The Cavaliers (7-7) face off against the Charlotte Hornets (5-7) on Wednesday night to wrap up their four-game road trip. Tipoff from the Spectrum Center is at 8:00 p.m. (ET).
Cleveland will not only be eyeing their third-straight win Wednesday, but also a successful 3-1 road trip record if they can top the Hornets.
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As they continue their winning ways, the Cavs have gained plenty of confidence, especially after coming from behind and dropping the New York Knicks, 104-101, on Monday night.
Cleveland fought back from a 23-point deficit with 2:12 left in the third quarter, outscoring the Knicks, 54-28, the rest of the way which included a 43-25 edge in the fourth quarter.
Nine triples (16 total) in the fourth quarter were key to overcoming the Knicks, but the star of the night was undoubtedly Kyle Korver. Korver tallied 19 points in the fourth and finished with 21 total, as well as a 5-12 (.417) mark from three-point range.
Alongside Korver, the Cavs’ entire bench has been on fire throughout the 2017-18 campaign. This was highlighted on Monday after the reserves outscored the Knicks’ bench 54-16, which was the ninth time this season Cleveland has had more bench points than their opponents.
It’s important not to overlook the Wine & Gold’s defensive improvements on this road trip. Over the past two games against New York and Dallas, Cleveland has held their opponents to a combined .428 shooting percentage from the field.
Heading into Charlotte, the Cavaliers will need their recent success on both offense and defense to continue if they wish to beat the Hornets, who are currently 4-1 at home this season.
Despite their sub-500 record thus far, Charlotte has a tough starting five, including an extremely talented point guard in Kemba Walker. In eight games this season, Walker has tallied 20-plus points including a 20-point performance in the club’s recent 90-87 loss to the Boston Celtics.
Charlotte is a much bigger team as well, which the Cavs have to take into account. Over the offseason, the Hornets traded Marco Belinelli, Miles Plumlee, and a 2017 draft pick to the Atlanta Hawks for center Dwight Howard. Howard has had fast success this season with his new team, collecting an average of 13.3 rebounds per game, which is fifth-best in the NBA so far. Howard notched six points, 11 rebounds and three assists in their most recent contest against the Celtics.
Where to Catch the Action
TV: FOX Sports Ohio, ESPN
Radio: WTAM 1100, 100.7 WMMS, 87.7 La Mega
Programming Note: On Saturday, FOX Sports Ohio is airing the Blue Jackets – Red Wings (7:00 p.m.) and the Cavs – Mavericks game (8:30 p.m.). To view TV listings, CLICK HERE. –>
For live in-game updates, follow @cavs, @CavsJoeG, @CavsFredMcLeod, @MrCavalier34, @CavsJMike and @chones22 on Twitter.
Probable Starters/Status Update*
#4 – Iman Shumpert
#5 – JR Smith
#23 – LeBron James
#99 – Jae Crowder
#0 – Kevin Love
#15 – Kemba Walker
#5 – Nicolas Batum
#14 – Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
#2 – Marvin Williams
#12 – Dwight Howard
Status Update: (Cavs) – Isaiah Thomas, (Right hip, Out), Tristan Thompson, (Left calf strain, Out), Derrick Rose, (Left ankle sprain/soreness, TBD)
Status Update: (Hornets) – Treveon Graham, (Right quad contusion, Out), Julyan Stone, (Left hamstring strain, Out), Nicolas Batum, (Sprained left elbow, Probable)
*Subject to change.
Last season, Cleveland rolled past Charlotte, sweeping the Hornets in all four games they played. In those four wins, the Cavs averaged 112.3 points on .509 shooting, including .400 (50-125) from three-point range, and 23.3 assists (11.3 turnovers).
The Wine & Gold’s success against the Hornets isn’t limited to last season either. The Cavaliers have also won 10 of the last 11 meetings, including each of their last six contests, outscoring their opponent, 107.6 to 98.1.
Individually, expect to see Kevin Love and LeBron James shine. The two have excelled against the Hornets throughout their entire careers. LBJ has 18 career 30-point games against the Hornets while KLove posted three double-doubles in last year’s season series.
Following Wednesday’s matchup, these two clubs will battle twice more, including one more time this month in Cleveland on November 24th. The two squads will wrap up their series on March 28th in Charlotte.
Following the Cavs’ matchup against the Hornets, the club returns home this Friday, November 17th for a 7:30 p.m. (ET) dual against the L.A. Clippers. The Wine & Gold will then hit the road again for a divisional battle with the Detroit Pistons on Monday, November 20th.
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