The Cleveland Cavaliers opened the season on Wednesday night against the Charlotte Hornets. Cleveland came away with a 121-114 victory over Charlotte. The Cavaliers won the game with outstanding shooting; Cleveland shot 52.9% from the field and 46.7% from three-point land. Also, the Cavaliers were able to outrebound the Hornets 57 to 41. Andre Drummond had 14 rebounds, and Larry Nance Jr. added 13. But it was the young backcourt that stole the show. Collin Sexton and Darius Garland played outstanding.
On Wednesday, the Cavs locked in Sexton’s contract for the 2021-22 season for $6.35 million. In two seasons with Cleveland, Sexton averaged 18.5 points and 3.0 assister per game. Sexton scored 20.8 points per game last season, shooting 47% from the field and 38% beyond the arch.
In the Clevelands first game, Sexton played excellently; he scored 27 points on 9-of-16 shooting from the floor while also making 3-of-4 three-point shots. Sexton also added two rebounds and five assists. The third-year player did a great job scoring in the flow of the offense on and off the ball; this is a big step in his progression to get to the next level because he can score the basketball.
In Garland’s rookie season, he averaged 12.3 points per game while shooting 40% from the field and 35% from three-point land. During the pandemic, Garland spent time working on his game and finding his swagger. On opening night against the Hornets, Garland scored 22 points son 7 for 13 shooting and made 4 of 8 three-point shots. Also, the second-year played added six rebounds and six assists for the night. It’s just one game, but Garland looked good; it will be interesting to see how he plays for the rest of the season.
Sexton and Garland combined to score 49 points on 16-of-29 shooting and 7-of-12 from 3-point land to go with 11 assists and four turnovers. Cleveland had seven players who scored double figures and dished out 34 assists.