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James, Love help Cavs end 2016 with win over Hornets

By Pat James

Associated Press

CHARLOTTE (AP) — LeBron James scored 17 of his 32 points in the first quarter, and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Charlotte Hornets 121-109 on Saturday night.

Kevin Love added 28 points and 10 rebounds for Cleveland, who played without Kyrie Irving after the point guard injured his right hamstring during Thursday’s 124-118 victory over Boston. Jordan McRae had 20 points and Kay Felder finished with 13.

James was 6 for 7 from the field in the first quarter, including a perfect 3 for 3 from beyond the arc. Love scored 15 points in the second, helping Cleveland to a 71-59 lead at the break.

James was 12 for 25 from the field in 35 minutes. He also had nine assists and six rebounds.

Kemba Walker scored 37 points for the Hornets, who had won five of six. Frank Kaminsky added 15 points and Nicolas Batum finished with 13 points and eight assists.

TIP-INS

Cavaliers: McRae, who got the start with Irving out of the lineup, was 8 for 12 from the field. … The Cavs’ 71 first-half points were their third-most of the season. . Since James returned to Cleveland prior to the 2014-15 season, the Cavs are 9-1 against Charlotte.

Hornets: Walker’s 37-point effort marked his 31st game of 30 points or more. The only Hornets player with more such games in team history is Glen Rice with 54. … Charlotte went 20 for 23 at the free-throw line. … Marco Belinelli missed his fourth straight game with a sprained left ankle.

UP NEXT

Cavaliers: Return to Cleveland on Monday night to host the Pelicans in the first game of a two-game homestand.

Hornets: Travel to Chicago on Monday night to play the Bulls.

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