After a four-game road trip, the Cleveland Cavaliers didn't exactly start tonight's game looking psyched to be back home. The sub-.500 Brooklyn Nets raced out to a 22-9 lead during the game's first eight minutes. But the Cavs rallied, and were down by just three at the end of the first quarter.
Then, early in the second quarter, the Cavs went on an 18-2 run, paced by 11 quick points from J.R. Smith. After that, the game was pretty much over. Cleveland scored 36 points in the second quarter, as they racked up 12 assists on their 13 field goals.
Here's one of those assists:
OK, THIS was a Cavs Flying Death Machine. https://t.co/wmUCh0TT0m— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) March 19, 2015
The Cavs followed up their 36-point second quarter with a 35-point third quarter to extend their lead. Also, this happened:
Kyrie Irving is doing some downright rude stuff with the ball tonight: http://t.co/KdcyTEAFer https://t.co/memHlBjLBF— SB Nation (@SBNation) March 19, 2015
Irving actually had a few really nice passes during this game, and he finished with 10 assists (along with 12 points in 30 minutes). His performance came just a few hours after William wrote that Kyrie's assist numbers don't really matter:
LeBron James is one of the most statistically unique players in the history of the league. Since he's played alongside LeBron, Kyrie's assist rate and raw assist totals have dropped, which puzzles some people, but isn't too complex to understand. James is a ball dominant wing who is an exceptional passer, but gets a good chunk of his own offense driving to the hoop off the dribble or in transition. There are only so many assist opportunities to go around, LeBron uses many of them, and Kyrie isn't likely to assist LeBron due to his playing style.
For his part, LeBron James played 35 minutes and finished with 16 points and seven assists. Kevin Love had 10 points and 11 rebounds, J.R. Smith and Timofey Mozgov each scored 17, and Tristan Thompson and Iman Shumpert both added 10 points off of the bench. It was a balanced effort.
After their slow start, the Cavs barely missed. For the game, they shot 55 percent from the floor and a ridiculous 52 percent from three. They made more threes (15) than they did free throws (12).
This was the team's 14th consecutive win at home. They haven't lost at the Q since LeBron's break.
The Cavs will get a day off tomorrow and then host the Pacers on Friday night.