LeBron James and company made other plans to ring in the new year.
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The best player on the planet poured in 32 points and dished nine assists as the main floor general, relishing every defensive mistake the Hornets made. Meanwhile, Kevin Love shot 40 percent from the floor but it really didn’t matter. Love hit the shots he needed and didn’t miss a free throw en route to a 28 point,10 rebound performance.
Cleveland’s victory moved them to 3-0 against Charlotte this season, while further showcasing their dominance against playoff competition.
Kemba Smolders In The Loss
Kemba Walker is searching for his first career All-Star selection, and performances like this continue to strengthen his case for that squad. The UConn product shredded the Cavaliers defense to the tune of 37 points on 13-of-22 shooting. Walker willed the Hornets back into the game at times; doing most of his damage to the heart of the Cavaliers defense. As a result, plays like this gave Charlotte glimmers of hope.
Walker has proved that he can hang serious points on any team in the league. This was his second highest scoring game of the season. The other? Well, that just happened to be the 40-point bomb he dropped on the Raptors back on November 11th. Two elite teams. Two elite performances.
Role Players Respond With Irving Hobbled
Cleveland was without star point guard Kyrie Irving in this matchup due to a sore hamstring.
The two handled Cleveland’s point guard responsibilities beautifully. combining for 33 points on 72 percent shooting, while not missing a beat in the flow of the offense. The crazy thing is the duo averages a combined 7.8 PPG for the season. Though plays like these will assuredly bring them more playing time, and more scoring.
The Charlotte Hornets will have a day off to ring in 2017 before they make a trip to Chicago for a matchup with the struggling Bulls. They will be looking to get a bounce back win on the road as they attempt to get off on the right foot in the new year.