CLEVELAND -- As Spencer Hawes' three-quarter court shot fell just short of the basket, it might have very well taken with it the playoff hopes of the Cleveland Cavaliers, as they fell to the Charlotte Bobcats, 96-94, in overtime at Quicken Loans Arena Saturday night.
Hawes' final three-point attempt of the game came on the heels of his made triple just seconds earlier that brought the Cavaliers to within one possession of the Bobcats.
After guard Kyrie Irving got an open look at a three-pointer that hit off back iron, the Bobcats tracked down the rebound and Gerald Henderson looked to have put the game out of reach when he buried two free throws to push the lead out to four with seven seconds left in the overtime.
"We haven't had a game like that in a really, really long time," veteran point guard Jarrett Jack said. "We still gave ourselves an opportunity with our defense, and some lapses down the stretch allowed them to come back, be able to take the lead and it shot us in the foot tonight.
"They're a physical team. They play a controlled brand of basketball. They get the ball to the necessary players who take their time. It's not a real run-and-gun type of team. They do a good job of getting quality shots out of each possession."
Earlier in the overtime, the Bobcats got the stop, overturned call and offensive rebound they needed to take the lead for good with 46.1 seconds remaining.
Up by one point, 90-89 after Henderson made a jumper, the Bobcats headed to the defensive end of the floor, where they forced Cavaliers guard Dion Waiters to take a fall-away attempt as the shot clock was winding down.
The ball was tipped out of bounds, and originally, the call went in favor of the Cavaliers. However, after the officials went to the monitor and reviewed the play, the call was overturned and the ball was awarded to the Bobcats.
On the ensuing possession, Charlotte guard Kemba Walker missed a pull-up jump shot, but center Cody Zeller corralled the offensive rebound and got the ball back to Walker before the Cavaliers could commit the foul.
Walker buried both free throws and made it a three-point game.
The Cavaliers cut the deficit to one after Dion Waiters made two free throws, and got a chance to win the game when Walker missed one of his next two free-throw attempts after being fouled following Waiters' shots from the charity stripe.
"We put ourselves in a tough hole, and Charlotte made free throws down the stretch," Cavaliers coach Mike Brown said. "(Irving) had a wide-open look. That was the play, and if he wasn't open, we felt that he would've had room to drive the basketball. He was wide open, had a lot of time, and it just didn't go in."