by Rex Alba
CLEVELAND -- In what seemed like a blur, the visiting Charlotte Hornets went on a 19-2 scoring spree to start the fourth quarter, leaving the Cavaliers in a pile of dust while racing to a 123-112 victory at the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in downtown Cleveland.
"It was our defense. When we lock down defensively, I feel like we are one of the best defensive teams in the NBA," said Miles Bridges who led Charlotte's charge with 30 points on 13 of 24 shooting from the field including 4 of 9 from long distance.
The Hornets complemented their stifling defense with a balanced scoring attack that saw Gordon Hayward sink four treys for a total of 18 points while point guard LaMelo Melo sizzled once again, this time with 17 points and 6 assists while leading the Hornets' offense with fantastic flair.
Kelly Oubre joined the fray and pumped in 25 points while comng off the bench.
The Cavs converted 48 of 91 field goals (52.7 percent) and 15 of 32 threes (40 percent) while the Cavaliers went 43 of 84 (51.2 perent) overall but they couldn't get any traction from long distance, missing 22 of 31 attempts.
Collin Sexton led the Cavs with 33 points and Ricky Rubio added 15 and 10 dimes. former Bull Lauri Markannen, who was signed during the offseason, accounted himself well in his first regular season as a Cav, finishing with 13 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists.
Now 0-2 to start their season, the Cavs travel to Atlanta tomorrow to face the 1-0 Hawks while the Hornets hope to go up 3-0 when they visit the (1-1) Brooklyn Nets on Sunday at the Barclays Center in New York.