Hornets spoil Collin Sexton’s big night in the Cavs home opener
In spite of a big scoring night from Cavs guard Collin Sexton, the young Cleveland Cavaliers faltered in the fourth quarter to surrender a 123-112 loss to the visiting Charlotte Hornets. Another day, another late collapse.
In the absence of backcourt partner Darius Garland, Sexton stepped up to score 33 points, leading scorer led five players to finish in double-digits in their first home game this season. The team’s leading scorer finished with a productive night as he made 61 percent of his shots from the field.
Just as in the season opener, the Cavaliers collectively put numbers on the board but also gave up way too many points, allowing Charlotte’s Miles Bridges and Kelly Oubre to combine for 55 markers. The Hornets duo faced very little resistance defensively, even draining half of their 16 three-point attempts.
What was different from the other night was how the game played out. This time around, the Cavs were able to hang with their opponents for most of the match but their defense ultimately fell apart in the final period.
The Cavs should not alter the course, yet
Despite posting relatively meager numbers against Charlotte, rookie Evan Mobley continued to impress as he showed flashes of brilliance on both ends of the floor. The third overall pick posted 13 points, five boards, two assists, two steals, and two blocks as he was showered with plenty of love from the home crowd.
The aforementioned crowd nearly packed the 19,000-seating Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse. With fan attendance being limited last season, the home opener was by far the most rocking the building has seen in recent years. Heck, even the Cleveland Browns’ defensive end Myles Garrett showed up.
Once again, there was plenty of good to go with a bad as head coach J.B. Bickerstaff went to the big frontcourt lineup of Mobley, Jarrett Allen, and Lauri Markkanen. The trio fared pretty well offensively, but often got shredded by the opposing wings.
That doesn’t mean they need to completely alter the course. Perhaps the staff could adjust the backcourt pairing and continue to look for the best combo by mixing and matching Sexton, Garland, Isaac Okoro, and Ricky Rubio.
Plenty of opportunities for the Cavs to do that, as Cleveland attempts to rebound quickly in the second night of a back-to-back at home as they host the equally youthful yet formidable Atlanta Hawks.