Antawn Jamison was curious to see the demeanor of his teammates at halftime, after the Cavs were blown off the court in the second quarter by the first-place Hornets.
The Cavs blew way too many easy looks in the quarter, while their defense faltered both in transition and in the half-court. The Hornets led by 19 at the half and all signs pointed to a second-half blowout.
But none of the Cavs were hanging their heads or looking down. That's when Jamison knew they were going to be OK. Turns out, the Cavs were better than OK. While it came a little too late, their huge fourth-quarter rally was nearly enough to hand the Hornets their first home loss of the season.
The bottom line is that it wasn't, and yet again the Cavs failed to play a complete game. But rallying against these team should give them hope entering Saturday night's game at San Antonio. The Spurs will be playing the second of a back-to-back and arriving late as well, since they played at Utah on Friday.
If the Cavs can manage a split against these two teams, it would be a huge accomplishment. But they'll have to play better in the second quarter than they did on Friday, when they blew at least 10 looks from inside the paint in the quarter. They had the same problem Tuesday against the Sixers when they squandered way too many open looks inside.
They got away with it Tuesday because they were playing the Sixers. The Hornets certainly are not the Sixers.
Antawn Jamison 20 points, 11 rebounds
Ramon Sessions 16 points, 5 assists
Anderson Varejao 10 points, 13 rebounds
Daniel Gibson 10 points (8 in 4th quarter)
David West 34 points (season high), 11 rebounds
Chris Paul 15 points, 10 assists, 6 steals
The Cavs made just 4 of 23 shots in the second quarter, blew a number of open looks inside and were outscored 36-15 in the quarter.
3 -- Antawn Jamison became the third player in league history with at least 7,000 rebounds, 900 3-pointers and 17,000 points. Scottie Pippen and Dirk Nowitzki are the others.
Key stat II
0 -- J.J. Hickson's minutes in the fourth quarter for the second straight night
He said it
"I knew we had character. I knew our guys would fight back. I knew we don’t have any quitters in that locker room." -- coach Byron Scott
* The 36-point second quarter and the 62-point first half were both season highs for the Hornets.
* Mo Williams returned after missing two games with a strained groin. He made his first shot, a jumper, and finished 3 of 8 from the floor for eight points. He had two assists and five turnovers, but Byron Scott expected him to be rusty. Williams fell down three times within a five-minute span in the second half, and was slow to get up each time. But he seemed OK.
* Antawn Jamison rolled his right ankle in the game's final seconds, but said after the game it was fine.
* Joey Graham was ejected for a flagrant 2 foul in the fourth quarter. He could face a fine or suspension from the league for his blow to David West's head. Ryan Hollins followed less than three minutes later with a flagrant 1 foul when he grabbed West by the shoulders and pulled him down. West, aggravated from all the hard fouls, popped up and went nose-to-nose with Hollins, but the two quickly separated.
The Cavs play at San Antonio on Saturday (8:30 p.m., FS Ohio).
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