Cavs beat Hornets 121-109 even as Irving sits out with hamstring injury

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CHARLOTTE, NC – Final: Cavs 121, Hornets 109

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.

Cleveland point guard Kyrie Irving sat out the Cavaliers’ game Saturday night at Charlotte because of a right hamstring injury.

Coach Tyronn Lue called Irving’s injury “tightness” after the Cavaliers referred to it as a cramp following Thursday night’s game against Boston. Lue also reiterated that the injury was to Irving’s hamstring and not his knee.

“When him, LeBron (James) collided, I guess he got kneed in his knee,” Lue said. “I guess it caused some tightness in his hamstring. We’re just going to be cautious. No need to try to go out and be a hero tonight.”

Jordan McRae was set to start in Irving’s place. The Cavaliers were without shooting guard Mike Dunleavy because of a right ankle injury.

Irving left with the injury Thursday night during the Cavs victory over the Boston Celtics. At the time, the injury did not appear to be serious.

Cleveland has the best record in the Eastern Conference at 24-7, which includes an 11-2 record in their last 13 games. Charlotte enters Saturday’s contest having won five of their last six games.  They have lost twice to the Cavs