It took a little bit for the Cleveland Cavaliers to get going on Friday in Houston. But when they did, the game's outcome was never in doubt.
After trailing early and just barely pulling ahead in the first quarter, the Cavs pulled away in the second half and beat the Rockets 91-77 on Friday. With the win, the Cavs finished their six road trip having won five of a possible six games. Additionally, the Cavs finished 2-1 against the three Texas teams with the only loss coming Thursday night against the Spurs.
In the first, the Cavs quickly fell behind 11-4 after 2:30 of the game had elapsed, prompting a full timeout from David Blatt. After the break, the Cavs outplayed the Rockets over the rest of the quarter and took a two-point lead heading into the second after Matthew Dellavedova hit a two-point jump shot as the buzzer sounded.
In the second, and into the third and fourth, Cleveland took full control of the game. In the second, the Cavs took outscored the Rockets 23-14 and took a 13 point lead into the half. Into the third, the Cavs took a 16-point lead and extended their lead by six overall heading into the fourth. And by 8:21 in the fourth, the Cavs held an 18-point lead and began pulling starters.
Kyrie Irving led all scorers with 23 points and LeBron James added 19. Dwight Howard led the Rockets with 14 points.
The only real surprise for the Cavs tonight was Timofey Mozgov getting the start at center over Tristan Thompson. Mozgov again largely struggled in his 18 minutes, as he scored just two points on 1-2 shooting while pulling down just three rebounds. He did, however, have a few moments where he protected negated a few Houston shot attempts inside and kickstarted some Cavs possessions.
The Cavs have off until Monday when they take on the Warriors. Tipoff is at 8 p.m. at Quicken Loans Arena.