Love faces Timberwolves for first time

(SportsNetwork.com) - LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers will close out a five-game homestand Tuesday and will try to add to the misery of the Minnesota Timberwolves from Quicken Loans Arena.

The Cavaliers are 3-1 on the stay and posted back-to-back victories with Sunday's 105-91 decision over the talented Memphis Grizzlies.

James scored 25 points and handed out 11 assists, Dion Waiters scored 21 points off the bench and Kyrie Irving ended with 17 to go along with 12 assists. Anderson Varejao scored 18 points for the Cavs, who shot a sizzling 60.5 percent and made 7-of-14 3-pointers.

"I was there to knock shots down," said Waiters, who scored 20-plus points for the second time in three games. "We moved the ball tremendously tonight. We have to play like that all the time."

Cleveland has won 11 of its last 14 games overall and is 10-5 at home. James is averaging 28.5 points per game in his last six for the Cavaliers, who are 8-1 in their last nine games at the Q. The Cavs are posting an average of 104.3 ppg in those nine home games.

The Cavaliers have lost six of nine games against Western foes.

This will mark the first time Cleveland's Kevin Love will face his former team. The Timberwolves traded Love in the offseason for Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett, the last two No. 1 overall picks in the draft.

Love expressed a desire not to re-sign with Minnesota this summer when he becomes a free agent. Love played six seasons with the T-wolves and made three All-Star teams.

After hosting the Timberwolves, James and the Cavs will begin a tour of Florida with consecutive games against Miami and Orlando. James, of course, won two NBA titles with the Heat before heading back home this offseason.

Meanwhile, the Timberwolves will play four straight on the road against Cleveland, Denver, Golden State and Utah, and are 2-10 as the visitor.

Minnesota has lost five in a row and 11 of its last 12 games, including Sunday's 100-96 defeat at the hands of the Indiana Pacers. Mo Williams had 24 points and 10 assists off the bench and Shabazz Muhammad added 21.

Chase Budinger provided 13 points off the bench for the Wolves, who shot a decent 46.8 percent and committed 16 turnovers. Minnesota gave up 52 points in the first half, but later took a 92-91 lead on a Williams basket.

"We didn't play as hard as we needed to play in the first half," Minnesota coach Flip Saunders said. "(The young guys) need to play with a sense of urgency. Or they are going to sit."

The T-wolves are 1-20 when allowing 100 or more points and 29th in opponents' scoring at 108.4 ppg.

Minnesota and Cleveland will play twice this season and are scheduled to meet again Jan. 31 at the Target Center. The Wolves and Cavs split a pair of matchups last season, while the Timberwolves have won five of the last seven contests in this series.