The Cavaliers had a three-game winning streak snapped on the road in Miami on Friday, while the Hornets started a five-game homestand against the Jazz on Saturday.
Latest news on Donovan Mitchell and Cody Martin in this game
The Cavaliers must win these two games in Charlotte if they are to keep their playoff hopes alive. They are fourth in the Eastern Conference heading into Sunday’s games, while the Hornets are all but out of the playoff hunt.
During the first week of February, Cleveland was on fire, winning seven straight games and raising their record to 38-22. Their next five games were losses, with their only victory coming on the last day of the month at home against Toronto.
Three consecutive victories over Detroit, Boston, and Miami helped them break out of their rut. Friday’s loss to the Heat, by a score of 104-100, ended their winning streak.
Mitchell had 42 points (15-30 FG, 8-15 3Pt, 4-6 FT), three rebounds, four assists, and a steal in 43 minutes of action.
Mitchell had another stellar game on Friday despite the loss, becoming the third player in the last five games to score 40 points.
Despite scoring only 18 points against the Heat on March 8, he is averaging an impressive 32.8 points per game in his five March appearances.
Mitchell’s play in Miami was a major factor in the team’s success, according to Bickerstaff. “He did a fantastic job, in my opinion. As you might imagine, it wasn’t simple going up against a top-notch defensive unit bent on neutralizing him.”
Darius Garland did not play on Friday night due to a quad injury and may not play on Sunday. On the injury report, he is classified as doubtful to return.
Garland has started seven games since the All-Star break, averaging 23.6 points and 7.6 assists in that span.
Even with point guard LaMelo Ball out for the season with an ankle injury, the Charlotte Hornets still have a strong contingent of guards.
When these two teams meet on Sunday in Charlotte, the Cleveland Cavaliers will no doubt try to take advantage of the Hornets’ slight middle-tier deficiency.
Cody Martin will miss his 25th straight game due to left knee soreness. There is no timetable for his return.