Joe G's Running Game Blog
FINAL - CHA 101, CLE 92 ... The Cavs clawed back all night to tie the game at 81 midway through the fourth quarter, but cooled off from the floor down the stretch and the Bobcats pulled away to hand the Cavs the 101-92 loss on Friday night. Every Cavalier starter notched double-figures, led by Luol Deng's 19 points. Dion Waiters added 19 more off the bench.
44.3, 4Q - CHA 95, CLE 88 ... this was one Cavs can still get, but will look back at some missed opportunities if they don't - turnovers, cold-shooting from the floor and stripe, but were otherwise neck-in-neck with Charlotte all night; a stop and a trey could change things, but Cavs facing the odds and the clock here.
3:21, 4Q - CHA 91, CLE 86 ... back-and-forth 4Q, but Kemba Walker jumper and McRoberts' trey give CHA some breathing room; all Cavs starters in double-figures but Waiters leads CLE w/17 pts; both team cooled off from the floor - Cavs, 44 pct, Charlotte, 48.
7:40, 4Q - CLE 81, CHA 80 ... feels like a last-possession-type game; Waiters bringing the heat so far in 4Q; second unit operates differently; Deng, 16 pts; Waiters, 16 pts; Kyrie, nice all-around floor game, 11 pts, 6 reb, 4 asst.
End 3Q - CHA 76, CLE 74 ... After clawing back all night, the Cavs finally fight back to tie the game late in 3Q, Cody Zeller FTs give Bobcats slight edge back; Tristan, tough in 3Q, changed the game with his energy, now with 10 pts, 8 reb; Luol Deng, 7-13 FG, 16 pts; Waiters, 6-12, 13 pts; Jack, 10 pts, 6 asst; Bobcats, 50 pct FG, Cavs, 48 pct; should be a good finish, lots at stake for both teams in the home stretch.
3:14, 3Q - CHA 69, CLE 68 ... Bobcats start pulling away, push lead to double-digits, but Cavs come back, feeding off Tristan's energy, 10 pts, 5 reb; Deng leads CLE w/14 pts; Waiters, 11 pts; Hawes, 9 pts, 5 reb.
End 1H - CHA 55, CLE 50 ... Cavs waste a possession at very end of 1H, but Cavs bounce back after trailing by 11; Waiters, 11 pts, 5-10 FG, 2 reb, 2 stl; Deng, 5-9 FG, 10 pts, 4 reb; Kyrie, 7 pts, 4 reb, 2 asst; Zeller, 2-3, 5 pts, 3 reb (but 3 PF) off bench; Big Al leads everyone w/18 pts, 8-10 FG, 5 reb; Cavs, 55 pct FG, Charlotte, 54 pct.
3:27, 2Q - CHA 48, CLE 37 ... Cavs sloppy with the ball and cool off from the floor, Charlotte ups their edge; Big Al, 16 pts, 7-8 FG; Kyrie w/7 pt; Deng, Jack, Waiters, 6 pts apiece.
8:04, 2Q - CHA 36, CLE 32 ... Tyler's been winning the battle of the Zellers so far, including a nice left-handed drive and layup, 5 pts, 2-3 FG, 3 reb - all offensive; Kyrie picks Gary Neal's pocket and feeds Waiters for the nasty right-handed dunk. Second unit + Kyrie has been a winning formula.
End 1Q - CHA 32, CLE 25 ... Big Al tough in the post (as always) in 1Q, frustrating Hawes and Zeller, playing good D but struggling to stop him -- 4-5 FG, 10 pts, 3 reb; Deng, Jack 6 pts apiece - Jack, 3-4 FG, Waiters, 4 pts off bench, including floater that spun home to end quarter. Both teams shooting well -- CLE, 52 pct, CHA, 63 pct.
4:01, 1Q - CHA 20, CLE 13 ... football score so far, with Charlotte getting better end; Deng going early, 3-6 FG, 6 pts; Kyrie, 3 pts, 3 reb, 1 asst; MKG, CDR, 6 pts apiece for CHA.
Pregame ... Wouldn't call this a "must win," but these games are getting important, especially with the upcoming schedule after this weekend. With 20 games to go, Cavs are 3.5 behind the Hawks in the 8th seed and 4.5 behind tonight's opponent. Cavs are 6-3 vs. Charlotte over their last nine, 22-11 all-time.
Dion Waiters came back on Tuesday night, netting 24 points in 23 minutes off the bench, going 11-for-18 from the floor. At 14.8 ppg, he's still the highest-scoring reserve in the Eastern Conference, and the Cavs will need his nastiness off the bench down the stretch. Spencer Hawes coming off his sixth straight double-figure scoring game and 22nd double-double of the season. Kyrie's averaging 25.8 ppg over his last five games, has scored at least 20 points in 18 of Cavs' last 24 games.
Battle of the Zeller brothers -- Cody and Tyler -- tonight in Charlotte. Cody's averaging 5.5 ppg in his rookie season; Tyler's at 5.3, but he's been playing well since the All-Star Break.
Tonight's starters: G Jack, G Irving, F Deng, F Thompson, C Hawes