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Preview: Cleveland Cavaliers vs Charlotte Hornets

There’s still life left in these Charlotte Hornets, as the defending champs come to town.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Charlotte Hornets Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

What: Cleveland Cavaliers (46-24) vs Charlotte Hornets (32-39)

Where: Spectrum Center. Charlotte, North Carolina.

When: 7 p.m. EST

T.V. Fox Sports Southeast

Radio: WFNZ 610 AM

The Hornets look to keep up their winning ways on Friday night, as the Cleveland Cavaliers come to town for another Eastern Conference battle. Unfortunately the hornets haven’t fared too well this year against the conference leading Cavs, as the Hornets have dropped all three of the previous matches this season against their conference foe.

Positive Note: The Hornets have played well at home this year at (20-15) on the season and are coming into the game riding a three game winning streak. Over half of the Cavs’ losses have come on the road this year with a record of (18-17) away from Cleveland. The Cavs have lost two out of their last three games.

Pivotal Note: Without question this game is pivotal to the hornets playoff chances, with just eleven games left in the season, Charlotte sits 2 1/2 games behind the Miami Heat for the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference, but that’s not all. The hornets need to leap frog the two teams in front of them as well in the Chicago Bulls and the Detroit Pistons to punch their ticket to the playoffs. Cleveland on the other hand has already punched their ticket, but the cavs are still fighting for the top spot in the Eastern Conference with just a slim 1 game lead over the Boston Celtics.

The Star and Stat:

Kemba Walker

NBA: Washington Wizards at Charlotte Hornets
Kemba Walker leads the hornets with 22.7 PPG.
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Walker is averaging 22.7 PPG this season for the Hornets and averaging 27.3 PPG in the three previous games against the cavs this year. Look for Kemba to have a good game against a Cleveland defense that has been vulnerable this season.

Lebron James

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at Denver Nuggets
Lebron James is averaging 26 PPG this season.
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

James is totaling 26 PPG this season and 31.7 PPG against the Hornets this year in the three contests. The last game in Charlotte saw Kyrie Irving out of the lineup, which led to more ball handling duties for Lebron. Everyone will be at full strength for the cavs on friday night.

Keys to Victory: The Cavs have showed weaknesses in the paint recently, if Cody Zeller and the recently hot Marvin Williams can provide success down low, it could prove to the Hornets keeping the game at their pace and in their advantage.

Other Games of Importance: Det @ Orl 7 p.m. Phi @ Chi 8 p.m. Mia (off)