National Basketball Association
Preview
Oklahoma City at Cleveland
When: 3:30 PM ET, Saturday, January 20, 2018
Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio

The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Oklahoma City Thunder both came into the season with high expectations and are having some trouble getting all of their star pieces on the same page. The Thunder look like they are turning a corner and will try to stretch their winning streak to four in a row when they visit the fumbling Cavaliers on Saturday.

Oklahoma City is dominating on the defensive end of late and held its last three opponents to an average of 89.7 points. "We were the aggressors," Thunder guard Andre Roberson told the team's website after Wednesday's 114-90 drubbing of the Los Angeles Lakers. "We were much more faster. The tempo was up. We just wanted to dictate them as much as we could... We're just being more clean and crisp with our communication, being more aggressive and just being on point with our stuff." The Cavaliers snapped a four-game slide on Thursday but squandered a 20-point halftime lead and needed to gut out the final seconds of a 104-103 triumph over the lowly Orlando Magic. "Us just being in a little funk," Cleveland star LeBron James told reporters. "Us just being out of sorts as far as trying to put two complete halves together. We're trying to find that. Obviously, we know we've been struggling as of late, so we're just trying to figure out how we can put two halves together."

TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC

ABOUT THE THUNDER (25-20): Cleveland had a chance to get Carmelo Anthony in a trade over the summer but couldn't come up with the right package, and the former All-Star ultimately ended up with Oklahoma City. Anthony endured a tough transition to the Thunder offense but is getting used to playing off the ball and led the way with 27 points on 10-of-15 shooting in Wednesday's win. "Once you accept something, regardless of what it is, I think you become comfortable with it," Anthony told reporters. "You start putting your all into it, you start working on that role and on that acceptance, and it becomes fun. I think right now, after accepting that role, I think early in December, the game is starting to become fun again for me, fun for us as a team. Any time you get to making shots and winning basketball games, it makes it that much more fun."

ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (27-17): Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue suggested after Thursday's narrow win that getting power forward Kevin Love more involved in the offense could help the team out of its funk. "I thought tonight he was great defensively, but we didn't use him as much as we should have," Lue told reporters of Love. "But he still played through the game, and I thought he was great. But even in those offensive lulls, we got to still post him against 5s and just see what he can do down there." Love is averaging 9.6 field-goal attempts over the last five games as the team tries to work point guard Isaiah Thomas into the offense.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Thunder C Steven Adams recorded a double-double in each of the last three games and scored 21 points on 10-of-12 shooting on Wednesday.

2. James needs 25 points to become the sixth player in NBA history to reach 30,000 for his career.

3. Oklahoma City snapped a four-game losing streak in the series with a 118-109 home win in the last meeting on Feb. 9, 2017.

PREDICTION: Thunder 106, Cavaliers 105
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Oklahoma City 25-20 W3 16-7 9-12 1-0 24-20 5-7 15-13
Cleveland 27-17 W1 16-5 11-12 0-2 27-15 6-4 20-10
Last Meeting
Oklahoma City Cleveland
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
2/9/17 CLE 109 OKC 118 118 51 47.2 109 35 48.1
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Oklahoma City R. Westbrook 29 40.7 5
Cleveland K. Irving 28 61.1 2
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Oklahoma City S. Adams 13 9 4
Cleveland K. Love 12 1 11
Assists Player  
Oklahoma City R. Westbrook 11
Cleveland L. James 7
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Oklahoma City R. Westbrook 1117 43.6 223
Cleveland L. James 1205 55.5 199
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Oklahoma City R. Westbrook 435 81 354
Cleveland K. Love 428 93 335
Assists Player  
Oklahoma City R. Westbrook 444
Cleveland L. James 386
Quickchart Matchup
Oklahoma City Oklahoma City Off vs  Cleveland Cleveland Defense
Oklahoma City Off vs Cleveland - Points For 104.3 Points For
Oklahoma City Off vs Cleveland - Points Against 108.6 Points Against
Oklahoma City - FG% 45.1 FG%
Cleveland - FG% 47.1 FG%
Oklahoma City - Reb 44.7 Reb
Cleveland - Reb 44.0 Reb
Cleveland Cleveland Off vs  Oklahoma City Oklahoma City Defense
Cleveland Off vs Oklahoma City - Points For 109.4 Points For
Cleveland Off vs Oklahoma City - Points Against 100.8 Points Against
Cleveland - FG% 47.0 FG%
Oklahoma City - FG% 45.2 FG%
Cleveland - Reb 41.9 Reb
Oklahoma City - Reb 41.2 Reb