EditorsNote: Fixes Batum in 5th graf
Jordan Clarkson scored 24 points off the bench, and Tristan Thompson had 21 rebounds as part of a double-double as the injury-ravaged Cleveland Cavaliers came together for a resounding 113-89 thumping of the visiting Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday night.
It was only the second win of the season for the Cavaliers, who started strong and finished at 52.9 percent shooting from the field.
David Nwaba added 18 points as a reserve. Rodney Hood and Collin Sexton each scored 16 points, while JR Smith chipped in with 13 points. Thompson scored 11 on 5-of-6 shooting.
Cleveland drained 13 baskets from 3-point range.
Jeremy Lamb’s 22 points and Nicolas Batum’s 11 were tops for the Hornets, who shot 34.7 percent from the field. Charlotte had only nine turnovers, but the offensive problems were glaring.
Most notably, guard Kemba Walker was limited to seven points on 2-of-16 shooting from the field. He had been one of the top scorers in the league early in the season, but he was 1-for-7 on threes in this game.
Overall, the Hornets were 8-for-41 on 3-point attempts. Their starters were 5-for-22.
Sexton outplayed Walker in a point guard matchup that pitted a rookie against a veteran. The Alabama product has averaged 17 points per game in his past three contests.
Cleveland’s other victory came Oct. 30 against the Atlanta Hawks.
Even with the recent struggles, Cleveland had been competitive. Its last three defeats came by a total of 12 points.
The injury-riddled Cavaliers were without forwards Kyle Korver (sore foot) and Cedi Osman (back spasms). This came after injuries to Kevin Love, George Hill and Sam Dekker took a big dent out of the roster.
Cleveland was boosted by a huge opening stretch, bursting to a 38-23 lead after the first quarter. The Cavaliers outscored Charlotte in every quarter and entered halftime up 67-51. The lead surpassed 20 points at 97-76 with 5:15 remaining in the fourth quarter.
This result came after the Hornets won the teams’ first meeting by a 32-point rout Nov. 3 at home.
—Field Level Media