Charlotte Hornets wrapup: Wednesday’s home game vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
By Richard Walker
Notes and observations from Wednesday’s 103-90 Hornets’ home loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers that dropped Charlotte to 27-27 overall:
… Charlotte’s injuries and and losses keep piling up. Already without LaMelo Ball (broken right wrist), Malik Monk (right ankle), Gordon Hayward (right foot) and P.J. Washington (right ankle), the Hornets regained the services of Terry Rozier (left knee tendinitis) but lost reserve guard Nate Darling (right ankle). And another player, reserve guard Brad Wanamaker, limped off after twisting his right ankle in the fourth quarter.
… In the game against the Cavaliers (20-34), Charlotte led only briefly – at 59-58 in the middle of the third quarter – and never got closer than eight in the last 4 1-2 minutes. “This is unprecedented,” Hornets coach James Borrego said. “These guys are gassed. It’s no excuse. Every team is. That’s just the nature of this season. My goal here moving forward is just to keep this group healthy and moving forward. I’m not going to run our guys into the ground. I got to be smart with our group.”
… The injuries have left the Hornets very offensively-challenged as Wednesday marked the fifth time in 10 games – and second game in a row – they have failed to reach 100 points. Charlotte is 0-8 this season in games in which they score less than 100 while the Hornets are 27-19 in games in which they reach triple figures.
… After reaching three games over .500 for the first time this season at 27-24, Charlotte has lost three straight for the third time this season. “It’s just never easy when you’re dealing with a lot of injuries at a crucial time like this where every win matters and you’re still trying to get ready for the playoffs and stuff like this,” Rozier said. “These are just the cards we were dealt and we’ve got to turn it around and find things within ourselves to get us going. Nobody else is going to do it for us.”
… Rozier led Charlotte with 22 points, seven rebounds and eight assists in 43 minutes. Miles Bridges added 20 points and seven rebounds, Devonte’ Graham 15 points and seven assists and Cody Zeller 10 points and seven rebounds.
… Taurean Prince led Cleveland with 25 points off the bench on 9-13 overall shooting and 6-8 on 3-pointers. Kevin Love added 17 points and 11 rebounds.
… Charlotte tied a season-low for made free throws with six and tied for fourth-lowest attempts with 12. “We’re limited offensively right now,” Borrego said. “We’ll try to get to 100 points as much as we can. It’s going to be a challenge.”
What’s next: The Hornets visit the Brooklyn Nets on Friday at 7:30 p.m. before returning home Sunday at 7 p.m. against the Portland Trail Blazers.