The Charlotte Hornets used yet another different lineup to stun the Cleveland Cavaliers.
At this point we’ve seen the Charlotte Hornets script do just about anything. Last night was yet another iteration where yet another Hornet was injured and yet somehow they still held on to win against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavs. This time it was Kemba Walker that had to sit. The plus side was the return of Jeremy Lin and Cody Zeller to the lineup.
The Hornets needed them too. Lin’s twenty-four points would lead the team in scoring and his eight assists got the ball moving around. Yet Lin’s production yields some funny things about how the game went statistically. Lin led the Hornets in scoring, but did he outscore opposing point guard Kyrie Irving? No, Irving had 26.
In fact the only member of the Hornets’ starting five to outscore his opposite number on the other team was Cody Zeller. Zeller had six points while Tristan Thompson had four. Okay, Marvin Williams had 16 points to Kevin Love’s 12, but that was overshadowed by James’ 23 over Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s 11. So this was not a story of the starting fives. If it was the Hornets would have lost.
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No this was a victory for the bench. Charlotte’s bench got a ton more production than their counterparts in Cavs jerseys. Despite Cleveland having guys like Iman Shumpert and Mo Williams with their price tags, it was the Charlotte subs who prevailed. First and foremost among them was rookie center Frank Kaminsky whose fifteen points were critical in turning the game.
So the Hornets survived a game without Walker and Al Jefferson. Their roster is seemingly gaining people rather than losing them. The record is now 24-25 and at the very precipice of .500. The Pistons are just one and a half games ahead in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Optimism might begin to rule the day here. Less talk of deadline pipedream trades.
The Miami Heat come visit tomorrow night.