National Basketball Association
Cleveland at Charlotte
When: 7:00 PM ET, Friday, March 24, 2017
Where: Spectrum Center, Charlotte, North Carolina

The Charlotte Hornets are working hard to stay in the race for a postseason spot but are running out of time as the schedule gets tighter. The Hornets will try to stay in the race and prove they can play with the top teams in the league when they host the Eastern Conference-leading Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday.

The Hornets are winners of three straight but have just 11 games to play and will play 10 of those games against teams competing for postseason spots as they try to chase down eighth-place Miami. The Hornets will play their next three at home before closing with five of eight on the road, including trips to Toronto, Oklahoma City and Washington. The Cavaliers are suddenly in a battle of their own for the top spot in the East and lead the hard-charging Boston Celtics by just one game after suffering a 126-113 loss at Denver on Wednesday. "You have to be tougher," Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue told reporters after the loss. "You have to have more urgency and that comes from all of us. They got 3-point shots, they got points in the paint, they got offensive rebounds, they got whatever they wanted and we have to be better than that, and that starts with the players and the coaches and we have to look ourselves in the mirror."

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

ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (46-24): Cleveland finally got its full roster healthy in Denver with shooting guard Kyle Korver (foot) returning from a seven-game absence and is more concerned with ironing out rotations and getting the defense locked in prior to the playoffs than going after the No. 1 seed. The defense was not at its best as the Nuggets shot 53.1 percent from the field but Korver knocked down three 3-pointers in 19 minutes off the bench and Kevin Love put in 22 solid minutes in his third game back from a knee injury. While Lue was questioning his team's toughness after the game, superstar forward LeBron James assured reporters that the physicality the team needs will be there in the playoffs.

ABOUT THE HORNETS (32-39): Charlotte rallied to beat Orlando 109-102 on Wednesday behind reserve center Frank Kaminsky, who scored 13 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter on 4-of-4 shooting. "We just started playing with energy in the fourth quarter," Kaminsky told reporters. "That’s what it came down to. We made the plays we needed to make. We were going back and forth for a while, but one team is going to emerge at the end of the game and it was just us tonight." Kaminsky is averaging 16.5 points over the last four games and knocked down 7-of-13 from 3-point range in the last two contests.


1. Hornets C Cody Zeller is 19-of-26 from the floor during the three-game winning streak.

2. Cavaliers PG Kyrie Irving averaged 39.5 points in the last two games after sitting out Saturday against the Los Angeles Clippers.

3. Cleveland took the first three meetings by an average of 10 points.

PREDICTION: Cavaliers 113, Hornets 106
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Cleveland 46-24 L1 28-7 18-17 4-2 42-22 7-7 30-11
Charlotte 32-39 W3 20-15 12-24 1-2 31-37 10-3 21-23
Last Meeting
Cleveland Charlotte
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
12/31/16 CLE 121 CHA 109 121 35 50.6 109 39 51.3
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Cleveland L. James 32 48.0 4
Charlotte K. Walker 37 59.1 8
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Cleveland K. Love 10 2 8
Charlotte M. Kidd-Gilchrist 8 5 3
Assists Player  
Cleveland L. James 9
Charlotte N. Batum 8
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Cleveland L. James 1707 54.7 308
Charlotte K. Walker 1650 44.1 274
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Cleveland T. Thompson 677 264 413
Charlotte M. Kidd-Gilchrist 553 149 404
Assists Player  
Cleveland L. James 570
Charlotte K. Walker 404
Quickchart Matchup
Cleveland Cleveland Off vs  Charlotte Charlotte Defense
Cleveland Off vs Charlotte - Points For 110.5 Points For
Cleveland Off vs Charlotte - Points Against 104.0 Points Against
Cleveland - FG% 46.9 FG%
Charlotte - FG% 44.9 FG%
Cleveland - Reb 43.7 Reb
Charlotte - Reb 44.7 Reb
Charlotte Charlotte Off vs  Cleveland Cleveland Defense
Charlotte Off vs Cleveland - Points For 104.8 Points For
Charlotte Off vs Cleveland - Points Against 106.6 Points Against
Charlotte - FG% 44.1 FG%
Cleveland - FG% 45.7 FG%
Charlotte - Reb 44.4 Reb
Cleveland - Reb 44.2 Reb