Game: Cleveland Cavaliers @ New Orleans Pelicans
Time: 10:00 p.m.
Odds: Cavaliers -2, Pelicans +2
When the Cleveland Cavaliers face the New Orleans Pelicans tonight, they anticipate having their starting backcourt back on the court. Due to injuries, Donovan Mitchell (groin) and Darius Garland (thumb) missed Wednesday’s 113-85 blowout of the Detroit Pistons. Mitchell is averaging 26.8 points per game and will start the upcoming All-Star Game. Garland averages 8.1 assists and 22 points per game.
The Cavaliers won their fourth straight game on Wednesday without missing either player. Instead, they were headed by frontcourt players Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen. Allen finished with 16 rebounds, including nine offensive rebounds, and 20 points on 9-of-13 shooting. Mobley added 19 points and 8 rebounds.
The Cav’s Caris LeVert was the subject of many trade rumors, but Cleveland didn’t make any substantial trades before Thursday’s deadline. LeVert scored 15 points on 5-of-16 shooting against the Pistons.
The Cavaliers are trying to complete a regular-season sweep over the Pelicans. On January 16, Cleveland beat New Orleans at home 113-103 thanks to Garland’s 30 points. Pelican stars Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram were both injured and were unable to play for New Orleans.
Williamson will miss his 20th straight game and won’t be playing in the rematch due to a hamstring injury. Williamson will not play in the All-Star Game or in the Pelicans’ last two games before the All-Star break as well. In 29 games, Williamson has averaged 26 points per game this season. Since being selected first overall in the 2019 NBA Draft, the fourth-year pro has only appeared in 114 games for New Orleans.
Ingram recently made a comeback after missing two months due to a left big toe injury, and he seems to be rediscovering his form. In his last three games, he has scored 30.3 points on 36-of-66 shot attempts (54.5 percent), including back-to-back efforts of 35 and 30 points.
Ingram scored 30 points during Tuesday’s 116-107 victory over the visiting Atlanta Hawks, making 11 of his 18 field goal attempts. The Pelicans had lost 10 straight games and 15 of their previous 18 games prior to their third straight victory.
Prior to the trade deadline on Thursday, New Orleans traded with San Antonio for guard Josh Richardson. Richardson scored 11.5 points per game for the Spurs in 42 games this year.
In addition to winning five of their last six games, Cleveland is 5-1 ATS in those six games. The Cavs haven’t had that much success against New Orleans. In the last nine games played between the two teams, the Cavs are 2-7 SU. They are 4-9 ATS in the last 13 head-to-head games and Cleveland has lost 11 straight times when playing on the road in New Orleans.
The Pelicans are now just 3-10 SU in their last 13 games. They have done better playing at home this season winning 14 of their last 20 at the Smoothie King Center.
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