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Reply To: NBA • Friday Service Plays • 12/4/15

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Preview: Cleveland At New Orleans

When: 9:30 PM ET, Friday, December 4, 2015

Where: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, Louisiana

The Cleveland Cavaliers posted a season low point total in their last contest and look to rebound with a much better effort when they visit the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday. Cleveland trailed the entire game while suffering a 97-85 loss to the Washington Wizards on Tuesday to lose for just the second time in seven games.

Forward LeBron James gets upset every time the Cavaliers lose and he was one of the main culprits in the loss to the Wizards as he committed nine turnovers to go with 24 points and 13 rebounds. “We just got to get better,” James said afterward. “They beat us from the beginning to the end. We’ve got to improve, and we’ve got to improve in a lot of facets of our game in order to be better.” New Orleans continues to struggle with the third-worst record in the NBA after suffering a 108-101 loss to the Houston Rockets on Wednesday. The Pelicans have lost four straight games and are allowing a league-worst 109.1 points.

TV: 9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN, FSN Ohio (Cleveland) FSN New Orleans

ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (13-5): Center Timofey Mozgov has struggled in three games since returning from a shoulder injury and went scoreless while committing four turnovers in just nine minutes against Washington. Mozgov shot 59 percent from the field and averaged 10.6 points and 6.9 rebounds in 46 games with Cleveland last season after being acquired from the Denver Nuggets but has been largely ineffective this season while averaging seven points and 4.4 rebounds and shooting a woeful 44.6 percent “I think it’s fairly clear that right now he’s not at the same level physically that we’re used to seeing him,” Cavaliers coach David Blatt told reporters. “And we got to get him there.”

ABOUT THE PELICANS (4-15): The defensive play has been horrid as New Orleans has allowed 100 or more points in 17 of its 19 games. The Pelicans, who have allowed 110 or more points a whopping 10 times, showed signs of solid defense by holding Houston to 17 first-quarter points but then allowed a combined 67 points over the next two quarters. Power forward Anthony Davis had 29 points and 13 rebounds against the Rockets for his third straight double-double and 10th of the season.


1. The Cavaliers have dropped their last four visits to New Orleans, including a 119-114 loss last season despite 41 points from James.

2. Cleveland SG J.R. Smith is 6-of-27 shooting – and 3-of-15 from 3-point range – over the past two games.

3. New Orleans G Tyreke Evans had just 10 points on 2-of-9 shooting against Houston in his second game of the season – and coming on a back-to-back.

PREDICTION: Cavaliers 111, Pelicans 104