The Cleveland Cavaliers(43-27) continued their four-game road trip in Charlotte against the Hornets(22-48) on Sunday. Cleveland, without center Jarrett Allen(eye), was looking to return to their winning ways after falling to the Heat on Friday night.
Cleveland did not get the start they wanted, but they got the finish they needed as they overcame a 16-point third-quarter deficit to defeat the Hornets 114-108 at Spectrum Center,.
Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ win over the Hornets.
After missing Friday’s loss against the Heat due to a quad injury, Darius Garland returned on Sunday and was big-time. He had a game-high 28 points, along with six rebounds and six assists.
Donovan Mitchell scored 10 of his 23 points in the fourth. With the Cavs clinging to a 109-108 lead late in the fourth, Mitchell made a huge floater to stretch the lead to three—great work from one of the Cavs’ closers.
Evan Mobley, who started at the center for the injured Allen, had 10 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter to go along with nine rebounds, and midway through the fourth, the second-year forward gave the Cavs their first lead at 100-99 since the first quarter with a dunk, which gave Cleveland the lead for good.
Fourth Quarter: Cleveland trailed 89-81 after three quarters but finally got it going in the fourth. In the final stanza, they outscored the Hornets 33-19 and shot 61% from the floor. In addition, they forced five turnovers, which led to 10 points. Mitchell and Mobley scored 20 of the team’s 33 fourth-quarter points.
Mobley and Caris LeVert were a team-best +14 in the fourth.
Forcing Turnovers: The Cavs forced 19 turnovers, which led to 29 points.
Not So Great:
Three-Points Shooting: Cleveland was 7/27 from deep, and Garland had the biggest issue as he was 2/10 from three-point range.
First Quarter and Most of the Third Quarter: The Hornets led 35-25 after the first quarter and dominated most of the third quarter. In that third quarter, the Hornets had their largest lead of the game at 89-73. Fortunately for Cleveland, they found a way.
The Bottom Line is the Cavs got the win, and in the end, that’s all that matters. Clearly, this was not their best performance, and clearly, this was a game they could have and maybe should have lost, but again, they closed the game the right way on the road.
Cleveland finishes their four-game road trip against the Hornets again on Tuesday night.
Best of the Rest:
-LeVert had 15 points, and Ricky Rubio added 11 points off the bench. Cleveland had five players in double figures.
-The Hornets starting five all scored in double figures. Terry Rozier led the way with 27 points; P.J. Washington had 19 points, and Nick Richards added 15 points, 12 rebounds, and three blocks.
-According to Cavs Notes, this was the Cavs’ 14th win of the season when trailing by double-digits.