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Preview: The Hornets host the Cavaliers for the first game in a back-to-back series

The Cavs currently sit in fourth place in the Eastern Conference as they travel to Charlotte to face the Hornets

Charlotte Hornets v Cleveland Cavaliers Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

What: Charlotte Hornets (22-47) versus Cleveland Cavaliers (42-27)

When: 5:00 PM EST

Where: Spectrum Center; Charlotte, NC

How to watch: Bally Sports Southeast, NBATV

The Hornets are hosting the first or two straight games tonight against the Cleveland Cavaliers. After facing each other tonight the two teams will square off again on Tuesday in Charlotte.

The Hornets come into this game after a decent stretch of late where they have won seven of their last 11 games. The Cavs, meanwhile, ripped off a seven game winning streak in February but have since gone 4-5 over their last nine games.

Cleveland has a solid starting five. Point guard Darius Garland comes in averaging about 22 points and eight assists per game while hitting 43% of his 3-point attempts. Shooting guard Donovan Mitchell just made his fourth straight All-Star team and is averaging over 27 points per game. Small forward Isaac Okoro is more of a role player on the starting cast and plays about 21 minutes per game. Power forward Evan Mobley is having a good second season in the NBA while averaging about 16 points and nine rebounds per game. Center Jarrett Allen is usually good for about 15 points and 10 boards while playing solid interior defense.

The Cavs bench consists of smart, effective veterans like point guard Ricky Rubio, shooting guard Caris LeVert, small forward Danny Green, and forward Cedi Osman. All of these guys have been starters during their careers and know how to get the job done. The Cavs second unit has done their part in building Cleveland’s winning record this season.

This will be a difficult game for the Hornets but they played the Cavs tough in their previous matchup back in November. Charlotte lost in double overtime in that one, a game they played without LaMelo Ball, and there were some positives. In the 132-122 defeat Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 34 while Terry Rozier and PJ Washington both dropped 28. Nick Richards had a 13-point, 14-rebound double-double against Cleveland’s solid big men.

What killed the Hornets in their November loss to the Cavs was Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell combining to score 75 points on 27-of-48 shooting. Charlotte will need to better contain Cleveland’s dynamic backcourt duo if they hope to pull out a victory tonight.