Tipoff: 7:30 p.m.
Television: Fox Sports Ohio, Sports South
Line: Cleveland -6
The Charlotte Bobcats are finishing up a two-game road swing tonight in Cleveland against the Cavaliers. This will be the second meeting between the teams, after the Bobcats took the first game at home 92-90.
Charlotte (4-4) is coming off an 89-83 victory over the Boston Celtics Wednesday, where Al Jefferson finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds. Jefferson resembled his old self against the Celtics, after showing some rust in the team’s loss to the Atlanta Hawks Monday.
The Bobcats will continue to look to Jefferson, who will have a favorable matchup tonight in Cleveland. Andrew Bynum has been excused from the Cavaliers for personal reasons and will not play tonight. Anderson Varejao and Tyler Zeller will see the bulk of the minutes at center.
Cleveland (3-6) is fresh off a 124-95 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves Wednesday. Cleveland is 0-6 on the road this season, their worst road start since 2003-04.
Kyrie Irving remains the team’s leading scorer, but isn’t having a great start to the season. The third-year point guard is averaging over 19 points, but shooting under 39 percent from the field. Irving led the Cavaliers with 20 points and two assists in their loss to Minnesota.
Charlotte’s starting point guard Kemba Walker is struggling as well. Walker shot 1 for 13 against Boston Wednesday and is shooting 35 percent from the field in eight games. Since suffering a shoulder contusion against the New York Knicks last week, Walker is 12 for 46 from the field.
Neither team has been successful offensively so far; both are in the bottom ten in scoring. The Bobcats are relying on free throw attempts, the inside play of Jefferson and transition points to carry their offense.
Charlotte holds the advantage defensively, ranking fourth in points allowed and tenth in defensive rating.
Cleveland has won all three of their games at home this season by an average of 2.3 points.