The Cleveland Cavaliers(9-6) got back at it on Friday night, hoping to snap a five-game losing streak as they battled the Charlotte Hornets(4-13).
Cleveland had four players score 20-plus points as they defeated Charlotte 132-122 in double overtime at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ win over the Hornets.
Darius Garland made big shots in both overtimes for the Cavs. In a career-high 48 minutes, Garland(16/28 FG) had a game-high 41 points, six assists, and a career-high five steals. In the first overtime, with the Cavs trailing 117-114 with under a minute to go, Garland hit a three to tie the game, and when the Hornets took a 120-117 with 22.5 seconds to go, Garland would make another three with 13.5 seconds to send the game into double overtime. He had 13 of the team’s 27 points in the two overtime periods.
Donovan Mitchell had 34 points and six assists. The Cavs backcourt combined for 75 points; Mitchell and Garland also combined for 20 of the team’s 27 points in the overtime periods.
Evan Mobley was sensational on Friday night. He had 21 points, a career-high 18 rebounds, five assists, two blocks, and a steal. According to the Cavs, Mobley became the ninth player in team history to have 20-plus points, 15-plus rebounds, five-plus assists, two-plus blocks, and one-plus steal in a game. In fact, Mobley and Jarrett Allen(20 points, 12 rebounds, four blocks) combined for 41 points, 30 rebounds, and six blocks.
Second OT: The Cavs blew the lead at the end of the fourth and almost lost it in the first overtime, but they took control in the second OT. After Kelly Oubre Jr. made a running hook to give the Hornets a 122-120 lead with 4:38 to go, the Cavs closed the show on a 12-0 run. Charlotte did not score the rest of the way and shot 1/10 from the field in that period.
Not So Great
The Final 52.4 seconds in Regulation: After two Mitchell free throws made the score 103-93, things got a little haywire for the Cavs. Charlotte closed the game on a 12-2 run to send it to OT after a Terry Rozier three with 01.1 seconds to go. During that stretch, the Cavs turned the ball over two times.
Turnovers: Cleveland had a season-high 20 turnovers on Friday night, leading to 35 points for the Hornets, which almost cost them in this game. Fortunately, Garland and Mitchell bailed them out in OT.
This would have been a terrible loss for the Cavs. The Hornets were without LaMelo Ball, and Cleveland had what seemed like an insurmountable lead late in the game. Hopefully, they will learn from this and figure it out going forward.
Cavs will battle the Heat on Sunday night at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
Best of the Rest:
Oubre Jr. led the Hornets with 34 points; Rozier and P.j. Washington added 28 points apiece. Washington also added 10 rebounds.
With the win, Cleveland moves to 4-0 in overtime games this season.
On Wednesday night, the Cleveland Cavaliers(20-34) got a glimpse of what this team could be when they are entirely healthy. Cleveland got Larry Nance Jr. and Jarrett Allen back against the Charlotte Hornets(27-27), and while they were missing their leading scorer Collin Sexton(Left groin strain), it did not matter.
The Cavaliers got a game-high 25 points from Taurean Prince off the bench. Kevin Love and Darius Garland had 17 points apiece, and Jarrett Allen chipped in with 15 points and eight rebounds as Cleveland defeated the Hornets on the road 103-90.
Terry Rozier led the Hornets with 22 points.
Cleveland had 27 assists on 37 made field goals, led by Garland’s seven assists.
“It was fun for me,” Garland said after the game. “I was just making different reads and making plays.”
Cleveland moved to two games behind the 10th-seeded Bulls for the final spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
According to Allen, who returned after missing eight games due to a concussion, the Cavs will do whatever they can to get into the play-in tournament.
“We have 18 games to go, and we’re going to fight to get into that play-in game,” Allen said.
Garland added: “I think you will see the best basketball from us as we try to make a playoff push.”
At this point, it should be interesting to see what the Cavs look like at full strength, and they will pretty much be at full strength when Sexton returns.
