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Cavs Notes

Hornets 124, Cavaliers 97: Cleveland routed in finale to end season with 19 wins, 10-game losing streak

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    Cleveland’s Larry Nance Jr. is fouled by Charlotte’s Kemba Walker on a drive Tuesday night at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

    AP

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CLEVELAND — The name of the building changed, but the result didn’t.

The Cavaliers concluded their season by losing 124-97 to the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday night at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, which was formerly known as Quicken Loans Arena, which was formerly known as Gund Arena.

In the Season After LeBron, Part II, Cleveland finished with a 10-game losing streak and 19-63 record, the latter tying for the fourth-worst mark in the franchise’s 49-year history. Ironically, the previous 19-63 record came in 2010-11, the year after LeBron James left town the first time.

Not wanting to jeopardize their chances of tying Phoenix for the second-worst mark in the NBA or risk another injury, the Cavs rested Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson on Fan Appreciation Night, while Matthew Dellavedova (concussion) and John Henson (wrist) remained sidelined by injury and J.R. Smith continued collecting a huge paycheck for staying at home.

“Tonight is kind of bittersweet,” coach Larry Drew said. “As tough as this season has been, I really enjoyed coming to work every day, as crazy as that may sound.”

Unlike the Cavs, the Hornets (39-42) had plenty to play for. The win kept alive Charlotte’s hopes of earning the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, but the Hornets will need to win at home tonight against Orlando and have Detroit lose at NBA-worst New York. The Hornets last made the playoffs in 2016.

Point guard Kemba Walker had 23 points and seven assists in just 27 minutes for Charlotte, reserve Jeremy Lamb had 23 points in 28 minutes, shooting guard Dwayne Bacon had 18 points and power forward Miles Bridges had 18 points, seven boards and four assists.

Collin Sexton, the only Cavs player to appear in all 82 games, had 18 points and a career-high 10 assists while again playing until the final buzzer in a game that was decided with 10 minutes to play. Cedi Osman had 17 points, sixth man Jordan Clarkson had 16 and Larry Nance Jr. had 10 points, 12 boards and six assists.

“I challenged myself tonight to do it,” Sexton said of his first double-digit-assist game in the NBA.

Sexton, who became the first Cavs rookie to play in 82 games since Andre Miller in 1999-2000, ended the season averaging 16.0 points, 2.9 rebounds and 3.0 assists. He became the third rookie in NBA history to average 16 points while shooting better than .400 on 3-pointers (.402) and .800 at the line (.839).

“He has the capability of doing this,” Drew said of the 20-year-old’s 10 assists. “It’s just a matter of really putting forth what he has to do.”

The individual highlight for Cleveland against Charlotte was a 3-pointer by retiring big man Channing Frye with 3:13 to play. It was followed by a timeout, with several Cavs players chasing Frye the length of the court in celebration.

Frye made another three with 35.4 seconds to play and the Cavs committed a foul at the 31.3 mark, at which time the 13th-year pro exited to a standing ovation.

“Watching Channing go out the way he did, that will be more memorable than anything else,” Drew said.

The Cavs trailed by eight at halftime, but were down 90-75 after three and never really challenged after that. Charlotte finished the game 22-for-44 on 3-pointers, while Cleveland went 11-for-30.

The Hornets made eight of their first nine shots, including six of seven 3-pointers, in racing to a 23-11 lead 5 1/2 minutes into the game, but the Cavs rallied to tie things at 27 with 2:57 left in the first period.

Charlotte pretty much controlled play from that point.

“Times like this will make winning that much sweeter,” Nance said.

Drew agreed.

“There’s no better time to improve than over the summer, to improve your weaknesses,” he said. “That was really the postgame speech.

“(The season) should leave a bitter taste in your mouth. ... We should have a taste in our mouth to come back and be better.”

Contact Rick Noland at (330) 721-4061 or rnoland@medina-gazette.com. Follow him @RickNoland on Twitter.

Hornets 124, Cavs 97

CHARLOTTE (124): Batum 1-2 0-0 3, Bridges 6-9 2-3 18, Biyombo 2-2 1-2 5, Walker 9-18 1-2 23, Bacon 7-11 0-0 18, Kaminsky 3-5 6-8 14, Hernangomez 0-1 0-0 0, Graham 4-9 0-0 10, Lamb 9-13 2-2 23, Macura 1-1 0-0 2, Monk 3-7 0-0 8. Totals 45-78 12-17 124.

CLEVELAND (97): Osman 7-13 1-2 17, Nance Jr. 4-9 2-2 10, Zizic 3-6 0-0 6, Sexton 8-17 1-2 18, Knight 3-10 0-0 9, Adel 0-0 0-0 0, Chriss 4-11 0-0 8, Frye 3-6 2-2 10, Clarkson 7-13 0-0 16, Nwaba 0-1 0-0 0, Stauskas 1-3 0-0 3. Totals 40-89 6-8 97.

Charlotte 33 31 26 34 — 124

Cleveland 31 25 19 22 — 97

3-Point Goals—Charlotte 22-44 (Bridges 4-5, Bacon 4-7, Walker 4-10, Lamb 3-6, Kaminsky 2-3, Graham 2-5, Monk 2-6, Batum 1-1, Hernangomez 0-1), Cleveland 11-30 (Knight 3-5, Frye 2-3, Clarkson 2-4, Osman 2-5, Stauskas 1-1, Sexton 1-7, Nance Jr. 0-2, Chriss 0-3). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—Charlotte 37 (Bridges 7), Cleveland 41 (Nance Jr. 12). Assists—Charlotte 35 (Walker 7), Cleveland 24 (Sexton 10). Total Fouls—Charlotte 13, Cleveland 18. A—19,432 (20,562).



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