For only the second time this season, the Cleveland Cavaliers
have a chance to win three straight games.
The Cavaliers will accomplish that feat if they can avoid a
third consecutive loss to the visiting New Orleans Hornets on
It has not been easy, but for the first time since early
January, Cleveland (13-17) has won two in a row. After star rookie
Kyrie Irving hit a pair of free throws with 0.4 seconds remaining
to give the Cavaliers a 93-92 win over Sacramento on Sunday,
Cleveland overcame a 17-point deficit to beat Detroit 101-100 on
The Cavaliers have not won three straight contests since Nov.
Antawn Jamison had 32 points with 10 rebounds while Irving
scored 17 of his 25 in the fourth quarter as the Cavaliers
outscored the Pistons 35-23 in the final period. Third-year reserve
Alonzo Gee, who injured his nose early in the contest, added 13 of
his 16 points in the fourth.
“This was a big win for us,” Irving told the Cavaliers’ official
Irving, who will compete in the rookie/sophomore game and Skills
Challenge during this weekend’s All-Star festivities in Orlando,
has averaged 21.8 points in four games since missing three with a
“He was the first overall pick in the draft for a reason,”
Pistons coach Lawrence Frank said. “He’s an outstanding young
Jamison, who has totaled 53 points and 18 rebounds in the last
two games, has averaged 21.3 and 8.9 boards in 24 career contests
against the Hornets’ franchise.
Though Cleveland lost both meetings with New Orleans (7-25) last
season, this year’s Hornets’ club has the worst record in the
Western Conference with former stars Chris Paul and David West no
longer in town.
“It’s very important to go get another win,” Gee said. “It will
help us out and it’s always good to win at home. It’s pretty
important for us.”
Trevor Ariza scored 21 points and Jarrett Jack added 19 with 10
assists as New Orleans dropped its second straight contest
following a season-high three-game winning streak, 117-108 in
overtime at Indiana on Tuesday. The Hornets shot 53.2 percent, but
were outscored 17-8 in the extra period to fall to 2-2 during a
six-game road stretch that concludes after the All-Star break.
Though the Hornets give up 93.5 points per game, they are 0-21
when allowing at least 90. Tuesday marked just the third time in
2011-12 that New Orleans – averaging 88.1 points per contest –
scored at least 100.
“People look at our record and think that we’re not competing,”
Jack said. “It seems like it’s been all season long that we come
out really competitive, but just can’t put a full 48-minute stretch
Despite New Orleans’ overall struggles this season, Jack is
averaging a career-high 15.0 points while missing six games because
of a sore knee. The veteran guard has totaled 37 points and 15
assists in the last two games off the bench, but has averaged 8.1
points in 15 career contests against the Hornets.