National Basketball Association
Minnesota at Cleveland
When: 7:00 PM ET, Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
It’s reunion week for the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the first one getting to go back to the past is forward Kevin Love. The All-Star will greet his former organization and one or two former teammates when the Cavaliers host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday. Love was traded to Cleveland in a blockbuster deal over the summer that brought former No. 1 overall picks Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett back to the Timberwolves.
Love spent six seasons in Minnesota but never made the playoffs and was unlikely to stay with the franchise long term, prompting the team to move him in the best deal it could find. Love’s most recognizable former teammates, point guard Ricky Rubio and center Nikola Pekovic, have been injured and won’t play in Tuesday’s reunion. “You can’t really judge our team because we haven’t had our guys,” Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders told reporters of his Western Conference-worst squad. “It’s tough to judge because I do believe that all our guys will be better when we get those other guys back.”TV:
7 p.m. ET, NBATV, FSN North (Minnesota), FSN Ohio (Cleveland)ABOUT THE TIMBERWOLVES (5-21):
The injuries to Rubio, Pekovic and Kevin Martin have thrust more responsibility onto Wiggins, who was the biggest piece acquired in that trade. “I’ve been put into a bigger position here … and that’s what’s helping me grow more mentally and physically,” Wiggins told reporters. “We’re not going to start winning in one day. … We’re young. We’re starting two rookies and two sophomores.” Saunders is concerned that his young players have hit a mental and physical wall, and the Timberwolves are enduring a five-game losing streak.ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (16-10):
LeBron James will get his reunion when Cleveland visits Miami on Christmas Day and is hoping to take a three-game winning streak into that meeting. The Cavaliers turned up the defense over the weekend in wins over the Brooklyn Nets and Memphis Grizzlies, allowing 91 points in each. “The fact that we set the tone early for how we were going to play the game, I thought was really a major factor in the win,” head coach David Blatt, who had been critical of the team earlier in the week, told reporters after the win over Memphis.BUZZER BEATERS
1. The Cavaliers, who handed out 34 assists in the win on Sunday, are 9-0 when recording 25 or more.
2. Minnesota F Shabazz Muhammad has gone over 20 points in a career-best four straight games.
3. Cleveland G Dion Waiters has scored 21 points in two of the last five games while failing to break double digits in the other three.
Cavaliers 109, Timberwolves 95
Stats and Records