Charlotte, NC, United States (4E Sports) – Kemba Walker scored 23 points and dished out seven assists to lift the Charlotte Bobcats over the Cleveland Cavaliers 90-84 at Time Warner Cable Arena.
A highlight for Walker was the 3-pointer he hit over the Cavs’ Kyrie Irving with 58 seconds left to break a tie.
The Bobcats also got big help from Bismack Biyombo, who scored 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting and grabbed 10 rebounds, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who finished with 15 points and six rebounds.
The Cavs found themselves playing catch-up after the Bobcats took a 28-18 lead late in the first.
The Bobcats restored a double figure lead at 76-66 early the fourth before the Cavaliers tied the game twice.
However, the Cavs could not get over the hump and take the lead.
CJ Miles had two attempts to give the Cavs the lead after an 84-all tie, but he missed a driving layup and a 17-foot jumper.
Gerald Henderson added two free throws in the final 11 seconds to seal the win.
“I think sometimes you dig in that hole and expend so much energy trying to get out of it,” said Miles.
Cavs coach Mike Brown also noted that his team lacks mental focus and execution.
The win was also a personal victory for Walker, having won his duel with longtime friend Kyrie Irving.
“I’ve known Kyrie for a while and his dad is from my neighborhood,” said Walker, a Bronx, N.Y. native. “Seeing him growing up playing basketball, we are just longtime friends. So when I play against him it’s a lot of fun.”
Irving had 16 points on 7-of-17 shooting, but was held to one point in the fourth quarter. He attempted only three shots in the fourth and missed them all.
CJ Miles had 22 points, and Tristan Thompson added 21 to lead the Cavs.