The Cavs are riding a two-game winning streak for the first time this season, and theyve done it without Anderson Varejao. Thats a good thing, considering Varejaos bruised knee will keep him out of both games this weekend (the Cavs play Saturday at Brooklyn). The Hawks have also won two in a row, including Wednesdays double-overtime thriller vs. Detroit. This is their first visit to Cleveland since Danny Ferry became GM over the summer.
Venue: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland
TVRadio: 7 p.m. FOX Sports OhioWTAM
All-Time Series: Hawks lead, 109-94.
ATLANTA HAWKS (17-9)
C Al Horford
PF Josh Smith
SF Kyle Korver
SG Lou Williams
PG Jeff Teague
CLEVELAND CAVALIERS (7-23)
C Tyler Zeller
PF Tristan Thompson
SF Alonzo Gee
SG Dion Waiters
PG Kyrie Irving
Thompson is averaging 13.0 points and 12.8 rebounds, and shooting 50 percent, during the previous four games. He hit the go-ahead basket (and ensuing free throw) in the Cavs 87-84 win over Washington.
Atlanta is eighth in the league in points allowed (94.8). Only two opponents have shot 50 percent or better vs. the Hawks this season.
The Hawks are 7-0 when Smith and Horford post double-doubles on the same night. Smith is having perhaps his best season, both production-wise and in his conduct. Not unusual during contract years.
Hawks guard Devin Harris (sore foot) will miss his fifth straight game.
The Cavs won the only other matchup this season, 113-111, at Atlanta (Nov. 30). Irving did not play.