After a slow start at the beginning of the season, it seems that the Cleveland Cavaliers may have figured all their troubles out. Coming off of an intense matchup at the Madison Square Garden, the Ohio team is looking for their third straight victory as the visited North Carolina to take on the Charlotte Hornets, who are hoping to avoid a fifth straight loss. These two teams have met up a total of 103 with the Cavaliers winning 62 games while the Hornets/Bobcats won 41 games.
Jose Calderon (coach’s decision; 1.2 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 0.7 APG, 42.9 FG%, 50.0 3P%)
Cedi Osman (coach’s decision; 1.0 PPG, 0.9 RPG, 0.1 APG, 42.9 FG%, 33.3 3P%)
Ante Zizic (coach’s decision; 1.4 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 0.0 APG, 40.0 FG%)
Derrick Rose (ankle; 14.3 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 1.7 APG, 47.0 FG%, 23.1 3P%)
Isaiah Thomas (hip)
John Holland (G-League)
Tristan Thompson (calf; 4.4 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 0.4 APG, 57.7 FG%)
London Perrantes (G-League)
Michael Carter-Williams (coach’s decision; 1.3 PPG, 1.7 RPG, 2.3 APG, 12.5 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
Johnny O’Bryant III (coach’s decision; 5.7 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 0.5 APG, 40.0 FG%, 28.6 3P%)
Marcus Paige (G-League; 0.0 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 0.0 APG, 0.0 FG%)
Mangok Mathiang (G-League; 0.0 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 0.0 APG, 0.0 FG%)
Treveon Graham (quadriceps; 4.5 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 1.7 APG, 38.6 FG%, 29.4 3P%)
Julyan Stone (hamstring; 3.0 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 1.0 APG, 50.0 FG%, 50.0 3P%)
Even though the Cavaliers were successful in this matchup, it didn’t come easy as the Hornets held a 67-61 lead at the end of the second quarter. LeBron James chalked up 19 points in the first half which included two three-pointers. He also pulled down four rebounds and dished off three assists while Kevin Love had 14 points, which would hold a three-pointer he drilled in the first three minutes of the game. J.R. Smith had seven points in the first half to put with his three assists and two defensive rebounds. Jeff Green played the most minutes off of the bench in the first half as he recorded eight points and two rebounds.
Nicolas Batum had 15 points in the first half as he shot seventy-eight percent from the field. Kemba Walker ended up scoring 12 points which included two three-pointers to add to his six assists that he dished off. Jeremy Lamb played 14 minutes off of the bench as he chalked up nine points and grabbed four defensive rebounds. Marvin Williams had three defensive rebounds as the Hornets went into the locker room with a slight advantage.
The Cleveland Cavaliers would respond in the second half as they went on a 54 to 40 run, shooting forty-four percent from the field while keeping the home team to forty percent. James continued to impress as they threw up 12 points while shooting only thirty-nine percent from the field. He also dished off five assists while Love had eight points and five rebounds. Kyle Korver played 14 minutes off of the bench in the second half as he knocked down two three-pointers and two free-throws.
Michael-Kidd Gilchrist tried to keep the Hornets in it as he scored 12 points on eighty-six percent shooting. He also gobbled up four defensive rebounds while Walker had eight points which held a three-pointer he drilled in the third period. Cody Zeller played the most minutes off of the Charlotte bench in the second half but was kept to just four points as the Cavaliers came back to win the game, 115-107. LeBron James finished with 31 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steals, and 1 block. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist would finish with a season-high 22 points, 6 rebounds, a season-high 2 steals, and 2 blocks. ”It’s easy to hang your head and give up when things get hard, but that’s not who we are as a team,” Dwight Howard said after the loss. ”The guys in this locker room are built better than that.”
The Cleveland Cavaliers will host Blake Griffin (23.1 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 4.7 APG) and the Los Angeles Clippers (5-8) for the first time this season on Friday at 7:30 p.m. These two teams have met up a total of 124 times with the Cavaliers winning 73 of the games as the Clippers/Braves won 51 of them. The Charlotte Hornets will travel to Illinois to take on Bobby Portis (15.8 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 2.3 APG) and the Chicago Bulls (2-10) on Friday at 8:00 p.m. The Hornets and the Bulls have met up a total of 113 times with the Hornets/Bobcats winning 40 games while the Bulls ended up winning 73 of them.