Charlotte lost to Cleveland once again, falling, 118-105, at home. However, Kemba Walker broke Dell Curry’s all-time scoring record by two points. Kemba had a rough start and didn’t shoot well, but finished with 21 points and broke Curry’s record by two.
For the Hornets, this drops their record to 34-42 and all but assures they will be eliminated from the playoffs. The last six games of the season will be more time for growth from the young players.
Defense in the second and third quarter doomed the Hornets, as the Cavaliers had 73 points combined in those quarters. A big part of that was Charlotte’s 13 turnovers. Cleveland also shot 39 percent from deep. LeBron James was utterly dominant with 41 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists. J.R Smith had a big game off the bench with 19 points, and Rodney Hood and Jeff Green were in double figures with 13 and 18 points respectively.
On the Hornets side, Dwight Howard was the only other starter in double figures with 19 points and ten rebounds. Off the bench, Frank Kaminsky led the way with 16 points on an efficient seven for nine shooting. Lamb was the only other bench player in double figures with 11 points. The rookies Dwayne Bacon and Malik Monk had six points and seven points respectively. Bacon more impressively led the team in plus/minus. His defense was once again was impressive, and his shot selection was improved.
The offense was pretty good in this thing, but the defense like most of the season just wasn’t good enough. Charlotte shot better from the field, had more free throws and rebounds than Cleveland and still lost. Cleveland was without Kevin Love and on back to back but played with more energy for most of the night.
On another note, Willy Hernagomez only played one minute and is still working to earn Steve Clifford’s trust, though it the limited minutes could be due to matchup issues with Cleveland’s small ball lineup. Still, it will be interesting to see how many minutes he gets in the last six games. Charlotte assured it would finish below .500 for the second year in a row. With a new GM coming you can guarantee there will be significant changes. For the Hornets they get a few days of rest, their next game is on Saturday at Washington. With a win, the Hornets can sweep the season series from the Wizards.