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(Wednesday, April 17th)
Final Score: Charlotte 105, Cleveland 98
Charlotte, NC (Sports Network) - Kemba Walker had 24 points and seven assists, and the Charlotte Bobcats closed their season with a 105-98 triumph over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Josh McRoberts chipped in 20 points and eight rebounds for the Bobcats (21-61), who finished the campaign with the second-worst mark in the NBA, a game ahead of Orlando. Charlotte won its final three games, all at home to avoid finishing with the worst mark in the NBA for a second straight season.
"I think you can look at any area and say that we need some help in terms of our size, for sure," Bobcats coach Mike Dunlap said. "Rebounding was an issue all year long and we need shooters. We have to be able to shoot the 3-ball."
Gerald Henderson added 15 points and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist scored 11 for Charlotte, which snapped a six-game skid versus the Cavaliers.
Kyrie Irving had 24 points and 10 assists for Cleveland (24-58), which lost its final six contests.
The Cavs finished out of the playoffs for a third straight season, all since LeBron James left the franchise for the Miami Heat.
The Cavaliers endured a tough season on the injury front. Irving missed several games with various maladies and Anderson Varejao, who led the NBA in rebounding when he shut it down for the season after right knee surgery, developed a blood clot on his right lung.
It was an uphill battle not only all season for the Cavs, but also in the season finale. The Bobcats shot 72.2 percent (13-of-18) in the first quarter and led almost the entire game, except for a brief moment in the final period.
A layup by Dion Waiters had the Cavs ahead 77-76 with 2 1/2 minutes expired in the fourth. Walker, though, drained an immediate 3-pointer and the Bobcats were in front the rest of the way.
Another Waiters layup, this one midway through the fourth, had the visitors within 85-84. Again, Walker drained a shot from beyond the arc to stem the tide.
The closest the Cavs got from there was 101-98 on another Waiters layup with 15.4 seconds remaining.
Walker and McRoberts each drained a pair from the charity stripe to seal the outcome.
"It's not the way we wanted to end it, but it's kind of indicative of our season," Cavs coach Byron Scott said. "We came out pretty nonchalant thinking we just beat this team last time by 27 (Feb. 6). That got into our heads and then 'boom' they jumped right on us."
McRoberts had 10 points in the opening quarter, after which the Bobcats led 34-16. Included in the period was a 14-2 run.
The Bobcats widened the gap to 46-22 in the second before the Cavs closed within 53-47 at the half. It was 76-69 going to the fourth.
With their 82nd start Wednesday, Alonzo Gee and Tristan Thompson became the first pair of Cavs players to start in every game since Andre Miller and Clarence Weatherspoon did in 2000-01 ... The Bobcats were 8-2 in their last 10 home games ... Waiters had 16 points.
04/18 00:05:26 ET
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