The Charlotte Bobcats can only hope a new year will bear better results as they entertain the Cleveland Cavaliers Friday night from Time Warner Cable Arena.
Charlotte ended 2012 on a positive note and put the brakes on a season-high 18-game losing streak with Monday's 91-81 decision against the Chicago Bulls. The Bobcats used a dominant fourth quarter, outscoring the Bulls by a 26-16 margin, and got 18 points from Kemba Walker.
The Bobcats notched their first victory since a double-overtime road verdict over Washington on Nov. 24 and surpassed last season's win total of 7-59.
"You go through an entire month of not winning and it eats at you, and especially for the young guys -- they need some confidence, and the best medicine is a win," said Bobcats head coach Mike Dunlap.
Ben Gordon netted six of his 15 points in the fourth quarter for the Bobcats, who did not have rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist due to a scratched right cornea suffered during Saturday's loss to New Orleans.
Charlotte avoided becoming only the fourth team since the 1986-87 season to go winless in at least 16 games in a single month. It will try to stop a 10-game home losing streak and is just 5-12 as the host this season.
Cleveland will play seven of its next nine games away from the Forest City and enters tonight's contest riding a three-game losing streak.
The Cavaliers dropped a tough one to the Sacramento Kings, 97-94, Wednesday night as Kyrie Irving notched 22 points and dished out six assists. Rookie Dion Waiters added 20 points off the bench for the Cavaliers, who had a 90-89 lead with 1:12 to go until the Kings scored five straight points.
"We just have to find a way to close it out, especially at home," Waiters said. "That's were it really hurts, being at home and not getting a win we knew we had. That is the toughest part."
Alonzo Gee posted his first double-double of the season with 16 points and a season-best 10 rebounds. He also had a career high-tying six assists and has scored in double figures in eight straight games.
Cleveland, losers in 14 of the last 17 games, will play its 12th back-to-back series of the season and is just 4-15 as the visitor.
The Cavs won all three meetings with Charlotte last season and are 20-8 in the all-time series. Irving averaged 22.5 ppg against Charlotte last season. The Bobcats have lost four straight in this series.
These two teams have split the 14 meetings at Charlotte.
The Sports Network