CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Kemba Walker scored 23 points and hit a key 3-pointer with 58.3 seconds left to give the Charlotte Bobcats the lead for good en route to a 90-84 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night.
Walker's 3-pointer broke an 84-84 tie after the Bobcats let a 10-point fourth quarter lead slip away completely. The Cavaliers then failed to score on their next three possessions and Gerald Henderson hit two free throws and Walker another for a 6-0 Charlotte run.
The win moved the Bobcats to 1-1 and was the first career victory for first-year coach Steve Clifford. The Cavs are also now 1-1.
Walker was 8 of 14 from the field with three 3-pointers. Charlotte also got 15 points from Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and 11 points and 10 rebounds from Bismack Biyombo.
C.J. Miles led Cleveland with 22 points and Tristan Thompson scored 21. The Cavs also got 16 points from Kyrie Irving and 15 from Jarrett Jack.
Charlotte led 30-23 after one quarter, 54-49 at halftime and 75-66 going into the fourth. The lead was 76-66 when the Cavs started their comeback, and they tied it at 84-84 on a drive by Miles with 2:08 remaining.
The Bobcats played without center Al Jefferson, who continues to battle a sprained right ankle. Jefferson missed all but two preseason games, then played 30 minutes in the season opener at Houston on Wednesday, then was back on the shelf again Friday. Bobcats coach Steve Clifford put no timetable on Jefferson's return but said it might be six to eight weeks before Jefferson heals completely.
Andrew Bynum played 10 first-half minutes for the Cavs and finished with five points and three rebounds, as coach Mike Brown eases Bynum back into action slowly after he missed all of last season with chronic knee issues.
NOTES: The teams played twice during the preseason, once in Canton, Ohio, and once in Charlotte, with the Bobcats winning both. ... Clifford was making his home debut as the sixth coach in Bobcats history. Clifford had previously been an assistant with the Lakers, Magic, Rockets and Knicks. ... This was the first regular-season meeting between the Zeller brothers, the Bobcats' Cody and the Cavs' Tyler. ... The Cavs opened the season with a 98-94 home win over Brooklyn on Wednesday, when Thompson scored 18 and Irving had 15 points, nine assists and seven rebounds. ... The Bobcats opened with a 96-83 loss at Houston on Wednesday, with five players in double figures led by Josh McRoberts' 15 points. ... The Bobcats' Brendan Haywood is out at least two months with a stress fracture in his left foot. ... The Cavs started a two-game road trip Friday and will continue it at Indiana on Saturday. ... The Bobcats were in the middle of a stretch of three games in four days and will play at New Orleans on Saturday. ... The Bobcats have 10 home games in the month of November.
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- Charlotte Bobcats
- Cleveland Cavaliers
- Steve Clifford
- Kemba Walker