Evan Mobley scores 17 as Cavaliers rebound from embarrassing loss in Miami, beat Hornets 115-92


CLEVELAND — Evan Mobley scored 17 points, Jarrett Allen added 17 and 13 rebounds and the Cleveland Cavaliers bounced back from an embarrassing loss at Miami 24 hours earlier by beating the Charlotte Hornets 115-92 on Monday night.

Mobley also had a career-high eight assists and seven rebounds in only 25 minutes. It was his second game back after he was sidelined for nine by a sprained ankle.

The Cavs were blown out by 37 on Sunday by the Heat, who were up 45 at one point. The loss seemed to be rock bottom for a tired Cleveland team dealing with injuries and sliding backwards in the Eastern Conference standings.

But a matchup against the struggling Hornets was just what the Cavs needed to stop a three-game losing streak.

Georges Niang made five 3-pointers and scored 17 for Cleveland, which had lost six of eight and came in just four games clear of a play-in spot after being among the East’s top teams for months.

Brandon Miller scored 24 points and Miles Bridges had 13 for Charlotte. The 17-win Hornets have dropped five straight and 12 of 14.

Mobley scored 11 points in the third quarter to help the Cavs maintain the double-digit lead they built late in the second. Charlotte was still within 12 early in the fourth when Sam Merrill made back-to-back 3s to give Cleveland some breathing room.

The Cavaliers remain without All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell, who has been out with a broken nose and bruised left knee.

Mitchell has played in just five of 19 games since the break, and the Cavs have only had their starting lineup on the floor for 44 minutes since mid-February due to injuries.

Cleveland guard Max Strus (knee) missed his 12th straight game with an injury of unknown extent, and Dean Wade (knee) sat out his fourth in a row.

Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff didn’t have a timeline on Mitchell’s return, but it can’t happen soon enough. He and his team are running out of time to re-build any cohesion before the playoffs.

“I believe we’ll have enough time to get everybody back to catch a rhythm and then get to where we want to get to,” Bickerstaff said.

Cleveland’s Marcus Morris Sr. was ejected in the second quarter for elbowing Charlotte’s Nick Richards in the jaw. Morris was playing just his second home game with the Cavs since signing a 10-day contract on March 18.

NEXT UP

The teams will meet again on Wednesday in Charlotte, and a third time in Cleveland’s home finale on April 14.

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AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA



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