Why Did The Game End:
A low-scoring affair that head coach Mike Brown most likely enjoyed other than the outcome. I stated in the preview for this game that the Cleveland Cavaliers would have to be an offensive threat and outscore the Charlotte Bobcats in the fourth quarter. They did neither, as Kyrie Irving finished with 18 points on 5-of-16 shooting from the field and the Bobcats outscored Cleveland by seven in the final frame. The turning point came in the fourth quarter, when the Cavaliers didn’t call a timeout of their own until they were down by nine points. This was Charlotte’s biggest lead of the game, as the Bobcats ran away with the game by opening the fourth quarter on a 24-14 run. The Bobcats finished off the Cavaliers by a final score of 86-80.
Where The Outcome Stood Out:
The fourth quarter, as I stated above. And from beyond the arc. The combination of these two things eventually doomed the Cavaliers. The Bobcats outshot Cleveland from three in the final 12 minutes, 50 percent to 33 percent. This allowed Charlotte to build up a near double-digit lead by the halfway mark of the final quarter. Cleveland got back its defensive mojo through the first three quarters, holding the Bobcats to 57 points, but lost its edge on the perimeter near the end. Doubling up on players from outside and leaving guys open down low prevented the Cavaliers from mounting a comeback.
Who Did What:
Kyrie (Somewhat) Bests Kemba
Kyrie Irving — 18 points, 10 assists, six turnovers and 5-of-16 shooting from the field, 7-of-7 shooting from the free throw line and 1-of-5 shooting from three in 38 minutes
Kemba Walker — 12 points, seven assists, four turnovers, and 4-of-19 shooting from the field, 3-of-5 shooting from the line and 1-of-5 shooting from three in 36 minutes
Offensive Pains Persist From Three
Cavaliers — 4-of-15 (26.7 percent) shooting from three
Bobcats — 8-of-20 (40.0 percent) shooting from three
Alonzo Gee, Anthony Bennett, Tyler Zeller and Jarrett Jack — 20 points, six assists, 11 rebounds, four steals and three blocks, while shooting 45 percent from the field in 62 combined minutes
Anthony Tolliver, Cody Zeller, Ramon Sessions and Jeff Taylor — 37 points, 11 assists, 12 rebounds, three steals and one block, while shooting 53.8 percent from the field in 81 combined minutes
When Did The Critical Turning Point Occur:
As soon as the Cavaliers started off the fourth quarter with a shot clock violation. They never recovered from that. Once the Bobcats got things rolling on offense in the second half, the Cavaliers were doomed without their stars keeping up with theirs from a shooting standpoint. The offensive has been stagnant, and this game is further proof of the Cavaliers struggles thus far.
What’s Up Next:
The Cavaliers will be riding a three-game into the nation’s capital with no rest for a Saturday matchup with the Washington Wizards (2-6). This will be the first of two matchups for the Cavaliers with the Wiz over the next five days, as Washington will be making the trip to Cleveland for the second contest. It is also the first game between these two teams and was looked as one of the most intriguing matchups of the 2013-14 season. These next two games present the perfect opportunity for the Wine & Gold to get back on track.