Cavaliers Blow Past Bobcats
Whatever you want to call it, there’s no denying that Lester Hudson has brought a certain energy to the Cavaliers that they’d been lacking. And it’s translating into wins.
Hudson, who inked a 10-day contract with the Cavaliers back on March 30, celebrated his second 10-day stint by scoring 14 of his game-high 25 points in a 103-90 win over the Bobcats on Tuesday night at The Q.
Hudson, who just over two weeks ago was toiling with the D-League’s Austin Toros, has now scored 74 points in the last three games – including two victories and an overtime affair that he shot the Cavaliers into.
Hudson led both teams in scoring and, equally impressive, also managed to lead the Wine and Gold with six assists and eight boards – all off the Cleveland bench.
“I have confidence in myself to score the ball,” said the soft-spoken former Tennessee-Martin star. “Three games in a row with 20-plus points is great, but I just want to go out and play as hard as I can and help my team win.”
On Tuesday night, facing the NBA’s worst squad, the Cavaliers opened a double-digit lead in the first half only to see the Bobcats claw their way back into the game, re-taking the lead and extending it to as many as five in the third quarter.
But the Wine and Gold, led by Hudson’s eruption, jumped all over Charlotte to start the fourth – using a 23-4 run to essentially put the game on ice. By the midway point of the final period, Cleveland had turned a one-point deficit to an 18-point edge.
The fourth quarter surge not only gave the Cavaliers their first home win in almost a month but it allowed Byron Scott to rest four of his five starters with the most daunting stretch of the season looming.
Hudson wasn’t the only late-game hero on Tuesday night.
Omri Casspi also caught fire in the final period – going 4-for-6 from the floor, including 2-of-2 from long-distance to net 10 of his 12 points in the fourth quarter. Semih Erden scored just a single basket in the fourth, but chipped in with six boards.
“They just played great,” said Scott of his productive second unit. “They played great together, shared the ball. Lester made some big shots, Omri hit some shots, Semih did a good job of rebounding the ball. I was hoping they’d would hang in there and close the game out and they were able to do that.”
Anthony Parker returned to starting lineup after missing the previous two games with a bruised sternum and led all starters with 19 points – going 7-for-11 from the floor, 4-of-6 from beyond the arc.
Antawn Jamison followed up with 17 points on 7-for-19 shooting and Alonzo Gee finished with an efficient 13-point, six-rebound effort – adding a pair of steals and assists.
As a team, the Cavaliers shot 48 percent from the field; 58 percent from three-point range. They went 86 percent from the stripe and out-rebounded the Bobcats by 13 – 45-32.
The Cavaliers continue their difficult stretch of seven games in nine nights on Wednesday at The Q when they welcome the Pacers in the first of a home-and-home series that concludes on Friday night in Indy.
“I got bit by a spider,” smiled Sloan. “It was pretty bad. It was right on my leg, I still have the mark. I think it was a brown recluse or something.” After seeing two doctors, he finally got it remedied. “They packed it with gauze, and that’s the game I missed.”
The Cavaliers are now 20-8 all-time against the Bobcats, including 13-1 at The Q. With Tuesday’s win, Cleveland has topped Charlotte in four straight.