Gerald Wallace had 27 points and 11 rebounds, Adam Morrison hit the go-ahead 3-pointer in overtime and the Charlotte Bobcats stunned Cleveland 108-100 on Tuesday night to snap the Cavaliers' eight-game winning streak.
Cleveland, which had been nearly flawless in its winning streak, fell apart down the stretch against one of the NBA's worst teams, blowing a 10-point fourth-quarter lead.
"We gave ourselves a chance to win at the end of regulation and I didn't come through for the team," James said. "We had a lot of unforced errors at the end of the game and we paid for it."
James scored 30 of his 37 points after halftime, but he missed a runner in the lane with 10 seconds left in regulation and a 3-pointer at the buzzer to force overtime. James was 12-of-31 from the field.
Matt Carroll scored 20 points for Charlotte, including four free throws late to force overtime as the Bobcats won despite being without four injured regulars.
"What's sad is that the eighth playoff position is 30 (wins)," Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff said. "I'm sad because I know if we had our full complement of players, we'd be right there."
Charlotte looked like a playoff team late. Morrison's 3 with 2:15 left in OT snapped a tie and Raymond Felton's driving layup with 48 seconds left made it 101-96.
Little-used Walter Herrmann, who scored had a career-high 19 points and 10 rebounds, hit a 3-pointer and two free throws in the final 30 seconds to put it away for Charlotte, which snapped a two-game losing streak.
"Gerald Wallace kicked our behind," Cavaliers coach Mike Brown said. "We didn't have much of an answer for him."
Still, Cleveland appeared to be in control, up 81-71 with under nine minutes left until Charlotte rallied, taking an 88-87 lead on Morrison's free throw with 2:56 left.
After the Cavaliers went ahead 94-90, Carroll hit four consecutive free throws, the last two coming after he stole the ball in backcourt from Sasha Pavlovic with 34 seconds left.
It was part of a night of scratching and clawing for short-handed Charlotte. Already without leading rebounder Emeka Okafor (calf), forward Sean May (knee) and guard Brevin Knight (groin), guard Derek Anderson, was a late scratch with swelling in his right knee.
"We always feel like we can get a win," Wallace said. "Even if our bigs are out, if our guards can control the rebounds, we can win with five guards out there. I think we did that tonight."
The Cavaliers led by as many as 13 in the first half and 46-37 at halftime thanks to 26 points in the paint. That offset a poor half from James, who was held to seven points on 2-of-8 shooting.
Raymond Felton, who had missed 13 straight shots over two games, scored on a driving layup to start the third quarter and Charlotte got within 67-66 on Morrison's 3-pointer with 1:23 left.
But James answered with a 3 on the next possession and Cleveland led 75-69 entering the fourth period.
Felton had 17 points on 6-of-20 shooting and had nine of Charlotte's 22 turnovers, but the Bobcats were able to win another game against a marquee team. Charlotte has split the four-game season series with Detroit and Cleveland.
"I'm the point guard on the team. I can't crack," Felton said. "I can't be out there worrying about my individual mistakes. I've got to go out there and play. I have to get myself together to keep the team together."
Brown, not wanting to tinker with success, kept the big guard lineup of Hughes and Pavlovic, even though point guard Daniel Gibson returned after missing the entire eight-game winning streak with a sprained left big toe.
But Hughes shot 6-for-16 and the Cavaliers shot 41 percent, including 3-of-20 from 3-point range.
"You understand you gave the game away, but at the same time you don't want to start a losing streak," Hughes said.
- Okafor did some light running Tuesday, but it's uncertain when he'll return.
- The Cavaliers had been 9-1 all-time against Charlotte.
- Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff was asked before the game about part-owner Michael Jordan drawing a $15,000 fine for mentioning Texas freshman Kevin Durant in an interview last week. "I'm trying to find out what budget that's coming out of," Bickerstaff said.