While coach Mike Brown’s team suffered another road defeat its
last time out, Cleveland has yet to lose at home.
The Cavaliers have taken especially good care of their own court
against the Charlotte Bobcats.
Looking to avenge an earlier loss to Charlotte, the Cavaliers
try to continue their home domination of the Bobcats on Friday
Cleveland dropped to 0-6 in opponents’ arenas with Wednesday’s
124-95 loss to Minnesota, its worst road start since opening 0-13
in 2003-04. Kyrie Irving had 20 points for the Cavaliers, who were
outscored 56-32 in the paint and 29-6 in transition.
“Obviously after a performance like that, you’re concerned,”
Brown said. “But I thought we fought. We’re nine games in and we’re
going to keep on going forward.”
Cleveland was also outrebounded 49-37 and allowed the
Timberwolves to shoot an opponent season-high 54.9 percent.
“Things that we’re not doing out there, things that need to be
addressed within the locker room doors that are going to continue
to be addressed,” Irving said. “We just have to do better next
The Cavaliers now return home, where they have won their first
three games by an average of just 2.3 points. Their recent home
efforts against the Bobcats (4-4) haven’t been nearly as close.
Cleveland (3-6) is 14-1 all-time against Charlotte at home,
taking the last four matchups by 16.0 points per contest. Irving
has a combined 42 points on 16-of-22 shooting while playing in two
of those games.
The Cavaliers, though, couldn’t keep up in a 90-84 loss Nov. 1.
C.J. Miles and Tristan Thompson combined for 43 points but Irving
scored 16 against the Bobcats, who overcame Al Jefferson’s absence
thanks to 23 from Kemba Walker.
Jefferson, playing in his second game since missing five with an
ankle injury, broke out with 22 points and 11 rebounds Wednesday in
an 89-83 win at Boston. He averaged 11.5 points on 36.7 percent
shooting in his first two games with Charlotte.
“He’s an elite low-post scorer and he’s a much, much better
defender than I had realized,” first-year coach Steve Clifford
said. “But the thing that’s coming through now as you watch him is
his competitiveness. He badly wants to win.”
Still trying to find his form, Jefferson has averaged 20.0
points on 52.8 percent shooting and 10.2 boards in 12 matchups
against the Cavaliers since 2006-07.
“I’ve got to get in better shape,” he said. “I know there’s a
reason that I’m not in top shape. That’s the only bad thing about
getting hurt in the beginning of the year.”
The Cavaliers could have a harder time containing Jefferson down
low without center Andrew Bynum, who will miss a second consecutive
game due to personal reasons. Bynum made his first start Monday and
set season highs with 11 points and six rebounds in a 96-81 loss at
Walker, who shot 1 of 13 and finished with three points against
the Celtics, is 14 for 59 (23.7 percent) over the last four games.
He also had a rough night during Charlotte’s last visit to
Cleveland, posting five points on 2-of-11 shooting in a 122-95 loss
The Bobcats are trying to win three straight on the road for the
first time since a four-game run Jan. 18-28, 2011.