CLEVLAND, Sporting Alert – The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Oklahoma City Thunder will meet in an elite matchup at Quicken Loans Arena on Thursday. Watch this game live at 8 p.m. ET, on TNT and TNT Overtime.
Both these teams have title winning ambitions and will be going all out to prove a point to the rest of the league, even if it’s still very early in the season. The Cavaliers (16-7) remain without starting point guard Kyrie Irving, who dismissed reports that he was going to make his season debut against the Thunder on Thursday.
Irving has been down with a knee injury, but reportedly returned to team practice last week. Still, the All-Star will not be risk, and he said the stories circulating in the media this week were “wrongfully reported.”
“Sorry to dwindle the news, but I won’t be returning tmrw,” Irving Tweeted on his official Twitter account.
“It was wrongfully reported. When I do come back you’ll hear it directly from me.” Out as well for the Cavs is guard Iman Shumpert because of a groin injury.
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) December 17, 2015
Oklahoma City doesn’t have any injuries to report about, while star players Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are beginning to click on offense.
The Thunder (17-8) have won six straight games heading into this battle with LeBron James and the Cavaliers and they will try to extend that streak on the road.
Westbrook leads Oklahoma City on the road this season — averaging 27.1 points and shooting 49.5 percent, while putting up numbers of 25.6 points, 9.4 assists and 7.3 rebounds per game overall this term. Durant is no slouch either — averaging 27.3 points for the Thunder, who are 5-5 on the road this period.
Cleveland comes into this contest with a three-game winning streak, and is 10-1 at Quicken Loans Arena this campaign. The Cavaliers are also 30-2 in Cleveland since Jan. 19.
James and the hosts who have outscored opponents for points in the paint, 142-88, during the current streak — have been listed as 3-point favourites against the Thunder.
When these two teams last met on January 25, 2015, Cleveland won 108-98, with James scoring 34 points for the Cavs and Durant netting 32 points for Oklahoma City.
LIVE TV AND STREAM: Watch this game live at 8 p.m. ET, on TNT and TNT Overtime.
Elsewhere on the NBA fixture for Thursday night, Kyle Lowry and the Toronto Raptors (16-10) will meet Kemba Walker and the Charolett Hornets (14-10) at Time Warner Cable Arena, while James Harden and the Houston Rockets (12-14) will battle with the LA Lakers (4-21) at STAPLES Center. This game is also live on TNT and TNT Overtime at 10:30