Could this be the return of Linsanity? Even without the presence of his backcourt buddy, Jeremy Lin carried the Charlotte Hornets to defeat LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Kemba Walker's absence in the game did not have any problems for the team as Lin scored 24 points for the Hornets to win the game at 106-97.
Walker, the Hornets' leading scorer, missed the game due to his injured left knee. Thankfully, Lin shouldered the offensive load of Walker to help the Hornets grab the win against the mighty Cavaliers.
Lin produced 24 points on impressive 7-for-13 shooting. He also outscored NBA's four-time MVP Lebron James who only had 23 points. Aside from scoring, the guard also had eight assists. During the third quarter of the game, Lin's scoring abilities lifted the Hornets from a 69-67 deficit to a 75-69 lead in an 8-0 run where he contributed six points. The team outscored Cleveland 33-17 in the third quarter.
On the fourth quarter, Cavaliers had a mini-run courtesy of James' two dunks and a 3-pointer from Kevin Love. However, Lin came to the rescue for the Hornets. He sank a fadeaway jumper in the last two minutes of the game to push their lead to 10 points.
Aside from Lin, forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist also stepped up in the game. He was vital to the Hornets' victory in his impactful ways: rebounding and defense. He grabbed 13 rebounds and successfully stopped James' offense.
It is also interesting to note that the Hornets ended James' personal 21-game winning streak against the franchise. The team's last victory against him before Wednesday happened on Feb. 19, 2010.
''We're (terrible) in the third quarter right now,'' James told Fox Sports. The forward went on to explain that they did great basketball in the first half of the game, but Lin and the Hornets surged in the third quarter to win the matchup. The Hornets held the Cavaliers to 45.8 percent of shooting, only allowing Cleveland to score 39 points in the second half.
On the Cavaliers individual performances, their point guard Kyrie Irving produced 26 points. He gave the Cleveland's final lead with a layup during the third quarter of the game, but it is not enough to beat the Hornets. Furthermore, J.R. Smith scored 14, and Kevin Love had 12 points with 12 rebounds.