Second-round pick Bryce McGowens’ red-hot shooting performance helped lead the Charlotte Hornets to a 91-80 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA 2K23 Summer League on Wednesday afternoon at Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas.
An exciting contested first half ended with the Hornets holding a slim two-point lead, but Charlotte managed to change the dynamic of the game during the third period in which it outscored the Cavaliers by a 29-19 margin.
The defense then dominated the final 10 minutes, but Cleveland was only able to put a one-point dent in its deficit before the final buzzer. The Hornets shot 48.5 percent, including 39.4 percent from three-point range, while outrebounding the Cavs by a 44-32 margin.
The 14th overall pick Ochai Agbaji led the Cavaliers with 24 points, along with three rebounds, one assist and three steals. Cam Young furnished 11 points, one assist, one steal and one block. Amauri Hardy delivered 10 points, two rebounds, three assists and one block.
Hornets’ McGowens shot 70 percent overall, including 83.3 percent from behind the arc, on his way to a team-high 24 points, a tally he supplemented with two rebounds and one assist. The 15th overall selection in this year’s NBA Draft, Mark Williams, totaled 12 points, eight boards, one assist, two steals and two blocks.
Brady Manek and LiAngelo Ball also generated matching 12-point contributions while recording seven and three rebounds, respectively. Kai Jones supplied 11 points, six rebounds, one assist, two blocks and one steal.
Both teams return to the floor Thursday afternoon, with the Cavaliers taking on the Detroit Pistons and the Hornets facing off with the Chicago Bulls.