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Cleveland Cavaliers at Charlotte Hornets player grades: J.R. Smith and Kyle Korver shine

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Two veterans who the Cavs may not have want to play were the team’s best two players on Saturday.

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at Charlotte Hornets Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Here are player grades for the Cavs’ 126-94 loss to the Hornets. As always, share yours below.

George Hill: D

Hill couldn’t stay in front of Kemba Walker, and when the game started to swing in the Hornets’ direction, Hill started pressing and took several rushed three-pointers. This was just not a good game for a player the Cavs need to be good if they want any shot of winning games.

Rodney Hood: C

The positives of Hood’s night: he made a three-pointer, passed and drove more instead of forcing mid-range shots and had three assists, above his season average of 2.1 per game. The bad: he only took one three-pointer and had a hard time getting clean shots off.

Cedi Osman: C+

Osman’s plus-minus for this game was woeful. But unlike some other players on the team, he was making some plays and doing a little bit of everything. He’s not far off from having some really good performances, and it speaks to the Cavs’ hopes for him that the are asking him to do a lot in his first real NBA season.

Sam Dekker: C

Defensively, Dekker was picked on. But to his credit, he ran the floor well, took catch-and-shoot three-pointers when the opportunities presented themselves and finished at the rim. He’s not really a problem, at least not a major one.

Tristan Thompson: C+

Thompson had a few bad misses at the rim, but some of them stem from the Cavs putting him in weird positions on offense that don’t really optimize what he does well. Larry Drew is asking a lot of him right now, understandably so.

Kyle Korver: B

Korver only played 14 minutes, but was excellent in all of them. He got off his three-point shots, found teammates for open looks en route to four assists and provided some real positives the whole time he was on the floor.

Korver, at 37 and nearing the end of his career, deserves to be in a better situation than this.

J.R. Smith: A-

J.R. Smith coming off the bench to play 24 minutes after everything that has happened and playing as well as he did is just hilarious.

Collin Sexton: D-

When he looks back on this game, and how Walker and Tony Parker dominated him, this has to be a learning experience for Sexton. Aside from a really nice steal where he came out of nowhere to nab it, he was outmatched for all of his 19 minutes.

Larry Nance Jr.: C

Nance again missed some shots he should have made at the rim, but was otherwise fine. He at least looks like he’s moving better than he was a few games ago.

Jordan Clarkson: C-

Thirteen points on 13 shots, and only shooting 1-4 from three-pointers, with zero assists is some peak Jordan Clarkson minutes. He gets a slight bump for getting three steals.

Ante Zizic: N/A

Zizic only played in garbage time, but if the Cavs keep losing, would there be any harm in him playing more?

David Nwaba: N/A

Nwaba only played five minutes, but played hard of all of them and it’d be interesting to see what he’d be in 15-20 minutes a game. He’d definitely benefit from one of Korver or Smith moving on from the Cavs.