Los Angeles has one of these. So does Boston. Add Cleveland to the list of teams that have 11-game winning streaks this season as the Wine and Gold came out hot, then held on to beat a feisty New York Knicks team 113-106.
For the Cavaliers it was a tale of two halves - 74 points in the first half, just 39 in the second half. 15 assists in the first half, 7 assists in the second half. It was frustrating to watch, but like I said during the game, all teams have a couple like this during an 82-game schedule, right now, the Cavaliers are winning those games.
For James, it was another record-breaking performance. His 35-straight points in the first half was a new team record. It appeared his 56-points in a game record was obtainable too, but the 2nd half blahs that have affected the Cavaliers struck again, this time in the form of Nate Robinson.
Leading 74-54 at halftime, the Cavaliers seemed to put it on cruise control. The teams traded baskets for much of the 3rd Quarter before the Cavaliers went cold, and the Knicks, well, the Knicks started to get hot - red-hot. The Knicks had cut the lead to 11 before the Cavaliers were able to bump it back to 14 at the end of the 3rd quarter. The Knicks weren't done.
You got the sense that the game was be played the way New York wanted to play it. Yes, the Cavaliers led by 20 at halftime, but the Knicks still scored 54 points, and they still shot 49% from the field. It was coming easy for them too.
Behind Robinson's 22 second-half points, the Knicks were able to whiddle the lead down to just three - 107-104 - in possession of the ball with 3 minutes to go before the Cavaliers, behind 6 straight points by James, were able to put the game away.
It can be extremely hard to watch the Cavaliers when they get into the offensive funk they got into tonight. Part of the blame definitely falls at the feet of Mike Brown. LeBron has to take some of the blame too. He still gets into the habit of trying to do everything himself. The Knicks were undersized, yet LeBron ignored Shaq for large stretches in the 2nd half, choosing to dribble and shoot long-range jumpshots. It nearly backfired on the Cavaliers. Against a better team, it will.
LeBron finished with 47 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists. He scored 23 points in the first quarter, and at one point in the first half LeBron scored 24-straight points.
Shaq had another nice night - 19 points in 25 minutes. J.J. Hickson was hot at the start as well, scoring 8 points in the first 4 minutes as part of a 44-point first quarter for the Cavaliers. The offense went down-hill from there - 30, 20, 19 - but in the end the Cavaliers found a way.
While the offensive short-comings will get much of the attention, Mike Brown will surely be unhappy with his team's usually reliable defense. After giving up 24 points in the 1st Quarter, the Cavaliers seemed to be happy trading early shot-clock jump-shots with the Knicks. That favors New York, who is 2nd in the NBA in 3-point attempts per game. New York was 12-27 from deep, a number inflated by the hot shooting of Nate Robinson(5-7)
The game broke a streak of 8-straight games in which the Cavaliers held their opponents under 100 points, 4 games in a row that they held their opponents under 90 points. Both are history - though, at this time of year, with the All-Star Break around the corner, you'll take the win and go home with a smile on your face.
The Cavaliers get a couple of days off now, before welcoming the New Jersey Nets to the Q on Tuesday Night.