The Charlotte Bobcats can only hope a new year will bear better results as they entertain the Cleveland Cavaliers Friday night from Time Warner Cable Arena.
Charlotte ended 2012 on a positive note and put the brakes on a season-high 18-game losing streak with Monday's 91-81 decision against the Chicago Bulls. The Bobcats used a dominant fourth quarter, outscoring the Bulls by a 26-16 margin, and got 18 points from Kemba Walker.
The Bobcats notched their first victory since a double-overtime road verdict over Washington on Nov. 24 and surpassed last season's win total of 7-59.
"You go through an entire month of not winning and it eats at you, and especially for the young guys -- they need some confidence, and the best medicine is a win," said Bobcats head coach Mike Dunlap.
Ben Gordon netted six of his 15 points in the fourth quarter for the Bobcats, who did not have rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist due to a scratched right cornea suffered during Saturday's loss to New Orleans.
Charlotte avoided becoming only the fourth team since the 1986-87 season to go winless in at least 16 games in a single month. It will try to stop a 10-game home losing streak and is just 5-12 as the host this season.
Cleveland will play seven of its next nine games away from the Forest City and enters tonight's contest riding a three-game losing streak.
The Cavaliers dropped a tough one to the Sacramento Kings, 97-94, Wednesday night as Kyrie Irving notched 22 points and dished out six assists. Rookie Dion Waiters added 20 points off the bench for the Cavaliers, who had a 90-89 lead with 1:12 to go until the Kings scored five straight points.
"We just have to find a way to close it out, especially at home," Waiters said. "That's were it really hurts, being at home and not getting a win we knew we had. That is the toughest part."
Alonzo Gee posted his first double-double of the season with 16 points and a season-best 10 rebounds. He also had a career high-tying six assists and has scored in double figures in eight straight games.
Cleveland, losers in 14 of the last 17 games, will play its 12th back-to-back series of the season and is just 4-15 as the visitor.
The Cavs won all three meetings with Charlotte last season and are 20-8 in the all-time series. Irving averaged 22.5 ppg against Charlotte last season. The Bobcats have lost four straight in this series.
These two teams have split the 14 meetings at Charlotte.