The Cleveland Cavaliers are winners of consecutive games for the first time since the opening two games of the season and are showing some fight, with LeBron James leading the charge. James will try to guide the Cavaliers to a season-high third straight win when they visit the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday.
James got into a war of words with New York Knicks center Enes Kanter during and after Monday’s trip to Madison Square Garden but got the last laugh when Cleveland overcame a 23-point deficit en route to a 104-101 win. James collected 23 points, 12 assists, nine rebounds and three blocks in the win and is averaging 28.1 points, 8.8 assists and 7.4 rebounds while logging a league-high 38.1 minutes. The Hornets are just happy to be home after going winless on a four-game trip that ended with a 90-87 setback at Boston on Friday, which marked their lowest-scoring output of the season. “Where we’re falling short is details,” Hornets coach Steve Clifford told the Charlotte Observer. “When you’re not good at the little things, that’s where you give up 8-0 runs, or you come down and blow (offensive) sets or blow coverages. Those are things we’ve always been really good at, and we’re not.”
TV: 8 p.m. ET, ESPN, FS Ohio (Cleveland)
ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (7-7): James got some help on Monday from shooting guard Kyle Korver, who scored 19 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter and buried five 3-pointers in the frame. “I needed one to go down first; I think I missed the next two after that,” Korver told reporters. “I actually felt great. I’ve played this game for a long time and I’ve had many bad shooting nights. I kept shooting and kept at it.” Korver totaled 34 points and eight 3-pointers in the last two games after totaling 10 points in the previous two contests.
ABOUT THE HORNETS (5-7): Charlotte is planning on guard Nicolas Batum (elbow) making his season debut on Wednesday after he spent the last three days practicing with the team. “If it’s my call, yes,” Batum told the Charlotte Observer after practice on Tuesday of playing against the Cavaliers. “If the coaches and the training staff are OK with it, it should be a go tomorrow.” Batum averaged career highs of 15.1 points and 5.9 assists in 2016-17 while adding 6.2 rebounds and 1.1 steals.
1. Cavaliers PG Derrick Rose (ankle) sat out the last three games and is day-to-day.
2. Hornets PG Kemba Walker shot 33.9 percent from the field, including 5-of-25 from 3-point range, on the road trip.
3. Cleveland took all four meetings last season and six straight in the series.
PREDICTION: Cavaliers 109, Hornets 107