The Cleveland Cavaliers stepped onto their home court at Quicken Loans Arena looking to get the bitter taste out of their moves from Monday night’s sloppy performance in the loss to the Detroit Pistons. Wednesday’s opponent, the Charlotte Hornets, were the perfect matchup to avenge not only Monday’s loss but get revenge from the previous meeting three weeks ago in North Carolina. Cleveland was in search of their eighth victory in ten attempts in the next meeting between an opponent who beat them in the previous game. LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Jr. Smith and the wine and gold took control of the game in the second quarter and take the sting out of the Hornets 114-103.
James was aggressive early following his 12 point performance Monday against the Pistons. LeBron scored eight of the Cavaliers first 12 points of the night with a pair of three pointers mixed in. James would finish with 23 points with rebounds and seven assists in 30 minutes of action. LeBron did not play in the fourth quarter.
The Cavaliers up tempo offense took off in the second quarter. After trailing 24-23 at the end of the first quarter, the Cavaliers put up 40 points in the second period. Smith scored eleven of his 16 points in the second quarter. Smith had a solid all around night with five rebounds, two assists and three steals to go along with the 16 points.
Irving matched LeBron for the game high in points with 23. Irving was ten of seventeen shooting with five assists, six rebounds a steal and a blocked shot. Irving also knocked down his 500th career third point shot. Kevin Love took just eleven shots from the field and finished with only eight points and two rebounds. Tristan Thompson pulled down a game high ten rebounds and finished with six points after being held scoreless on Monday against Detroit.
The Cavaliers had five guys score in double figures. Channing Frye had his first double digit scoring performance in a wine and gold uniform. Of course Wednesday was just his second game played since being traded from Orlando before last Thursday’s deadline. Frye finished with 15 points and knocked down four of eight shots from three point territory. The 15 points was the most points scored by Frye in a game since mid December with the Magic where he poured in 17 points.
Matthew Dellavedova scored ten points off the bench to round out the Cavaliers scorers in double figures. Cleveland finished just under 50 percent shooting for the game. If the Cavaliers would have finished at 50 percent or better shooting the basketball, Cleveland would have improved to 41-0 dating back to last season. The Cavaliers faster pace was a big reason for the win. Cleveland outscored Charlotte 28-7 in fast break points. The Cavaliers are now 30-3 this season when the score 100 points or more in a game.
The Cavaliers also won the rebounding, assists and turnovers battles. Cleveland also scored 48 of their 114 points in the point and knocked down 13 three point shots as a team.
Kemba Walker lead the Hornets with 20 points, after going scoreless in the first quarter and missing the previous meeting three weeks ago. Walker was the only Hornets starter in double figures. Rookie Frank Kaminsky added 16 points. Jeremy Lin had ten points.
The Cavaliers will keep a three game lead over the Toronto Raptors for the number one seed in the Eastern Conference. Friday night, the Cavaliers will visit the Air Canada Centre to take on the Raptors in what could be a preview of the Eastern Conference Finals.