Cavs equal win total from last season after routing Hornets

The Cavs(44-27) concluded their four-game road trip in Charlotte against the Hornets on Tuesday. Cleveland defeated the Hornets 114-108 on Sunday night and hoped to sweep the two-game set.

Cleveland was without their leading scorer Donovan Mitchell(Finger Sprain – Injury Management) and Jarrett Allen(Eye), but that didn’t matter as they had three players score 20-plus points in a 120-104 rout of the Hornets.

The Cavs went 3-1 on their road trip and have won two straight and five of their last six. Even more, they matched their win total from last season(44-38).

Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ win over Charlotte.

The Great:

Evan Mobley, who started his straight game at center for the injured Allen, had a team-high 26 points(10/15 FG) and six rebounds. 

Cedi Osman was huge off the Cavs’ bench. He scored 12 of his 24 points in the second quarter, and Osman made six threes. Early In the second quarter, with the Cavs leading 32-31, Osman scored eight of the team’s next 10 points to give the team an 11-point. 

Caris LeVert got the start for Mitchell, and he did the job. LeVert had 22 points(four threes), four rebounds, seven assists, and four steals.

Darius Garland scored 12 of 19 points in the first quarter and added seven assists. He got the Cavs off to the start they needed.

Second and Third Quarters: Cleveland led 30-27 after the first quarter but blew things open in the second and third quarters. The Cavs outscored the Hornets 68-49 in those quarters. Cleveland shot 50% in the second and 67% in the third. The Cavs led 98-76 at the end of three and had their largest lead of 26 points in the fourth.

Turnovers: The Cavs forced 22 turnovers, which led to 35 points. Cleveland forced 15 turnovers in the first half, which led to 25 points, and that’s the most they had in any half since 2008. 

That’s a lot of turnovers and a lot of points.

Not So Great:

It’s all good, and it’s all great for the Cavs.

Bottom Line:

The Cavs did what they were supposed to do in these two games against the Hornets. It’s also impressive that they reached their win total from last season(44) with 11 games left, which was expected.

If Cleveland can win six of their final 11, they will win 50 games for the first time since the 2017-18 season, which would be a great accomplishment.

At this point, the focus is on seeding in the East. As stated numerous times, Cleveland is locked into the four seed. They are three games ahead of the fifth-seeded Knicks and three games behind the third-seeded 76ers, so again, barring anything crazy, Cleveland will have homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs as the fourth seed in the East.

What’s Next:

Cleveland returns home to battle the 76ers on Wednesday night.

Best of the Rest:

Kelly Oubre Jr. had a game-high 28 points for the Hornets, and Terry Rozier added 22 points and nine assists.

-Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff recorded his 200th win on Tuesday night.

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