The Charlotte Bobcats lost on the road to the Cleveland Cavaliers 101-115 on January 3rd at Quicken Loans Arena. The Bobcats began the game with good energy, but they had trouble containing the pick-and-roll as the Cavs were driving into the lane for layups and kicking out for open jumpers. The Cavs’ depth and shooting were too much, and the Bobcats' reserves were outscored 28 to 51 by the Cavs’ bench. That kind of energy and consistency proved to be costly for Charlotte in the end.
"It's very difficult,” said Coach Paul Silas after the game. “We work on things in practice, and the last couple days we worked on our offense, our defense, and when they get out there it just doesn't happen. If they're not going to take onus on themselves to really work hard at what we design, then it's on them."
D.J. Augustin had a solid game with 26 points (10-14 FG, 4-7 3PT), nine assists and four rebounds to lead the Bobcats, and Corey Maggette chipped in 21 points and grabbed eight rebounds.
“Well our pick-and-roll defense was not there and I just didn’t think we came with enough energy in the second half,” said Silas. “It’s just not going to work unless we play hard all the time; we’re not talented enough to not play hard all the time. They must’ve made 15 points early on with layups. You can’t just give those away.”
Byron Mullens played well off the bench (career-high 14 points) and Bismack Biyombo continued to show improvement (eight points, five rebounds, two blocks) as his minutes have increased for the Bobcats.
"Yeah, I was looking forward to having a rebound game after Miami but it doesn't count when we don't win,” said Mullens. “We just have to be more aware [about pick-and-roll defense]. When it gets loud, it's hard for the guards to hear, so we just have to yell it louder. I just have to watch the film and get better."
Cavs rookie Kyrie Irving played a good game, scoring a career-high 20 points to go with six assists and three rebounds while fellow rookie Tristan Thompson had 16 points and nine rebounds. Charlotte native Antawn Jamison contributed 19 points to the Cavs’ victory.
"I think each game, Kyrie is getting more comfortable,” said Cavs’ coach Byron Scott. “Tonight, he looked the most comfortable I've seen. I just hope he continues it and looks this comfortable and gets better. Obviously, we saw a glimpse of some of the things he can do with that basketball. He makes everyone around him better with the way he can pass it. He draws attention because he has the ability to get to the basket as well. Hopefully, he just continues to grow as a basketball player and if he does, we're in good shape."
Game Notes: The Bobcats shot 17-19 (.895) from the free throw line, led by Maggette who went 13-14 (.929) from the line. Charlotte out-rebounded Cleveland 46-41 in the game. The Bobcats were outscored in the paint 40 to 56. Tyrus Thomas was listed as active but missed his fifth straight game while recovering from a mild left ankle sprain. Reggie Williams and Eddie Najera were also listed on the injury report as they recover from their respective knee surgeries.
The Bobcats will play against Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at Madison Square Garden to end a three-game road trip. Catch all the action on SportSouth, listen to us on WFNZ and join the live chat on bobcats.com.
Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained first-hand.