Charlotte Hornets wrapup: Friday’s home game vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

By Richard Walker

Notes and observations from Friday’s 108-102 Hornets’ home win over the Cleveland Cavaliers that improved Charlotte to 29-30 overall:

… Losers of six of their last seven, Charlotte trailed 87-83 when coach James Borrego called a timeout with 6:53 to play. Was their panic? “I didn’t feel it slipping away at all,” said the Hornets P.J. Washington, whose team scored the next eight points and never trailed again. “It was about getting stops. We had to buckle up and get stops. Once we got stops, it was easier for us to score.”

… Washington, Miles Bridges and Terry Rozier scored 25 points apiece to lead Charlotte. “We needed all three,” Borrego said. “We needed every point.” Jalen McDaniels added 10 points, Devonte’ Graham eight points and 10 assists and Bismack Biyombo four points and 11 rebounds, including a career-high nine offensive rebounds.

… Cleveland’s guards Collin Sexton and Darius Garland scored 28 and 27 points, respectively. “Their guards are fantastic,” Borrego said of Sexton and Garland. “They are a handful.”

… Since Charlotte trailed by 10 points twice in the second quarter, it marked the 10th rally this season for a win in a game the Hornets had once been behind by double figures. “This was a gutty win,” Borrego said. “This was a character win. This was a resilient win.”

… Borrego gave a positive update on rookie guard LaMelo Ball as he rehab’s a broken right wrist after getting the cast taken off on Monday and returning to some practice drills. “He’s making progress,” Borrego said of Ball. “I can say that. From Day 1 to where he’s at today, he’s made a significant jump. Every day it’s getting better and better. We’re moving in the right direction.”

… Friday’s starting lineup was the team’s 19th of the season – guards Graham and Rozier, forwards Cody Martin and Bridges and center Washington. The lineup of Graham, Rozier, Hayward, Washington and Bismack Biyombo has started the most (22 games, 11-11 record) and only one other lineup has been used in more than 10 games. In fact, 17 starting lineups have been for one, two, three or four games.

… Borrego said afterwards that he’ll continue to juggle the lineups and rotations in hopes of balancing offensive firepower and with defensive energy.

What’s next: The Hornets host the Boston Celtics on Sunday at 1 p.m.