In theory, a visit by the Dallas Mavericks on the day after Thanksgiving could have been an opportunity for the Cavs to have a letdown game. Instead, they played sharp, fun basketball and cruised to a 128-90 win.
On Wednesday night, it was Kevin Love with a big first quarter; tonight, it was Kyrie Irving setting the tone early. Irving went 7-of-7 from the floor in the opening period, including 4-of-4 from deep, for 19 points. He finished the game with 25 points, although he only had one assist, so I’m not sure if we can call it a successful performance or not (please don’t leave comments asking if I am serious because I am not).
For his part, Love basically picked up where left off against Portland, going 7-of-9 on threes. He led all scorers with 27 points, to go along with 10 rebounds.
LeBron James added a methodical 19 points, 11 assists, and five boards.
As a team, the Cavs went 20-of-43 from beyond the arc, despite the absence of Channing Frye. When they shoot like that, they’re probably not going to lose much.
This has probably been the most fun the Cavs have looked during the regular season since 2008-09. That was the year LeBron was still a year away from free agency, so there was little sense of urgency, and the team rolled to 66 wins. This season, with a title under their belts, they’ve looked loose and cohesive in winning 12 of their first 14 games. The schedule has certainly been favorable (only four of their games have been on the road), but still, credit where credit is due.
Tomorrow, the Cavs will be in Columbus to take in the Ohio State-Michigan game, and then they will head to Philadelphia to take on the 76ers on Sunday.