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Game #24 - Cleveland Cavaliers at Oklahoma City Thunder

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2009/2010 NBA Regular Season
VS
12-9 16-7
December 13, 2009
Ford Center
7:00 PM et
Radio - WTAM 1100 / TV - FSOhio HD
Probable starters:
Russell Westbrook PG Mo Williams
Thabo Sefolosha SG Anthony Parker
Kevin Durant SF LeBron James
Jeff Green PF J.J. Hickson
Nenad Krstic C Shaquille O'Neal

The up and down season of the Cavaliers is back on the up-swing after the Wine and Gold came from behind to beat the Portland Trailblazers at The Q on Friday night. Now the Cavaliers travel to one of the tougher places to play - Oklahoma City - where the Thunder are off to a hot 12-9 start. The reason? Kevin Durant is quickly becoming a dominant force. Should be an interesting challenge for LeBron and Co.

Injury news - Shaq will play, Daniel Gibson will not.

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Cavaliers vs Thunder coverage; Cavaliers vs Thunder preview; Welcome to Loud City

Some more Game Notes after the Jump -- >

  • Cleveland has gone 13-4 (.765) in their last 17 games and has won seven consecutive games at The Q, improving their record to 9-2,.818, which is tied for 4th best in the NBA. In those seven games, the team has averaged 105.9 ppg on .527 shooting whileopponents have only scored 96.1 ppg on .452 shooting. With the 104-99 victory on Friday, the Cavaliers have defeated the TrailBlazers in five straight contests and the last seven in Cleveland.
  • The Cavaliers are 6-2 (.750) against the Western Conference this season and will look to improve on that in Oklahoma City onSunday. Since the beginning of last season, no team has been better against the opposite conference than the Cavaliers, whohave gone 32-6 (.842). (Elias) The team swept the series with the Thunder last season, outscoring them 109.5-86 with a .580-.398 shooting advantage. Tonight's game will feature two of the Top 5 scoring duos in the NBA with LeBron James (28.2) and Mo Williams (16.7) ranking 3rd at 44.9 ppg versus Kevin Durant (28.3) and Russell Westrbook (16.4) ranking 4th at 44.7 ppg.
  • LeBron James has been very good against Western Conference teams over the last three seasons. Since the 2007-08 season, Jamesleads the league with the highest scoring average at 28.3 ppg in 67 games (K. Bryant is 2nd at 28.2 ppg). Versus Portland, LeBron James scored a game-high 33 points on 14-24 (.583) shooting from the field and added seven rebounds, seven assists, two blocks andone steal in 38 minutes. This game was the fourth time this season that James has reached those levels in all three categoriesand no other player in the league has done that even once this season. The Cavs are now 8-3 (.727) when James scores at least30 points this season and over his last three games, he is averaging 34.3 points. (STATS, Inc./Elias)
  • Anderson Varejao notched his fourth double-double on the season with a season-high 22 points on 10-17 (.588) shooting, 10 rebounds, two steals and one block in 36 minutes. His 22 points are the most points scored by a Cavaliers reserve this season.The bench provided 35 points on 16-29 (.552) shooting and grabbed 17 rebounds. Over the last seven games, the bench is averaging38.6 points on 109-210 (.519) shooting and 19.6 rebounds.
  • Shaquille O'Neal recorded his third double-double of the season with 14 points and a season-best 11 rebounds in 23 minutes. Hemade 5-11 (.455) shots from the field and all four of his free throw attempts. It was the first time since Jan. 18, 2009 at Torontothat he made all of his free throws while attempting at least four free throw attempts.
  • Mo Williams recorded his first double-double this season with 14 points on 5-11 (.455) shooting, a season-high 10 assists, threerebounds and one steal in 35 minutes. The Cavaliers had three players with double-doubles for the first time since Feb. 24, 2008 when LeBron James, Zydrunas Ilgauskas and then-Cavalier Ben Wallace all recorded double-doubles against Memphis.
  • The Cavaliers defensive triangle combines to be one of the best in the league. While Cleveland is allowing only 33.9 points in thepaint on the season, the NBA's lowest, the team also ranks 4th in defensive points allowed at 94.6 ppg, ranks 2nd in overall defensive field goal percentage at .436 and ranks 8th in defensive three-point field goal percentage at .334.
  • A key to the Cavaliers success has been strong starts in the first quarter. At 29.2 ppg in the opening period are the league's highestscoring team in the first quarter while shooting .559 from the field, which also ranks 1st. The team has won 15 out of the last 18and 18 out of 23 overall first quarters by an average margin of +4.5, which is another league best. The Cavaliers have topped the 30-point first quarter plateau in 12 games this season and scored more than 60 points in the five first halves this season.Cleveland is 14-2 (.875) when tied or leading at halftime this season.