Cavs’ Irving scores 31 in defeat
After getting off to a slow start, Greivis Vasquez was challenged by his coach at halftime. Vasquez responded with a strong third quarter to lead the New Orleans Hornets to an easy victory against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Vasquez scored 16 of his 25 points in the third quarter and the Hornets beat the slumping Cavaliers 112-92 on Sunday.
After missing two of the previous three games with an ankle injury, Vasquez was held to five points and three assists in the first half.
“[Hornets coach Monty Williams] called me out in front of everybody [at the half],” said Vasquez, who also had nine assists. “When he calls me out I got to respond. I don’t take it personally.”
Ryan Anderson added 23 points for the Hornets to help the Hornets bounce back from a blowout loss to Miami on Friday night and snap a two-game skid. Anthony Davis had 17 points and 13 rebounds for his rookies-leading 17th double-double, Brian Roberts scored 15 and Eric Gordon had 14.
Kyrie Irving returned from a shoulder injury and led the Cavaliers with 31 points and six assists. Cleveland, which lost its eighth straight, was 1-7 in Irving’s absence. Tristan Thompson, Wayne Ellington and Mareese Speights each scored 12 points for the Cavaliers and Shaun Livingston had 11.
Irving appeared tentative in the first quarter, missing his only attempt and scoring two points on two free throws, although he had three assists.
The Cavaliers’ guard took control in the second quarter, scoring 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting in the period. “I feel good,” Irving said. “My body is holding up right now. I hit a few shots bit I just wanted to win.”