Sexton, Garland lead Cavs to win over Hornets in opener | Inquirer Sports

Sexton, Garland lead Cavs to win over Hornets in opener

/ 06:54 PM December 24, 2020

Collin Sexton Cavaliers

Collin Sexton #2 of the Cleveland Cavaliers shoots over P.J. Washington #25 of the Charlotte Hornets during the first quarter at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on December 23, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. Jason Miller/Getty Images/AFP

Collin Sexton scored 27 points and Darius Garland added 22 to fuel the host Cleveland Cavaliers to a 121-114 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday in the season opener for both teams.

Cleveland’s Andre Drummond collected 14 points and 14 rebounds, and Larry Nance Jr. had 13 of each to go along with eight assists. Nance was inserted into the starting lineup in place of Kevin Love, who sat out due to a calf strain in his right leg.


Charlotte’s Terry Rozier sank 10 shots from 3-point range to highlight a 42-point performance, with 36 of those coming in the second half. The Ohio native averaged 32.5 points in a pair of games in Cleveland last season.


Gordon Hayward scored 28 in his first game since sustaining a broken finger on his right hand during a preseason game against Toronto on Dec. 14.

Hornets forward Cody Zeller, however, suffered a fractured left hand in the fourth quarter and did not return.

Sexton made his first six shots from the field — including three from 3-point range — to propel the Cavaliers to a strong start. Cleveland outscored Charlotte by a 41-21 margin in the second quarter to seize a 65-44 lead at halftime.

Rozier drained a trio of 3-pointers in just over a two-minute stretch and Hayward also connected from beyond the arc to trim Cleveland’s lead to 79-68 with 5:19 left in the third quarter. Rozier sank another 3-pointer to bring the Hornets within eight points before Cedi Osman answered with one of his own on Cleveland’s next possession.

Osman added another 3-pointer from the corner, and Nance’s outlet pass found Drummond for an emphatic dunk to push the Cavaliers’ lead to 102-85 with 8:38 to play. Rozier sank two more 3-pointers and Devonte’ Graham added another to help the Hornets chip away, but to no avail.

LaMelo Ball, who was the third overall pick of the 2020 NBA Draft, missed all five of his shots from the field, including three from long range, to finish without a point in his debut with the Hornets.

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TAGS: Andre Drummond, Charlotte Hornets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Collin Sexton, Darius Garland, LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier

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