Isaiah Thomas has been absent from action this entire season but tonight will mark his season debut as the Cleveland Cavaliers host the Portland Trail Blazers. The Cavaliers are hoping to avoid a fourth straight loss while the Portland team is looking to capture their second straight win. This matchup between the Cavaliers and the Trail Blazers will mark the first of two times that these ball clubs will meet with each other this season. They have battled each other a total of 119 times in the past as the Cavaliers won 52 games while the Trail Blazers pulled 67 wins.
Derrick Rose (ankle; 14.3 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 1.7 APG, 47.0 FG%, 23.1 3P%)
Iman Shumpert (knee; 4.8 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 1.3 APG, 38.6 FG%, 28.0 3P%)
John Holland (G-League; 0.8 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 0.0 APG, 25.0 FG%, 50.0 3P%)
London Perrantes (G-League; 0.0 PPG, 0.0 RPG, 0.0 APG, 0.0 FG%)
Ante Zizic (G-League; 1.2 PPG, 1.2 RPG, 0.1 APG, 36.4 FG%)
Portland Trail Blazers:
C.J. Wilcox (knee)
Meyers Leonard (coach’s decision; 5.2 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 0.5 APG, 60.0 FG%, 53.8 3P%)
Wade Baldwin (G-League)
Caleb Swanigan (G-League; 2.6 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 0.6 APG, 35.7 FG%, 20.0 3P%)
The Portland Trail Blazers would play impressively well in the first half as they shot forty-eight percent from the field while the home team shot forty-six percent. C.J. McCollum scored 14 points as he drilled two three-pointers in the second quarter. He also had four rebounds while Jusuf Nurkic chalked up 13 points on seventy-five percent shooting. Damian Lillard, who is returning to the lineup off of a five-game absence due to a hamstring injury, ended up with 12 points and three assists. He also had 3 three-pointers when Evan Turner collected 10 points. Ed Davis played 8 minutes off of the bench but was kept to just two points.
LeBron James got hot for 16 points while collecting four rebounds and dishing off 3 assists. Jae Crowder would score 10 points while knocking two three-pointers down. Kevin Love would settle for seven points while getting his hands on six rebounds. Isaiah Thomas would play the most minutes off of the bench as he had eight points with a three-pointer in the second period. The Trail Blazers, however, still had a 56-53 lead heading into halftime.
The Cavaliers responded in the second half with a huge 74-54 run, shooting fifty-eight percent from the field while keeping the Trail Blazers at forty-five percent. During that run, Love scored 12 points, earning nine of them from beyond the arc while collecting the other three from the free-throw line. Dwyane Wade had 11 points off of the bench while Thomas collected nine more points. Lillard earned himself 13 points but it was the Cavaliers who escaped with a 127-110 win over the Trail Blazers. LeBron James finished with 24 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, 4 steals, and one block. Isaiah Thomas had 17 points and 3 assists in his return to action. Damian Lillard settled for 25 points, 6 rebounds, and one steal.
The Cleveland Cavaliers will visit Massachusetts to battle Kyrie Irving (24.8 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 4.9 APG, 49 FG%) and the Boston Celtics (30-10) on Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. This meeting will mark the second of three matchups between these two teams this season. They have met up a total of 242 times as the Cavaliers won 99 games while the Celtics ended up winning 143 games. The last time they played each other was on the season’s opener when the Cavaliers slipped away with a 102-99 win. During that game, LeBron James scored 29 points, pulled down 16 rebounds, dished off 9 assists, and committed 2 steals. Jaylen Brown had 25 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 steals.
The Portland Trail Blazers will host Dennis Schroder (19.8 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 6.8 APG, 45 FG%) and the Atlanta Hawks (10-26) on Friday at 10:00 p.m. This game will mark the second and final time that these two teams will play each other this season. The Hawks and the Trail Blazers have met up a total of 111 times as the Hawks won 57 games while the Trail Blazers pulled 54 wins. December 30 was the last time they played each other as the Trail Blazers handed the Hawks a 104-89 loss. In that game, Dennis Schroder had 22 points, one rebound, 8 assists, and one steal. Shabazz Napier settled for 21 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, one steal, and 2 blocks.