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5:00 PM PT6:00 PM MT7:00 PM CT8:00 PM ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 PM MST8:00 PM EST5:00 UAE (+1)02:0020:00 ET7:00 PM CTNaN:� , February 13, 2018
Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma  Attendance: 18,203

Osman earns another start when Cavs face Thunder

According to STATS
According to STATS

Cleveland Cavaliers at Oklahoma City Thunder

  1. The Cavaliers have played with three different starting lineups during their current three-game winning streak. Cleveland is 52 for 106 (.491) from beyond the arc in this stretch and made at least 15 threes in each game -- something it had done just three times in its previous 20 games.
  2. The Thunder have hit more than 15 threes in a game just once this season -- Sunday's 110-92 win against Memphis, where Paul George hit five of Oklahoma City's 16 triples. It was the third straight game and fifth time in the last 12 that George has made at least five three-pointers.
  3. When these teams played back on January 20 in Cleveland, the Thunder beat the Cavaliers 148-124, which tied for the second-most points Cleveland has given up in franchise history.
  4. Cleveland's new additions of George Hill, Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr. and Rodney Hood combined for 49 points on 18-of-35 shooting in Sunday's 121-99 win at Boston. The Cavaliers held the Celtics to 40.4 percent shooting from the field, their best defensive effort since holding Philadelphia to 37.5 percent on November 27.
  5. The Thunder have the second-lowest scoring bench in the league (25.0 points per game), but Jerami Grant has been doing his part lately. The fourth-year forward is averaging 12.0 points and 6.6 rebounds in 23.5 minutes per game off the bench over his last eight contests.
  6. February has been the best-shooting month (.440 overall, .438 from three-point range) of J.R. Smith's four-year career with the Cavaliers. In five games this month, Smith is averaging 13.2 points and is shooting 53.3 percent from the field and 51.5 percent (17 of 33) from three-point range.

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Cedi Osman, for now at least, has changed Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue's thinking about his starting lineup.

In the first two starts of the small forward's career in the wake of Cleveland's set of roster-morphing moves at the trade deadline, Osman has averaged 14 points, 5.5 rebounds and three assists.

After initially saying that Osman's time in the starting lineup would be short-lived, Lue is now riding the hot hand, as Osman is expected to make a third consecutive start Tuesday when the Cavaliers play at the Oklahoma City Thunder.

"I like where we're at right now, and we'll just kind of go from there and see how it plays out," Lue told reporters Monday.

That shift keeps LeBron James in a bit of a different position, as he's forced to move to power forward with Osman in the starting lineup instead of, say, Rodney Hood, who was expected to move into a starters role after coming over in one of three deadline deals last week.

"I like what he brings," Lue said. "I think having Bron at the four ... it's a big disadvantage having him at the four, because now you've got four guys that push it out on the break. I think that's big."

Osman also did a solid job defensively Sunday guarding Boston's Kyrie Irving in Cleveland's 121-99 beatdown of the Celtics.

Against the Thunder, he figures to spend some time on reigning NBA most valuable player Russell Westbrook, who is expected back after missing two consecutive games with a sprained ankle.

"Russ is just very good, a lot of energy," Osman said. "So it's going to be another big challenge for me."

Cleveland has won three consecutive games, scoring 121 or more points in each. Prior to that streak, the Cavaliers had a 6-13 stretch that sent management rushing to overhaul the roster before the deadline.

While Lue is letting his starting lineup be for right now, Thunder coach Billy Donovan continues to tinker.

In the eight games following Andre Roberson's season-ending injury, the Thunder have started three different players in Roberson's shooting forward role. Terrance Ferguson started the first five games and went 1-4 before giving way to Josh Huestis, who started in two games including the win at Golden State last week. Sunday, Alex Abrines earned a starting nod.

"I think that spot, it could be different," Donovan said. "I don't want to say it's going to be different night to night, but yeah, it could change in certain situations based on what's best for our team."

What the Thunder do expect to have back, though, for Tuesday's game are Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony. Like Westbrook, Anthony suffered an ankle injury in the win over the Warriors last Tuesday. Both have missed the two games since.

Donovan said Monday he would have to check with the team's medical personnel before making a determination but both were full participants in Monday's practice.

The Thunder have won two of their last three after dropping four consecutive games in the immediate aftermath of the Roberson injury.

Updated February 13, 2018

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