|Date of game: 12/15/2014
Recap: Cleveland vs. Charlotte
Cleveland, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Kevin Love and LeBron James each delivered monster efforts to get the Cleveland Cavaliers back on track via a 97-88 victory over the Charlotte Hornets.
Back home after being dealt back-to-back defeats at Oklahoma City and New Orleans, the Cavaliers raced out to a 21-0 lead and held on the rest of the way. James came through with 27 points and 13 assists to lead the charge, with Love pulling down 18 rebounds in addition to a 22-point performance.
"Having a chance to be home a bit and recharge our batteries certainly helped tonight," said Cavaliers head coach David Blatt.
Kyrie Irving added 16 points to help Cleveland drop the Hornets to 1-10 on the road.
The Hornets received 24 points out of Kemba Walker and 14 from Al Jefferson, but were never able to dig out of their huge early hole.
Love and James were at the forefront of Cleveland's game-opening tear, with the former dropping in 10 quick points and James notching assists on five of the Cavaliers' seven baskets during the stretch.
"Kevin played a great all-around game tonight," Blatt said. "I thought he was terrific."
Charlotte, meanwhile, missed its first 10 shots and trailed by as many as 22 points in the first quarter, but found its touch near the end of the period. The Hornets closed out the frame on a 13-6 spurt, with Walker netting the final nine points, to pull within 34-17 at the frame's end.
The Hornets stayed hot in the second quarter, cutting the deficit to 38-32 with a 6-0 sequence midway through the stanza. Back-to-back 3-pointers from Marvin Williams and Bismack Biyombo keyed an 8-0 run later on that trimmed the margin to 43-40.
Cleveland scored the next nine points, however, and went into the break owning a 54-45 advantage.
Charlotte was able to chip away once again, putting forth an 8-0 push early in the second half to shrink the lead to 59-57.
Tristan Thompson then gave the Cavs a needed spark, delivering seven points during a 13-4 flurry that put Cleveland back up by double digits with 4 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter.
The Cavaliers took an 80-68 lead into the fourth and were ahead by as many as 15 in the final period, with Charlotte getting only as close as eight points down entering the last minute of play.
"We played a good enough offensive game to win...(but) our first quarter defense was obviously poor," Hornets head coach Steve Clifford said.Game Notes
Cleveland has won six straight at home by an average of 14.3 points ... The
Cavaliers halted a five-game losing streak in the series, with Charlotte
taking all four 2013-14 meetings between the clubs ... The win was Cleveland's
ninth straight against an Eastern Conference team and improved the Cavs to
12-3 versus the East this season ... Charlotte's Michael Kidd-Gilchrist made
his first start since Nov. 11, but managed only one point in 21 minutes.