Kidd-Gilchrist leads Charlotte
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist scored 16 points and the Charlotte Bobcats used a strong fourth quarter to defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers, 86-80, on Friday.
The Bobcats outscored the Cavaliers 29-22 in the final period to win for only the second time in 16 games at Quicken Loans Arena.
Kidd-Gilchrist had eight points in the fourth, including a three-point play that gave Charlotte an 81-70 lead with 6:08 remaining. Ramon Sessions and Kemba Walker hit 3-pointers and Cody Zeller added a three-point play to spark the Bobcats’ run. Charlotte had five players score in double figures.
Kyrie Irving, wearing a mask to protect a nasal fracture, had 18 points and 10 assists for Cleveland, which lost for the first time in four games at home.
The Bobcats trailed 53-41 midway through the third quarter, but cut the lead to 58-57 going into the fourth quarter. Anthony Tolliver’s 3-pointer put Charlotte ahead 60-58 for its first lead of the game and the Bobcats never trailed again.
Cleveland trailed 82-76 before Josh McRoberts’ 3-pointer from the corner with 1:02 remaining sealed the win.
McRoberts scored 13 points for the Bobcats while Sessions and Walker added 12 apiece. Jeff Taylor scored 11 points for Charlotte (5-4), which won 89-83 in Boston on Wednesday.
Charlotte cut a 10-point lead to four at halftime, but the Cavaliers began the third quarter on a 16-8 spurt.
Irving was hit in the face by an elbow from Minnesota’s Corey Brewer on Wednesday. The All-Star point guard has a bruise under his right eye and will wear the mask for an undetermined period of time.
The Cavaliers (3-7) have lost three straight and five of six. Cleveland’s wins have come by four, one and two points.
Tristan Thompson and Earl Clark each scored 15 points for the Cavaliers.
Bobcats center Al Jefferson missed the game because of the sore right ankle that’s bothered him since training camp. He played in Charlotte’s last two games after missing its previous five. He’s averaging team highs of 15 points and 8.7 rebounds. Jefferson also missed the Bobcats’ 90-84 win over the Cavaliers in Charlotte on Nov. 1.
Cleveland played its second straight game without center Andrew Bynum, who was excused by the team to address a family medical matter. Bynum is expected to return for Saturday’s game in Washington.
Cavaliers forward Anthony Bennett, the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft, scored two points and is 4 for 35 from the field this season.
Cavaliers guard Dion Waiters didn’t play because of the flu. C.J. Miles started at shooting guard. Clark started at small forward in place of Alonzo Gee.