NEW ORLEANS: Kyrie Irving scored 31 points in his return from a left shoulder injury, but the New Orleans shot 54 percent to send the Cavs to their eighth consecutive loss with a 112-92 victory.
Irving was announced as a surprise return less than two hours prior to the game, but he couldn’t help a defense that was beaten badly off pick-and-rolls and around the perimeter. The Hornets made 12 of 21 3-pointers and scored 19 fast break points, a rarity against a Cavs team that typically gives up few points on the break.
Irving had six assists and shot 11 of 20 in 28 minutes, Tristan Thompson had 12 points and 10 rebounds and Wayne Ellington had 12 points and four assists for the Cavs.
Greivis Vasquez returned from a sprained ankle with 25 points and nine assists for the Hornets, including 16 points in a staggering third quarter when he made all six of his shots and the Hornets outscored the Cavs 36-24. Ryan Anderson had 23 points off the bench for the Hornets, including five 3-pointers.