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The Hornets have been struggling to draw big crowds since returning this season from a two-year stint in Oklahoma City, a displacement forced by Hurricane Katrina. The Hornets were last in the NBA in attendance, averaging 11,462 fans, coming into their home date against Cleveland.
But Lebron James was able to attract 17,623 to watch him and the Cleveland Cavaliers as he does everywhere he goes.
But the energy from the sellout crowed was against him and it showed as the Cavaliers played slow and sloppy.
“We really fed off their energy,” Paul said. “When the crowd gets on their feet, it really gets us going.”
Lebron James played more passively than usual with only 21 points. The Hornets thrived off the Cavs’ mistakes, scoring 19 points off 14 turnovers, and in transition, scoring 15 fastbreak points.
“The bottom line was the turnovers and we came out flat in the third quarter,” Cleveland coach Mike Brown said. “They had something to do with that but we came out flat and it was hard to dig us out of a hole that big.”
Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 14 points and 12 rebounds for Cleveland, but scored only two points in the second half. Daniel Gibson scored 14 and Drew Gooden had 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Hughes continued with his poor play with only 2 points (1-11), and 2 assists.
News from local media:Â
– Cavs offed by offense
Turnovers, poor shooting result in loss to Hornets
– Cavaliers’ defense takes the night off in loss to Hornets
News from national media:
Hornets knock off Cavs and James
LeBron James discovered Saturday night that the Hornets’ defensive play has vastly improved since last season.