Hornets Sting Cavs in the Big Easy
Wrap-Up – Kyrie Irving retuned to the Cavaliers lineup on Sunday night, but even his return couldn’t turn the recent tide as the Wine and Gold dropped their eighth straight – falling to the Hornets, 112-92, on Easter Sunday in the Big Easy.
After missing the previous eight contests with a left shoulder injury, Cleveland’s All-Star point guard resumed his starting spot. His return sparked the Cavaliers early as they trailed by just a point headed into the locker room. But Kyrie or not, the third quarter stung the Wine and Gold once more – with Greivis Vasquez netting 16 points in the period and the Hornets outscoring Cleveland, 36-24. The Cavs trailed by double-digits the rest of the way.
Irving led both squads with 31 points in just under 29 minutes of action. Wayne Ellington and Tristan Thompson added a dozen points apiece, with Thompson n notching his 26th double-double of the season, leading Cleveland with 10 boards. Marreese Speights chipped in with 12 points off the bench and Shaun Livingston rounded out the Cavaliers in double-figures with 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting.
Turning Point – The first half of the third period proved to be the Cavaliers’ undoing once again. They took a quick three-point lead on an Alonzo Gee layup, but things spiraled quickly from there as New Orleans went on an 18-2 run to put themselves up 13 halfway through the third. The Cavs cut the Hornets lead to seven on a Speights jumper, but would get no closer the rest of the way.
Game Ball – Kyrie Irving – It took Cleveland’s sensational sophomore about a quarter to shake off the rust, but once he did, Kyrie was back in midseason form. He netted 12 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter, going 5-for-8 from the floor in the period. On the night, Irving went 11-for-20, including 3-of-5 from beyond the arc, as was a perfect 6-of-6 from the stripe. He led the squad with six assists and added a pair of boards.
By the Numbers – 7-7 … Cavaliers all-time record in Easter Sunday games.
Quotable – Coach Byron Scott, on the Cavaliers third-quarter woes on Sunday …
“We came out soft. I did not think we came out with the same intensity that we should have come out with.”
Up Next – The Cavaliers travel to Atlanta for the second-half of their final road back-to-back of the season on Monday night. The Brooklyn Nets come to The Q for a Wednesday night affair before the Wine and Gold hit the road again for a Friday night tilt in Beantown.