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Reply To: NBA • Wednesday Service Plays • 2/24/16

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Preview: Charlotte At Cleveland

When: 7:00 PM ET, Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio

The Cleveland Cavaliers put together one of the best games of their season on Sunday and followed it up with one of the worst the next night. The Cavaliers will try to find some consistency in their top gear when they host the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday.

Cleveland crushed the Oklahoma City Thunder 115-92 on the road on Sunday but looked fatigued while falling at home to the Detroit Pistons on Monday 96-88. “It was an emotional game for our guys (Sunday),” Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving told reporters. “We don’t want to make any excuses, but it was a hard fought game for us yesterday. Then, traveling back, you could just see it. We had some uncharacteristic plays out there for a couple of guys.” The Hornets are one of the few teams to beat Cleveland of late, earning a 106-97 home win on Feb. 3, and are winners of five straight. Charlotte began a six-game road trip before the All-Star break and has won the first three to pull three games over .500.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN Southeast (Charlotte), FSN Ohio (Cleveland)

ABOUT THE HORNETS (29-26): Charlotte got center Al Jefferson back from knee surgery after the All-Star break, giving them an inside weapon to take some of the pressure off Kemba Walker and the perimeter-based offense the team runs. Jefferson is coming off the bench on a minutes restriction but looked fully recovered from a torn meniscus while putting up 18 points on 9-of-13 shooting in 24 minutes as the Hornets cruised past the Brooklyn Nets 104-96 on Sunday. Walker led the way with 28 points and is averaging 25.2 points in six games this month after sitting out the win over the Cavaliers on Feb. 3.

ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (40-15): LeBron James carried a big load in Oklahoma City with Irving ailing and it looked like the strain had gotten to him on Monday. The superstar small forward struggled to 12 points on 5-of-18 shooting and committed six turnovers in the setback. “We learn from our mistakes for sure,” James told reporters after the loss. “We’ll probably watch film when we get to our shootaround on Wednesday. We’ll watch our film to see what we did wrong and where we can get better, but we know that we are a better team (Monday) than we showed. It was just our energy level, which from yesterday took a lot out of us.”


1. Cavaliers F Channing Frye made his team debut on Monday and managed two points in nine minutes off the bench.

2. Hornets C Spencer Hawes (back) sat out the last two games and is day-to-day.

3. Charlotte’s win earlier this month snapped a four-game losing streak in the series.

PREDICTION: Cavaliers 109, Hornets 103