The Cavaliers improved to 8-1 with a 100-93 win over the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday. The Cavaliers certainly did not play their best basketball, but did manage to finish the job against a 6-3 Hornets team. This matchup certainly could be a preview of what is to come in May. This game was extremely odd for a couple reasons, many of them detailed below. Cleveland was led in scoring by Channing Frye with 20, and LeBron James and Kyrie Irving were closely behind with 19 each. Kevin Love also tossed in 17 to go along with 11 rebounds. Neither Irving nor Love played in the final period, more on that below.
- One of the biggest reasons that the Cavaliers pulled out the victory was due to the play of Iman Shumpert and Channing Frye. The two each scored in double figures off the bench. Frye had a season high in points with 20 and both players were featured in the unusual fourth quarter lineup, more on that below.
- Lue rolled with an odd group down the stretch. The 4th quarter was played mainly by a lineup that consisted of Frye, Shumpert, LeBron James, Jordan McRae, and Richard Jefferson. That group hasn’t been out there at all together thus far in the season (at least not that I’m aware of), but their play certainly worked as they opened up the quarter down one to Charlotte before taking the lead and stretching it as wide as 11. Lue stuck with this group though out the entire fourth quarter and was rewarded for it.
- Mike Dunleavy has yet to figure it out, but he will at some point, the Cavs hope. Dunleavy got the start today in place of an injured JR Smith. Dunleavy scored two points on 1-6 from the field. Not exactly the game Lue and the Cavaliers hoped for.
- The minute count for LeBron were a little bit too high. For it being November 13th, I was relatively surprised to see James nearly hit the 40-minute plateau. He finished with 39.
- The Cavaliers set an NBA record for most consecutive games with 10+ three pointers to open the season. They have hit that magic number in all nine games that they have played on the young season.