CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Jeremy Lin scored 24 points and the Charlotte Hornets rallied in the second half to beat the Eastern Conference-leading Cleveland Cavaliers 106-97 on Wednesday night.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had 11 points and 13 rebounds, and three other players finished in double figures for the Hornets, who overcame a nine-point halftime deficit to snap a four-game losing streak against the Cavaliers.
Marvin Williams added 16 points, Frank Kaminski had 15 off the bench and Nicholas Batum scored 10 for Charlotte, which trailed 58-49 at halftime. Playing without ailing point guard Kemba Walker, the Hornets outscored Cleveland 33-17 in the third quarter to take an 82-75 lead and went on to lead by as many as 15 late in the fourth.
Irving gave the Cavaliers their final lead, hitting a layup with 6:36 left in the third quarter that put Cleveland up 69-67. Lin followed with a three-point play 28 seconds later to put the Hornets ahead to stay.
Charlotte’s biggest lead came with less than 5 minutes remaining, when Kidd-Gilchrist knocked down a jumper to put the Hornets up 98-83. The Cavaliers got no closer than six the rest of the way.
There were nine lead changes and 11 ties in a back-and-forth first half before a late run put the Cavaliers in front by nine.
Charlotte took its biggest lead of the first half late in the second quarter, going up 47-43 on Kaminsky’s layup with 4:23 remaining. But the Cavaliers closed the period with a 15-2 spurt.
Cleveland opened the run with Tristan Thompson‘s tip-in with 4:07 left, took the lead at 50-48 on James’ jumper with 1:35 remaining and capped it with Smith’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer.
Cavaliers: Cleveland is 5-2 since Tyronn Lue replaced David Blatt as head coach on Jan. 22. . G Matthew Dellavedova was inactive with a sore left hamstring.
Hornets: Walker sat out with a sore left knee, the first game he’s missed this season. . Batum (strained right toe), center Cody Zeller (sore right shoulder) and guard Jeremy Lamb (sprained right toe) returned to action, with Zeller and Batum starting.