CLEVELAND (AP) -- John Lucas stopped short of praising the Cleveland
Cavaliers, even after an impressive victory.
Lucas, however, was not overly impressed.
"It was a gutsy win over a team that's better than us, but I'm
not ready to dish out compliments, because our guys start believing
them and stop playing," the Cavaliers' coach said.
Miller and Person combined to spark an 11-3 run early in the
third quarter, as Cleveland seized control after a lackluster first
half by both teams.
"That's where we're different from a year ago," Person said.
"Last season, a start like that and we just got worse. We have a
different personality now. We stay with it."
Miller drove the length of the court for a fastbreak layup to
put the Cavs ahead to stay, 55-53. Seconds later, he passed to
Lamond Murray, who hit a 3-pointer.
Murray, who finished with 18 points, then blocked a shot by
Jamaal Magliore and fed Person for another 3-pointer.
Baron Davis countered with a 3-pointer for Charlotte, but Miller
then found Person for another 3 and a 64-56 advantage.
Davis, who entered the game averaging 21.9 points, scored 11 on
2-for-14 shooting from the field.
"It's cold in here," Davis said of Gund Arena. "We didn't
play well and they didn't either, just a little better than we
Cleveland shot 26-for-27 from the line.
"That was one of our goals, to get to the line," Murray said.
"They were bigger than us and we had to get those big guys in foul
Second-year forward Lee Nailon scored a career-high 20 points to
lead Charlotte before fouling out.
"Nailon was playing good, but we got him in foul trouble and
took him out of his rhythm in the second half," Murray said.
Cleveland's lead reached 79-66 early in the fourth quarter,
before Charlotte coach Paul Silas switched to a zone defense in an
effort to stop the Cavs.
Both teams shot poorly in the first half. The Cavaliers missed
seven consecutive shots and fell behind, 10-2. The Hornets led
19-16 after one quarter, despite shooting just 31 percent
(8-for-26) from the field.
"Cleveland came out flat, and all of a sudden they felt like
playing," Wesley said. "I think our problem is we don't put teams
away when they don't seem like they feel like playing."
The Cavs put Michael Doleac on the injured list. The
center, averaging 7.2 points and 6.3 rebounds, is expected to be
sidelined 5-to-6 weeks with a stress fracture in his left ankle.
... Guard Bryant Stith was activated and saw his first action since
Nov. 3. He had been sidelined with a right hip injury. ... DeSagana
Diop, the Cavaliers' 7-foot, 300-pound rookie, saw his first action
since the season opener Oct. 30. He had missed 15 games with a
strained left knee. ... Brown had 12 rebounds to lead Charlotte for
the eighth time in the last 10 games.