After Thursday’s showdown against the Warriors, Cleveland will have an interesting eight-game stretch, which will include games against Bulls(2x), Wizards(2x), and the Raptors. The Bulls are the 10th seed, Washington is the 12th seed, and the Raptors are the 11th seed, so these games are an excellent opportunity for Cleveland to move up the Eastern Conference standings.
However, no matter what happens, it will be good for this young group to be involved in playoff-caliber basketball, which could help the young players going forward.
Nance Jr. returned after missing seven games due to illness. He scored five points in 20 minutes off the bench against the Hornets.
Love recorded his 8,000th career rebound on Wednesday night. He is just the fifth player in NBA history with 13,000 points, 8,000 rebounds, and 1,000 three-point made field goals, joining LeBron James, Dirk Nowitzki, Antawn Jamison and Jason Kidd.
The Phoenix Suns and forward/center Frank Kaminsky III have agreed to a multiyear contract, the team announced today. According to reports, it’s a two-year, $10 million deal.
“Frank is an exceptional shooter who will help us space the floor and give our guards more room to operate,” said General Manager James Jones. “His size and strong decision-making skills are also a great fit for the team we are building, so we are excited to welcome Frank to Phoenix.”
Kaminsky, 7-0, 240 pounds, is a four-year NBA veteran with career averages of 9.8 points and 4.0 rebounds in 282 games with the Charlotte Hornets. Over the last two seasons, Kaminsky has shot 37.3% from three-point range with 154 total makes, the second-best percentage of any qualified seven-footer over this stretch behind only Karl-Anthony Towns. In 2018-19, he shot a career-best 46.3% from the field and averaged 8.6 points in 16.1 minutes. In 21 games after the All-Star break this past season, Kaminsky averaged 12.8 points and 4.8 rebounds while shooting 45.4% from the field, 36.6% from long range and 79.2% from the stripe.
Selected ninth overall by Charlotte in the 2015 NBA Draft, Kaminsky entered the NBA following an outstanding four-year career at the University of Wisconsin. The unanimous National Player of the Year for 2014-15, he led the Badgers to a school-record 36 wins and national runner-up finish, averaging 18.8 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.5 blocks while shooting 54.7% from the field, 41.6% from behind the arc and 78.0% from the line. A First Team All-Big Ten selection in each of his final two seasons, he helped Wisconsin to consecutive Final Four appearances for the first time in program history in 2014 and 2015. The Badgers retired his No. 44 in 2018. A native of Lisle, Illinois, Kaminsky played high school ball at Benet Academy.
Hornets C Dwight Howard was fined 35k by the NBA, for an obscene gesture.
Here is a statement from the NBA:
Charlotte Hornets center Dwight Howard has been fined $35,000 for making an obscene gesture on the playing court, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.
The incident occurred with 4:25 remaining in the 2nd quarter of the Hornets’ 100-99 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday, Nov. 24 at Quicken Loans Arena.
Dwight Howard went home to Atlanta last year after signing a three-year, $70.5 million deal, but after one season with the Hawks, the team wanted to go in a different direction. Howard, who was traded by the Hawks to the Hornets last week, will have an opportunity to be reunited with Hornets head coach Steve Clifford. As an assistant coach with the Magic and Lakers, Clifford worked with Howard for six seasons.
The Hornets introduced Howard today. The 31-year-old center will get another chance to prove the doubters wrong. Howard feels Charlotte is a great opportunity, and feels he has a lot left in the tank.
“I think I’m a lot healthier than I’ve been in the past five years. I think this is gonna be my best time,” Howard said.
“A lot of people always talk about the past, but I think I’m a lot wiser now, stronger, mentally and physically. I’m in the right place. Great coach, great GM, and the GOAT (Michael Jordan), so I think this is the perfect opportunity.”
Howard is not the same guy that Clifford coached in Orlando, but he still can be an effective player in the right situation. Howard is familiar with Steve Clifford, and averaged a double-double last season in Atlanta. Clifford told reporters last week that he believes Howard can still play at a high level. Plus, the Hornets really did not give up much up to get Howard. Charlotte reportedly wanted Howard last year before he signed with Atlanta.
This move is worth the risk for Jordan and the Hornets.