NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, April 5th
(All times Eastern)
Charlotte Bobcats (38-38) at Cleveland Cavaliers (31-46), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Al Jefferson and the Charlotte Bobcats look to inch
closer to a postseason spot when they pay a visit to the Cleveland Cavaliers
Saturday at Quicken Loans Arena.
Charlotte is seventh in the Eastern Conference -- two games behind Washington
and 5 1/2 in front of New York. The Knicks are in the ninth spot and have five
games left on the season. The Bobcats have six.
The Bobcats made the playoffs once in franchise history back in 2009-10 (0-4)
and will start a three-game road trip Saturday against Cleveland, Washington
and Boston. They have a 15-22 record away from home and kept their winning
ways intact with Friday's 91-80 victory over the Orlando Magic.
Jefferson poured in 29 points and grabbed 16 rebounds to lead the way and
Kemba Walker ended with 13 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds.
"It feels good," Walker said of the triple-double. "I played a complete game.
I'm excited that we got the win. We're at .500 now and we're playing some good
basketball. I hope we can keep it up."
Anthony Tolliver scored 13 points off the bench for Charlotte, which has won
three straight and 11 of the last 16 games.
Jefferson is averaging 23.6 points and 11.4 rebounds in his last 13 games, and
is the only player in the Eastern Conference posting at least 20.0 points and
10.0 rebounds this season.
Charlotte is 25-5 when scoring 100 or more points and fifth in the NBA in
opponents' scoring (97.2 ppg). Opponents are shooting just 44.3 percent
against the Bobcats' much-improved defense.
The Cavaliers have five games remaining on the schedule and are three games
behind Atlanta for the eighth spot in the East. New York sits one game off the
final postseason berth in the conference.
Cleveland had won two in a row and five of six games until Friday's 117-98
defeat at the hands of the playoff-hungry Hawks. Dion Waiters scored 23 points
and Spencer Hawes had 16 points, 10 rebounds, six steals and four assists for
the Cavs, who allowed Atlanta to shoot 59 percent from the field and make 13-
"You have to give Atlanta credit. They kicked our behind from the beginning to
the end," said Cavs coach Mike Brown.
Kyrie Irving and Luol Deng scored 13 points apiece in defeat.
The Cavs will play two straight and four of the last five games at home and
have a 17-20 mark as the host.
Charlotte is 3-0 against Cleveland this season and has never swept a season
series against the Cavs. Cleveland is 22-12 all-time against the Bobcats, who
are only 2-14 in 16 all-time trips to the Forest City.
04/05 10:30:47 ET