The Cavs beat the Hornets

Whoops, the Hornets lost. Not ideal, but not disastrous, especially considering that the Warriors and T-Wolves both lost yesterday, too. Tonight our guys are back in Oklahoma City to host the Atlanta Hawks, a game David West is calling "a must-win."

West had it going

Before I banish yesterday from memory, notes and suchness on the Cavs game…

  • Linkage: box | recap | video
  • Final score was 97-89. The Hornets fought back from a 15-point deficit in the second half, tying it at 83 with four minutes and change left. Then the Cavs started dropping triples and were able to pull it out.
  • LeBron hit two from deep in the final minute, pretty much sealing the win for Cleveland. He finished with 35 points, 8 dimes and 5 boards. He was 3-4 from three-point range, which is hardly the norm for a career 33% bomber. As David West said post-game…

    "We got what we wanted. He took a 3 with a hand in his face. He just knocked it down. We know he's going to take the shot. You've got to live with him hitting a 27-footer or whatever it was he hit."

  • West was the Hornets deadliest weapon on the night, punching out with 25 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists. Desmond Mason added 16 points.
  • Chris Paul had his worst game of the season: 7 points, 5 assists, 5 rebounds in 32 minutes. He was inexcusably unaggressive against Daniel Gibson, who is not only a rookie, but is also nicknamed "Boobie". Yes, he was shown up by a rook named Boobie. Where's the pride, CP?
  • Speaking of sucking, has anybody seen Rasual Butler lately? Seven scoreless minutes in Cleveland. He's averaged 5.0ppg since he lost his starting job a month ago, compared to 14.8ppg in 31 games as a starter this season. Considering how bad Devin Brown has been playing lately — 6.8ppg in his last six, including a donut last night — methinks Rasual should be thrown back into a starting role. Might get him rolling again.
  • Byron Scott on the starting backcourt yesterday:

    "They were awful, just seven points between the two of them. It's not going to get it done. I know Chris got bumped early in the game, but I don't know if that was the reason that he didn't play well as I know he's capable. Devin has to snap out of it as well. This is a very important time of the season where we need everybody to be playing at their very best."

  • The loss keeps the Hornets in ninth, a half game behind the Clips and a full game behind the Nuggs, both of whom were idle last night. Full standings here.
  • Play of the game had to be LeBron's immortalization of Hilton Armstrong in the second quarter. It's number one on's daily top ten. Hilton also doesn't come off too well in this picture.
  • Tyson Chandler didn't have his usual superhuman game, getting off to a slow start due to foul trouble. He still delivered 14 points and 10 rebounds, though.
  • Apparently LeBron is expecting his second child. I didn't know he had one already. If you care, his baby's momma looks like this.
  • Darnell Mayberry blogs about this one, while Fear The Sword blogged it live-style from the other side.

As mentioned, the Hornets are back at it tonight, hosting the Hawks in OKC. I'm running late so not much time to give you the skinny on those dudes. Know that they're 22-35 overall, 12-18 on the road, lost four of their last five. They were blown out in Dallas on Monday. The Hornets beat them up pretty bad in early January behind 45 collective points from Jannero Pargo and Rasual Butler. Seems like forever ago. Refresh.

Joe Johnson is the big gun for Atlanta. He's scored at least 28 in each of his last four so, yeah, he can play. Also hot lately has been Marvin Williams, averaging 16.4ppg in his last five. You've gotta make a bigger impact than him tonight, CP. Meanwhile, our old buddy Speedy Claxton has developed a severe case of suck lately, going scoreless in three of his past five despite logging 20 minutes a night. Watch him drop 30 on the Hornets.

Ok, I'm done. Tip is at 7pm Central. Linkage below. 

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