Cavaliers bury Bobcats 103-90
BY EDDIE DILWORTH
The matchup featured two of the NBA's lower tier.
The Cleveland Cavaliers played host to the Charlotte Bobcats Tuesday night in a matchup featuring two of the NBA's cellar dwellers. Charlotte entered Quicken Loans Arena hoping to improve on an NBA worst, 7-48 record. The Cavaliers looked to avoid being victim number eight.
The Cavs (19-36) eventually avoided embarrassment and held off Charlotte (7-49) for a 103-90 victory. The win helped Cleveland sweep the three-game season series between the two teams.
"Good win," Cavs head coach Byron Scott said. "I thought our guys came to play from start to finish."
The Cavs trailed 73-72 when Bobcats forward D.J. White sank a 7-foot jump shot to open the fourth quarter. Charlotte had played Cleveland close throughout the contest, but the Cavs pulled away early in the fourth with a magisterial spurt.
After White's bucket, Cleveland put together a 23-4 run that took Charlotte out of the contest. In the run, Luke Walton, Omri Casspi and Lester Hudson each connected on three-pointers. When Hudson capped the run with a dunk, the Cavs led 95-77 with 5:09 to play in the fourth quarter. In the final five minutes, the closest Charlotte came to closing the deficit was 10 points.
"When you do good and then you win, it makes it more exciting and more worthwhile," Hudson said.
Hudson continued to shine after receiving a second 10-day contract yesterday. Two games prior in Toronto, Hudson helped lead the Cavs to victory with 23 points. This past Sunday, Hudson dropped 26 points in a loss to the New Jersey Nets. Tuesday night, Hudson was at it again, this time scoring a game-high 25 points, including 14 in the fourth quarter to overwhelm the Bobcats. The third-year journeyman also totaled eight rebounds and six assists in 36 minutes against Charlotte.
"I have confidence in myself that I can score the ball," Hudson said. "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."
After playing in the NBA's Developmental League earlier this season, Hudson has totaled 74 points in the last three Cavaliers games.
"It's been crazy," Hudson said. "Everyone's calling and texting, just congratulating me, happy for me because they know how hard I work and I'm in the gym all the time. Hard work pays off, so I just want to keep it going forward."
Cavs guard Anthony Parker finished with 19 points against the Bobcats. Antawn Jamison added 17 points, three rebounds and four assists. Cleveland came out on top despite missing Kyrie Irving, Anderson Varejao and Daniel Gibson, who is out for the season with a torn tendon in his left foot.
Irving missed his fifth game in the last six contests with a sprained right shoulder. Anderson Varejao missed his 30th straight game with a right wrist fracture. Scott said it was unclear whether either player would return to the Cavaliers lineup this season.
"We're going to be very cautious with both of those guys," Scott said. "We want to make sure if they come back, that they are continuously healthy and right now they're both getting better in their rehab, but it's just slow."
The Cavs held a slim, 72-71 lead after three quarters before surging past the Bobcats early in the fourth. On the evening, Cleveland outrebounded Charlotte 45-32 and shot 11-of-19 (58 percent) from the three-point line.
Charlotte guard Gerald Henderson led the Bobcats with 21 points and five rebounds. Rookie guard Kemba Walker chipped in 20 points. D.J. Augustin contributed 16 points and 11 assists.
The Cavs last home win was 118-107 victory versus the Houston Rockets on March 11. Scott had trouble remembering a home win that happened a month prior to Tuesday.
"I can't remember the last home win, so it was good to come out and win this one now," Scott said. "We'll go home tonight and get ready for tomorrow."
The Cavs host the Indiana Pacers tomorrow at 7 p.m.
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POSTED 04/10/2012 22:49