In a week in Charlotte that began with the Panthers’ fans waving bye-bye to their team’s playoff hopes for this season, the Hornets came very close to seeing their own season unravel. But after sleepwalking through a quarter and half of their game Wednesday against the Cavaliers at the Spectrum Center, the Hornets woke up just in time and displayed the type of aggressiveness most were expecting from the opening tap.
Staring a third straight embarrassing loss at home in less than a week, the Hornets completely
dominated the second half and cruised to a 110-99 victory over the Cavaliers, who were playing on the road for the second straight night. In many ways, this was just another game in which the Hornets fed off the excellence of Kemba Walker.
Walker struggled for much of the first half, and so did the Hornets. Walker began his night scoreless over the first 19 minutes of the game, shooting 0-7 from the field. Following suit, the Hornets trailed by as many as 13 in the first. But, when Walker got hot (17 of his game-high 30 points came in the third quarter), so did the Hornets.
In the end, Charlotte basically had a 32-point turnaround in this game, from trailing by 13 to leading by 19 in the fourth quarter.
Head coach James Borrego did not have much of a reason for the slow start by his team, following a three-day rest – “That’s basketball,” he said – but the numbers suggest this team definitely was more aggressive in the second half.
The Hornets had 3 offensive rebounds in the first half and 10 in the second half. That led to 13 second-chance points, after getting shut out in that department in the first half. Charlotte also doubled their fast break points in the second half, from 5 to 10. All signs of a team that needed a wake-up call, and whether or not that was provided by Walker’s play, a message was clearly made in the locker room at halftime.
And, once again, the Hornets have reached their favorite place this season, the .500 mark. Throughout this season, here is what the Hornets record has been:
Get the picture? Out of a possible 15 different .500 records they could have this season, the Hornets have reached 14 of them. The rest of the Southeast Division combined has been at the .500 mark a TOTAL of 11 times.
Up next are the Pistons on Friday, a team the Hornets defeated in the Spectrum Center nine days ago. A victory would put them over the .500 mark for the seventh time this season.