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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, January 12th (All times Eastern)

Cleveland Cavaliers (13-23) at Sacramento Kings (12-22), 6 p.m.

(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 Deng.

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.

01/12 10:19:11 ET

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