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Wrap-Up – There’s no better home cookin’ than starting a five-game homestand with a nice three-touchdown lead. That’s exactly what the Wine and Gold did on Monday night – scoring the game’s first 21 points before Charlotte got on the board with 5:34 remaining in the first quarter. The Hornets eventually scrapped their way back into the game, but never took the lead, and the Cavaliers snapped their two-game skein with a 97-88 victory at The Q.
LeBron James led everyone with 27 points and 13 assists – going 11-for-19 from the floor and 2-of-3 from beyond the arc. The four-time MVP added seven boards, a team-high three blocked shots and a steal. Kevin Love was just as impressive – finishing with 22 points on 7-for-14 shooting, leading both teams with a season-high 18 boards to go with five assists and a game-high four steals.
Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson rounded out the Cavaliers in double-figures. Kyrie went 6-of-14 from the field for 16 points and five assists. Thompson added 10 points and five boards off the bench and he and Anderson Varejao were enough to hold Charlotte’s leading scorer, Al Jefferson, to 14 points and eight boards.
Turning Point – When you score the first 21 points of a game, that usually counts as the contest’s turning point. On Monday night – after two days’ rest following a stretch that saw Cleveland play six games in nine nights – the Cavs came out ready to rumble. In that first quarter, the Cavaliers scored 34 points, shot 65 percent from the floor, canned all four three-point attempts, had 11 assists on 11 makes, out-rebounded the Hornets, 12-4 and didn’t allow Charlotte to shoot a free throw.
Scene and Heard – Seated on the baseline next to the Cavaliers bench was the Oracle of Omaha and LeBron’s close friend, Warren Buffett. The legendary investor donned a James jersey and made a stop in the Cavaliers’ locker room following Monday’s win.
By the Numbers – 23-10 … The Cavaliers all-time record against Charlotte at The Q. The Cavs also snapped a five-game losing streak to Charlotte on Monday and the victory was Cleveland’s ninth straight over an Eastern Conference foe.
Quotable – Kyrie Irving, on Monday night’s contest in Cleveland …
”They made a run and we were prepared for it. They gave us their best shot and we withstood it. It was just one of those games when it’s a good and a bad thing to get that big of a lead, especially in the first quarter. It’s obviously hard to withstand it, but we got the win tonight and that’s all that matters.”
Up Next – The Cavaliers’ five-game homestand rolls on this Wednesday with a heavyweight matchup between two of the hottest teams in the East – Cleveland and the Hawks, who were drubbed by 33 in mid-November at The Q. On Friday night, Kevin Garnett and the Brooklyn Nets roll into town also seeking a measure of revenge after falling by 22 to the Cavs in front of the visiting royals at Barclays Center. On Sunday, it’s another tough matchup – this time a matinee against the Memphis Grizzlies, who currently sport the second-best record in the NBA.