Wins have come few and far in between for the 2018-19 Cavaliers, but against the Hornets, in their new uniforms and court, they found one. The Hornets were icy from three all night and couldn’t mount a late comeback as the Cavaliers won 113-89.
Tristan Thompson continued to be absolutely electric, tying a career high with 21 rebounds while scoring 11 points (5-6 shooting) and dishing five assists all in just 28 minutes. With Kevin Love missing so much time, Thompson’s been the Cavaliers best player and when he plays well, the Cavaliers are competitive.
The Cavaliers also won this game on the bench. Jordan Clarkson poured in 24 points while in pure flamethrower mode. He was pulling from three, getting into the lane and drawing fouls. More than anything though, the jumper was on-point and Clarkson’s shot-making stopped multiple Hornets runs short.
That wasn’t the biggest surprise for the Cavs, though. David Nwaba had expectations from the fanbase but was buried in the rotation. With roughly half the Cavalier rotation out due to injury, Nwaba made the most of his opportunity. He dropped 18 points in just 26 minutes on 7-9 shooting. He’s a chaos engine on both offense and defense. The jumper will likely never be great, but he can help this team.
This was an across-the-board victory - just about everybody played well. Larry Nance had another game where he didn’t fill the box score, but managed an efficient day while actually hitting a corner three. Rodney Hood dropped 14 first-half points to help push the lead early, and Collin Sexton managed 16 points, five rebounds and four assists (albeit on an inefficient 7-18 from the field.)
This is a Cavaliers team that has finally shown a pulse in its last four games despite losing players left and right. It’d be inaccurate to say that they’re “fun” to watch, but as of now, this team is proving worth rooting for.
The team is back in action on Wednesday with a back-to-back against Washington. We’ll see if the team can find momentum against a woeful team in the Wizards.