NORTH CAROLINA – Darius Garland came back after a one-game absence and scored 28 points and the Cleveland Cavaliers put together a strong fourth quarter to defeat the host Charlotte Hornets 114-108 on Sunday.
Donovan Mitchell pumped in 23 points and Evan Mobley had key late baskets on his way to 18 points as the Cavaliers won for the fourth time in their last five games. Caris LeVert added 15 points and Ricky Rubio had 11 points.
Garland missed Friday night’s loss at Miami because of a quad injury.
Terry Rozier scored 27 to lead the Hornets, who committed 19 turnovers. P.J. Washington (19 points), Gordon Hayward (16), Nick Richards (15) and Dennis Smith Jr. (14) also supplied offensive boosts. Richards pulled in 12 rebounds.
Kelly Oubre Jr., who had been Charlotte’s leading scorer in the previous six games, did not play because of an ailing back. The Hornets were coming off Saturday night’s 119-111 home loss to the Utah Jazz.
The Cavaliers and Hornets meet again in the same arena Tuesday night.
Charlotte was up 89-81 through three quarters. The Cavaliers pulled even slightly more than four minutes later, setting up a back-and-forth stretch heading toward the finish. Cleveland outscored Charlotte 33-19 in the fourth quarter.
Mobley posted five points in a 68-second span to push the Cavaliers to a 105-100 lead.
Two free throws by Hayward allowed the Hornets to cut their deficit to 109-108. The Cavaliers responded with Mitchell’s floater before Rozier missed a potential tying three-point launch.
Garland went 1-for-2 at the foul line with 10.1 seconds left.
The Cavaliers shot just 7-for-27 on 3-pointers. Though the Hornets were at 47.6 percent from long range, they took only 21 attempts from beyond the arc (and two of those were misses in the last 10 seconds).
Charlotte shot 51.2 percent overall from the field.
The Cavaliers finished with a 25-16 advantage in made free throws.
The Hornets used a strong start for a 29-15 lead and took a 59-52 edge to the break. REUTERS
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