The Cleveland Cavaliers played their first game of the 2020 as they hosted the Charlotte Hornets, and lost a close game 109-106
The Cavs started off hot, shooting 51% from the field and 50% from three point distance in the first half. Their defense gave up 52 points in the first half, but didn’t allow Charlotte to make any runs, and Cavs lead for almost the entire first half.
During the third quarter the Cavs allowed the Hornets to fight back and take the lead a few times, but ultimately didn’t let the game get too out of hand, as they lead 85-82 at the end of the third. The fourth quarter was much of the same, except the offense went stagnant down the stretch. And after Devonte’ Graham hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 23 seconds left, the Cavs failed to respond and lost another close game in which they had a good opportunity to win.
The Cavs have to work on closing out games better, as they lead by 9 with just over five minutes remaining. But turnovers and missed shots allowed for Charlotte to tie the game at 100 a-piece. And after Collin Sexton hit a 3 to take a 103-100 lead. Terry Rozier hit a three to tie it up, and then Devonte’ Graham hit a game winning three to secure the victory for Charlotte.
The Cavs turned the ball over 15 times, which allowed the Hornets to score 20 points off of them. Poor efficiency on offense, and a lack of defense within the last five minutes, really allowed the momentum to swing to the Hornets. After the game Coach Beilein said that the Cavs gave the Hornets the ball back late in the game, which is what allowed the Hornets to win this game.
Overall the Cavs played well except for the last five minutes, in which the Cavs couldn’t score and couldn’t stop the Hornets from scoring. If they can learn how to close out close games, it would be a huge improvement to this team.