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28 Mar 2018

Cleveland Cavaliers vs Charlotte Hornets: Lineups, preview & prediction 3/28/18

(Photo credit: Keith Allison)

Cleveland (44-30) had their five-game winning streak snapped in thorough fashion with a 98-79 setback at Miami on Tuesday night. The Cavaliers set a season low in points and three-pointers (four), and their 36.5 percent shooting was their fourth-worst mark of 2017/18.

Besides the miserable shooting night, center Kevin Love had a miserable night. In just his fifth game back since missing 20 with a fractured hand, Love suffered facial injuries and at least one knocked out tooth after taking an elbow to the face while trying to draw a charge on Jordan Mickey less than 90 seconds into the game.

The team announced Love was suffering from post-concussion symptoms, and will likely be formally entered into the league's concussion protocol at some point Wednesday. The loss also cut Cleveland's lead over Indiana in the Central Division to one game with eight remaining, and the Cavaliers are now just one-half game ahead of the Philadelphia 76ers for the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference.

Charlotte (34-41) continue to delay the inevitable of being mathematically eliminated from the playoffs as they are six games behind eighth-place Miami with seven games left. The Hornets, though, are looking for a fifth straight victory after outlasting the New York Knicks 137-128 in overtime Monday night.

Kemba Walker continued his torrid scoring pace, scoring 11 of his 31 points in overtime, and Dwight Walker added 23 and 13 rebounds for Charlotte, who scored 20 points in the extra period and shot 54.8 percent from the field. The Hornets, looking to match a season high in wins established from February 14-27, have averaged 122.5 points while shooting 41.3 percent from 3-point range and 46.1 percent overall.