Game 72: Cavs at Hornets
New Orleans Arena
Radio/TV: WTAM (1100 AM), WFUN (970 AM)/Fox Sports Ohio
WHAT HAPPENED: Point guard Kyrie Irving finally returned to the lineup after missing eight games with a sprained left shoulder.
The Cavs are getting sneaky with injuries. Coach Byron Scott said there were no updates on injuries to Irving and Dion Waiters (sore left knee) on Saturday. If it wasn't for a slip of the tongue by Luke Walton, the media would have had no clue that Irving was going to play.
The Cavs kept Irving away from the media after he was injured in the Toronto game on March 10. Not even a few comments after the injury. They can't be bothered. It doesn't matter to them that he's about the only thing the general public cares about. "Sorry. He's not available."
Irving, who scored 31 points in his return on Sunday, missed three weeks. He will be inactive against Atlanta on Monday, as per the team's medical staff.
The Cavs lost their 50th game of the season against the Hornets. Irving averaged 33 points in two games against the future Pelicans this season.
They've now lost eight in a row, as well as 12 of the last 14.
Hornets point guard Greivis Vasquez is being billed as a Most Improved Player candidate, and rightfully so. He's leading the NBA in total assists with 662. His 9.2 average is third behind Boston's Rajon Rondo and Los Angeles Clippers' Chris Paul.
He was a handful for the Cavs with 25 points, two rebounds, nine assists and three steals. He made 10 of 14 from the field.
I was impressed with Hornets rookie Anthony Davis, who is so darn long. He had 17 points, a game-high 13 rebounds and two blocks. He's not quite in Damian Lillard's class in the Rookie of the Year voting, but he'll likely be second in voting.
I'd take him in a second.
Power forward Ryan Anderson really put a hurtin' on the Cavs with 23 points and six rebounds. He was 5 of 7 from behind the arc. Time and time again, the Cavs left him wide open at the 3-point line.
The Cavs came out and laid an egg in the third quarter - again! - and were outscored, 36-24. In the second half, it was also lopsided, 64-43. The Cavs just quit playing in the second half.
The Cavs are 9-27 on the road this year.
NEWS FEED: Jimmy Smith's story in the New Orleans Times-Picayune on three things to look for in tonight's game.
LAST GAME: The Cavs lost to Philadelphia on Friday, 97-87.
UP NEXT: The Cavs travel to Atlanta at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Philips Arena.
SF Alonzo Gee (6-6, 219) vs. Al Farouq-Aminu (6-9, 215)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-9, 227) vs. Anthony Davis (6-10, 220)
C Tyler Zeller (7-0, 250) vs. Robin Lopez (7-0, 255)
SG Wayne Ellington (6-4, 200) vs. Eric Gordon (6-3, 215)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 191) vs. Greivis Vasquez (6-6, 211)
Cavs - C Anderson Varejao, G Dion Waiters
Hornets - F/C Jason Smith, G Austin Rivers
Mike Callahan, Tony Brown, Kevin Cutler