(SportsNetwork.com) - The debut of Cleveland Cavaliers forward Luol Deng
generated positive results and the team looks to build on that Sunday against
the Sacramento Kings.
Deng was recently acquired from the Chicago Bulls and made his Cleveland debut
in Friday's 111-93 victory at Utah, scoring 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting in 21
minutes of action.
"He's a great player and a great person. He's not going to just come in and do
anything out of the ordinary except play basketball and compete on both ends
of the floor and that's all we need him to do," Cavs star Kyrie Irving said of
Irving had 25 points, eight assists, six rebounds and five steals, while
Tristan Thompson tallied 18 points and 15 boards for Cleveland, which opened a
five-game western jaunt and improved to 3-15 on the road. The Cavaliers, who
had a 39-21 advantage in the third quarter, shot 54.2 percent from the floor
and 50 percent from beyond the arc. They also outrebounded the Jazz, 45-34,
and outscored them in the paint, 54-40.
The Cavaliers have outrebounded each of their last six opponents by an average
margin of 11.2 rebounds per game.
Cleveland will also visit the Los Angeles Lakers, Portland Trail Blazers and
Denver Nuggets. In milestone news, Irving is one point shy of 3,000 in his
career. Thompson, meanwhile, has registered a double-double in each of his
last three games and five of the past seven.
Sacramento will close out a five-game homestand (2-2) Sunday and will try to
extend its current winning streak to a season-high three straight games.
The Kings evened their mark on this homestand with Friday's 103-83 beating of
the Orlando Magic, as DeMarcus Cousins recorded his ninth straight double-
double with 24 points and 14 rebounds. He has scored 20 or more points in 17
of the last 20 games and is averaging 25.4 points and 13.8 boards during his
run of double-doubles.
Rudy Gay added 22 points and 10 assists, while Jason Thompson and Derrick
Williams scored 14 points apiece for the Kings, who are 8-13 at home and have
scored 100 or more points in 17 of the last 18 games, including the last 11.
"I thought our starting frontline was terrific tonight," said Kings coach Mike
Malone. "I was very impressed with Derrick Williams."
Sacramento's frontcourt compiled 60 points and 31 rebounds.
The Kings will embark on a six-game journey after hosting the Cavs and will
kick off the trek Tuesday at Indiana.
Cleveland and Sacramento are meeting for the first time since the Kings won
both matchups a season ago. The Cavs, though, are 10-3 in the past 13 matchups
in this series and 6-1 in their past seven in California's capital.
The Sports Network