Cavaliers-Timberwolves Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 06, 2012
Mired in a brutal losing stretch, the Cleveland Cavaliers have proven especially bad over their last two games without their top two scorers. While the Minnesota Timberwolves have had to deal with their fair share of injuries, it was an inability to convert from the free throw line that plagued them their last time out. Cleveland, loser of three straight and 13 of 15, could be without Dion Waiters again Friday night when it visits Minnesota. With Kyrie Irving (22.9 points per game) still expected to miss a couple more weeks due to a fractured finger that's sidelined him since mid-November, the Cavaliers (4-15) have found themselves in an even bigger hole with Waiters out. The No. 4 overall pick in this year's draft, averaging 15.2 points, has been sidelined since spraining his left ankle during Saturday's 118-117 double-overtime loss to Portland. After shooting a season-worst 33.7 percent in Monday's 89-79 loss at Detroit, the Cavaliers shot 36.5 percent in a 95-85 defeat to Chicago on Wednesday. Cleveland had a season-low 11 points in the first quarter and entered the second down by 16. "I'm proud of our guys. They're battling. They're playing as hard as they can right now," coach Byron Scott said. "A lot of things are not going our way, but in that first quarter, we kind of let it get out of hand. We couldn't make a shot and we couldn't get stops, but after that we played pretty solid. "That's the problem with us. We have to play a near perfect game on both ends of the floor. ... We're just going to keep working. That's the only thing we can do." Anderson Varejao, averaging 15.0 points and league-best 15.4 rebounds, posted 11 and 15 on Wednesday but shot 4 of 16. Donald Sloan had a season-high 14 points while fellow reserve Tyler Zeller scored 10 to go along with seven boards. "It's the NBA," Scott added. "We're not the only team going through having some guys who are hurt that you wish were out there. We'll play the guys we have available. We're not going to cry about the guys who aren't here." Cleveland now tries to bounce back against Minnesota (8-9), which had won three of four before falling 104-94 at Boston on Wednesday. Kevin Love had 19 points and 13 rebounds but made just 6 of 12 free throws for the Timberwolves, who went a season-worst 14 of 30 from the foul line. "We're gonna make free throws," coach Rick Adelman said. "Kevin Love's not gonna miss these free throws - he's an 80-85 percent free-throw shooter. Sometimes you go throw it, we just have to stay with it and understand that's part of the game you gotta execute." Shooting 71.1 percent from the free throw line to rank 27th in the league, Minnesota has gone 4-0 when it makes at least 80.0 percent of its attempts and 4-9 when it doesn't. The Timberwolves, who played their first nine games without Love (broken right hand), are still without Ricky Rubio (torn ACL), Brandon Roy (knee) and Chase Budinger (torn left meniscus). Andrei Kirilenko, meanwhile, could miss his fifth straight game due to back spasms. Minnesota had posted back-to-back wins in this series before coming up short 98-87 on Jan. 6 despite Love's 29 points and 14 rebounds. He's averaging 24.3 and 17.0 in his last three matchups against Cleveland, going 10 for 15 from 3-point range.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Vlade Divac indicates DeMarcus Cousins’ agents killed other deal

Report: Julius Thomas traded to Dolphins

Joe Mixon likely to go undrafted in April?

Belichick officially updates boat’s name to ‘VII Rings’

Canseco warns humanity about robot takeover in Twitter rant

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rick Ankiel drank vodka before pitching in 2000 NLDS

Kings throw shade at Cousins in press release announcing trade

Report: Jets tampered with Revis through private phones, secret meetings

Calipari shoots down talk of him leaving Kentucky for Pelicans

Report: Carmelo prefers trade to Clippers or Lakers

Report: Kings blowing up roster, putting Darren Collison, Ben McLemore on block

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

We got our hands on the new Nintendo Switch, here are our first impressions

Top 10 second basemen in baseball for 2017

Teams and players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Too much to Process: Can Simmons match the Embiid hype?

There will never be another Dirk Nowitzki

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Is the NBA All-Star Game worth saving?

Movies you can stream now to get your football fix

The Rewind: Michael Jordan's last All-Star Game

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

We got our hands on the new Nintendo Switch, here are our first impressions

Top 10 second basemen in baseball for 2017

Teams, players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher with 200 or more wins since 1961

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

There will never be another Dirk Nowitzki

Movies you can stream now to get your football fix

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker