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Wrap-Up – Friday’s matchup in Charlotte was a simple case of the Cavaliers getting into an early hole and spending the rest of the night climbing out of it. By the time they did – with C.J. Miles laying up the game-tying bucket with 2:08 to play – they were offensively spent. Kemba Walker canned a three-pointer with a minute to play and Cleveland didn’t score again, falling, 90-84, on Friday night in Tobacco Road.
Miles led the Cavaliers with 22 points off the bench, with Tristan Thompson right behind – doubling-up with 21 points and 11 boards despite battling foul problems in the final two quarters. Kyrie Irving added 16 points and a team-high seven assists and Jarrett Jack came off the bench to notch 15 points on 7-for-13 shooting.
Kemba Walker led all scorers with 23 points, including the back-breaking trey. The Wine and Gold shot just 38 percent from the floor, including 22 percent from beyond the arc.
Turning Point – Friday’s game featured plenty of second half and fourth-quarter drama, but it was also another game – like the opener – that took shape early. Only a Jarrett Jack three-pointer in the closing seconds kept the Cavaliers from being down 10 after one quarter. Cleveland’s starters were flat in the first period and spent the remaining three quarters trying to catch Charlotte. Another critical juncture was the final three minute span of the third quarter. The Cavs got within one on Jack’s runner, but the Bobcats closed the quarter on an 8-0 run to put Cleveland back in the hole.
Game Ball – C.J. Miles – Inside, outside, on the defensive end, C.J. Miles was easily the Cavs catalyst all evening. The eighth-year swingman followed a solid opener with a 22-point effort on Friday night – going 9-of-16 from the floor, including 3-of-7 from long-distance. Miles played the entire fourth quarter and, including the preseason, has notched double-figures the last four games he’s appeared in. In Friday’s tough loss to Charlotte, Miles added five boards and a team-leading three steals.
By the Numbers – 3 … Rebounds that Anderson Varejao needs to pass Larry Nance for sixth place on the Cavaliers all-time rebound list. The Wild Thing current stands at 3,559 boards. (Zydrunas Ilgauskas is the Cavaliers’ all-time leader with 5,904.)
Quotable – Coach Mike Brown, on his team’s rough start to Friday’s loss …
”Our mental approach, from the beginning, has to be better. And right now, it’s not good, especially to start the game. And we’re getting too many ‘my bads.’ And when you get two or three ‘my bads’ from each individual, it adds up. Guys don’t understand that, yeah, you can say ‘my bad,’ but we want to be a championship-level team. And we can’t have 15 ‘my bads’ in the first half.”
Up Next – The Cavaliers complete the early-season road back-to-back on Saturday night in Indiana. Friday’s matchup in Charlotte was a tough test, but it’s about to be much tougher when they face off against one of the East’s true heavyweights, already sitting at 2-0. Getting off to a good start would be a good start. The Wine and Gold return home to face Ricky Rubio and the T-Wolves on Monday night.
Watch Highlights: Bobcats 90, Cavs 84