Cavaliers 122, Bobcats 95

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

CLEVELAND -- Cavaliers coach Byron Scott wanted to see how his young team would respond to Wednesday's game.
Scott wanted the Cavs to show maturity against the Charlotte Bobcats, who came into the game with the worst record in the league. He probably couldn't have been happier after they obliterated the Bobcats, 122-95, at Quicken Loans Arena.
It was the last leg of the Bobcats' five-game, nine-day road trip. They've lost them all.
Cavs point guard guard Kyrie Irving led all scorers with 22 points and three assists. Shooting guard Dion Waiters added 19 points and five assists.
Power forward Tristan Thompson was very effective with 17 points, nine rebounds and three blocks.
The Cavs (15-34) have now beaten the Bobcats six games in a row. Overall, they've won six of their last nine contests.
Cleveland upset the powerful Oklahoma City Thunder last Saturday. If they were going to follow their normal trend this year, they would have lost to the lowly Bobcats (11-37).
The Cavs passed the test. They have now won five of their last six at The Q. Before Wednesday, the Cavs were just 1-5 at home against sub-.500 teams.
Cavs shooting guard Wayne Ellington came off the bench to fire in 16 points and five rebounds. Center Marreese Speights had a double-double with 11 points and game-high 10 rebounds.
The Cavs shot a season-high 56.5 percent from the field. Their point total was also a season high. Their previous high was 118 in Sacramento on Jan. 14.
Center Byron Mullens, a former Ohio State standout, paced the Bobcats with 15 points. The 7-footer was 3 of 5 from behind the arc.
Guard Ramon Sessions, traded by the Cavs last February, added 14 points.
Charlotte is 1-14 lifetime at The Q.
The Cavs' previously largest victory this season was 16 points vs. Atlanta on Jan. 9.
They broke the game open with 14 unanswered points in the second quarter. They opened a 28-point lead, 65-37, with 1:23 remaining in the first half.
They shot 62.2 percent from the field in the first half. They led by 24 points at the intermission, 65-41.
Thompson had 15 points and six rebounds in the first half. Waiters and Irving each had 12 points in the first two quarters.
Guard Gerald Henderson had 10 points for the Bobcats.
The Cavs shot 58 percent from the field en route to a 32-21 lead after the first quarter.
NOTES: Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is expected to name Heat center Chris Bosh to the starting lineup for the Eastern Conference All-Star team. Multiple sources indicate Spoelstra likely will select Bosh for the starting lineup over Irving or Philadelphia point guard Jrue Holiday. Irving said he would have no problem if Spoelstra picks Bosh. "I'm just excited to be part of the All-Star Game whether I'm a starter or not," he said. ... Cavs power forward Tristan Thompson is quietly becoming a reliable foul shooter. He's shooting 63.6 percent on the season. However, in his last 10 games, he's making 70 percent of his foul shots (21 of 30). In his last six contests, he's been machinelike at 84.6 percent (11 of 13). "If you put the work and effort in, it should get better in games," he said. "In crunch time, the better free-throw shooters are in there. When you make key free throws that determine the game, you feel good about yourself." The Cavs knew he was deficient from the foul line when they drafted him in 2011. He shot 48.7 percent from the line in his lone year at Texas. ... Bobcats forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has missed the last two games with a concussion. "I talked to him today," Bobcats coach Mike Dunlap said. "His head is clearer. All signs are a plus. He's still sore. He's with the team." Irving and Kidd-Gilchrist were high school teammates in New Jersey. "I was a little worried at first, but he told me he was OK," Irving said. "Hopefully, he's back in the next few days." ... One could make a case for Charlotte's Ramon Sessions being the best backup point guard in the league. The former Cavs guard has scored 18 or more points in five of his previous six games. "He's playing great," Cavs coach Byron Scott said. "He's Ramon. He gets to the basket and gets to the line. He's an aggressive attacker. He gets to the line more than any bench player in the league." ... Scott said the Bobcats "go small" as much as any team in the NBA. "I don't blame Mike (Dunlap)," he said. "Their scorers are their smalls."

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