#CavsHornets Game Preview - March 28, 2018

Spectrum Center at 7:00 p.m. ET
David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images

Game Summary

The Cavaliers (44-30) round out their three-game roadie on Wednesday night against the Charlotte Hornets (34-41) in the second leg of a back-to-back. Tipoff from the Spectrum Center is at 7:00 p.m. (ET).

The Wine & Gold are entering tonight's game in Charlotte after dropping last night's contest, 98-79, to the Miami Heat. The Cavaliers have still won five of their past six games and are 1-1 on the current road trip.

As Cleveland looks to round out the road trip with a win, it's important to take a look at some of the impressive individual performances over the past few games.

Through the first two games of this road trip, Rodney Hood is averaging 15.5 points (.480 FG%, .455 3FG%) and 3.0 rebounds in 29.5 minutes. In last night's loss to Miami, Hood knocked down 15 points and three boards off the bench.

Jordan Clarkson has now scored in double figures in three straight games and in 16 of his 20 appearances with the Wine & Gold. On the season, Clarkson is averaging 14.1 points off the bench, which ranks second in the NBA.

Tristan Thompson, in his three games since returning from injury, is averaging an exceptional 11.0 rebounds in just 16.3 minutes per game.

For LeBron James, tonight's contest could be a special one. LBJ, who has now scored in double figures in 865 consecutive regular season games (since 1/6/07), is just one game shy of tying Michael Jordan (866) for the longest double-digit scoring streak in NBA history. James (1,859 steals) is also one steal shy of passing Kevin Garnett (1,859) for sole possession of the 17th-most in league history and three away from passing Isiah Thomas (1,861) for 16th place on that list.

As James and the rest of the Cavaliers squad get prepped for their game in Charlotte, the Hornets are looking to build on their current four-game winning streak, despite being 6.5 games out of a playoff spot.

Led by sharpshooting point guard Kemba Walker, the Hornets have caught the attention of NBA fans everywhere with their fast-paced style and scoring sprees. In fact, over their past four games, the club is averaging 122.5 ppg to their opponents' 102.5 ppg.

Charlotte's most impressive victory from their win streak came last Thursday when they dropped 140 points against the Memphis Grizzlies who were limited to only 79. Charlotte's 61-point victory came on the back of Walker who tallied a mind-boggling 46 points in just 28 minutes of action.

The Hornets' latest win came on Monday when they defeated the New York Knicks, 137-128, at the Spectrum Center. Walker once again led the way with 31 points to go along with seven dimes, while big man Dwight Howard followed suit with 23 points and an impressive 13 rebounds.

Where to Catch the Action

TV: FOX Sports Ohio, WUAB 43, NBATV

Radio: WTAM 1100, 100.7 WMMS, 87.7 La Mega

For live in-game updates, follow @cavs, @CavsJoeG, @CavsFredMcLeod, @MrCavalier34, @CavsJMike and @chones22 on Twitter.

Probable Starters/Status Update*

#81 - Jose Calderon

#3 - George Hill

#23 - LeBron James

#32 - Jeff Green


#15 - Kemba Walker

#5 - Nicolas Batum

#14 - Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

#2 - Marvin Williams

#12 - Dwight Howard

Status Update: (Cavs) - Kevin Love, (Concussion-like symptoms, Out), Cedi Osman, (Left hip strain, Out), Kyle Korver, (Personal reasons, NWT)

Status Update: (Hornets) - Michael Carter-Williams, (Left shoulder surgery, Out), Cody Zeller, (Left knee soreness, Out)

*Subject to change.

Head-to-Head Matchup

Tonight's matchup between the Cavaliers and Hornets is the third and final meeting between the two teams this season. The Cavs are 2-0 against the Hornets in 2017-18 and will look to sweep the season series for the third time in four seasons.

The last time these two teams squared off was on November 24 at The Q where Cleveland defeated the Hornets, 100-99. The Cavs trailed 98-93 with 3:33 left in the game but closed it out on a 7-1 run, holding the Hornets 0-8 from the field over that stretch. For the game, Cleveland’s defense held Charlotte to 36-94 (.383) shooting from the field (second-lowest FG% allowed this season), including 5-23 (.217) in the fourth quarter (0-8 3FG).

Overall, Cleveland has won eight straight contests over Charlotte, their longest active winning streak against an opponent. The Cavs' offense has been strong in those eight wins against the Hornets (111.3 PPG, .496 FG%, .399 3FG%, 25.4 APG, 13.1 threes per game).

The Wine & Gold are also 12-1 in the last 13 meetings against Charlotte, which includes a 5-1 mark on the road. Over that 13-game stretch, the Cavs have outscored the Hornets by an average of 8.8 points (107.6-98.8) and held them to a combined .436 shooting from the field, including just .303 from beyond the arc.

On Deck

Following the conclusion of tonight's duel in the Tar Heel State, the Wine & Gold will return home for a four-game homestand beginning on Friday night against the New Orleans Pelicans at 8:00 p.m. (ET). The Cavs will then battle the Dallas Mavericks (April 1), Toronto Raptors (April 3) and Washington Wizards (April 5).

Cleveland will then hit the road for two more games, first against the Philadelphia 76ers (April 6) and then versus the New York Knicks (April 9). They'll round out the 2017-18 regular season at home against the Knicks on April 11.