at 78-78 on an acrobatic layup with 18.1 seconds
remaining. Irving also sank four free throws in overtime, where the Cavs
scored 13 of the 18 points.
Irving has scored a league-high 44 points in overtime this season.
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, Irving has scored 20 or more
points in seven of eight and 11 of his last 13 games, posting an average of
22.1 points per game in the longer span.
Dion Waiters scored 18 points off the bench and provided an emphatic dunk down
the lane in overtime. He is averaging a conference best 14.6 ppg as a reserve.
"We had a lot of good performances from everybody on the team. I thought
Dion's dunk towards the end of overtime was huge for us," said Cavaliers coach
Mike Brown. "We called a play in the huddle and he recognized where he had an
advantage. He took it to the hole strong and finished the right way. That was
a big difference in the ball game."
C.J. Miles added 14 points off the bench and Luol Deng returned from a one-
game absence because of the flu to post 14 points. Miles is averaging 17.3 ppg
in his last four contests.
The Cavaliers, who are averaging 105.3 ppg in the last four, have a 2-0 mark
since general manager Chris Grant was fired on the heels of a six-game slide
and last won three straight from Dec. 7-13. They are 12-13 at Quicken Loans
Arena this season and will later visit Detroit and Philadelphia.
Sacramento is winless (0-2) so far on its four-game road trip after dropping
bouts with Boston and Washington. In Sunday's 93-84 loss to the Wizards,
Isaiah Thomas continued to shine as a starter and pumped in 30 points on 11-
of-24 shooting. He also dished out eight assists.
Thomas is averaging 21.7 points per game in his last 32 games, all starts.
DeMarcus Cousins added another double-double of 14 points and 12 rebounds for
the Kings, losers in nine of the last 11 games. Ben McLemore scored 11 points
off the bench in defeat for Sacramento, which pulled within 77-73 early on in
the fourth quarter before the Wizards took a 91-78 advantage.
"I just want a consistent effort. We got back in the game because we played
the right way. When you use so much energy to get back in the game, you can't
close it out. I am very proud of how we played in the second half," said Kings
coach Michael Malone.
Rudy Gay had just five points, but is still posting an average of 20.3 ppg
since coming over via trade with Toronto in early December.
Meanwhile, Cousins has posted a double-double in 19 of his last 20 games and
has at least one block in 13 consecutive games.
The Kings, who have a 1-6 road mark against teams from the East, are winless
in their last six road games and 6-18 as the guest. They will visit the New
York Knicks Wednesday at Madison Square Garden.
Sacramento crushed Cleveland 124-80 back on Jan. 12 at home and was led by
Thomas' 26 points and 20 from Gay. Irving had just seven points in that one
for the Cavs, who have still won 10 of the past 14 meetings with the Kings.
Sacramento has lost five of its last seven trips to Cleveland.
02/11 10:23:44 ET