LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers might have left the Ohio State vs. Michigan game early yesterday but they still showed up to their game with the Philadelphia 76ers a bit late. The Cavaliers struggled for much of the game but stuck to their process and won the game 112-108.
Each team played poorly and the game was tough to watch as each team suffered their fair share of turnovers and cold shooting streaks. The first quarter was a struggle for the Cavs on both ends of the floor. Offensively it seemed as if the Cavs basket had a lid on it, as many good looks went unmade. Defensively, the Cavaliers were sluggish on rotations, resulting in some easy baskets for Philadelphia. Cleveland fans tuned into this game in hopes of watching an enjoyable sporting event instead of the Cleveland Browns game had to be disappointed.
Things did not get much better for the Cavaliers in the second or third quarters. But once the fourth quarter began the Cavaliers turned it on and put the game away. The Cavaliers relied on Kyrie Irving’s shot making in the early part of the fourth quarter and increased the defensive intensity. The plan worked and with seven minutes to play in the game the Cavalier’s had a three point lead. They would not look back.
While the game was frustrating to watch and fans would undoubtedly have preferred winning this one running away, the result was good for the Cavs. Great teams win even when they don’t play well and thats exactly what the Cavaliers did today (playing against Philly helped).
A few notes from the game:
- JR Smith continued his early season struggles, shooting an abysmal 0-11 from the field.
- James Jones saw some time on the court during this one, as Kevin Love suffered a facial injury early on which required 5 stitches at halftime (Love returned to the game).
- DeAndre Liggins also got some playing time in relief of the injured Iman Shumpert, who missed the game with a hamstring injury.
- Kyrie Irving finished with a season-high 39 points, LeBron James turned in another triple-double and Kevin Love shot 4-8 from three. When the big three plays like this, they can overcome just about any rough days from the rest of the team.
The Cavaliers now have a day to rest before they take on the Bucks on Tuesday.