It's the All-Star break. The Cavs are 38-14. After an uneven but convincing win over the visiting Los Angeles Lakers the Cleveland Cavaliers can rest easy. Tyronn Lue and the Cavs staff will head to Toronto for the All-Star game. LeBron James will meet them there. The rest of the team can rest on their laurels and get ready for a stretch run that hopefully concludes in June. The pieces might change a bit; the trade deadline approaches. The Cavs, though, are a very good team.
Your Cleveland Cavaliers 120, the Los Angeles Lakers 111.
Kevin Love left this game with what Tyronn Lue called a shoulder stinger. Everyone feared for the worst when he left, as it was the same left shoulder that he hurt in the playoffs last season. We will keep you updated, but he has some time to nurse his wounds and come back. Kyrie Irving is getting on track, so of course now it's Love's turn to face adversity again. Hopefully he's okay.
The Cavs won this game because Irving was dynamic offensively, LeBron James did a little bit of everything, and Tristan Thompson had perhaps his best game of the season. Thompson was everywhere defensively, guarding his usual assortment of bigs and then guards off switches. He was set up by Irving and Love and was incredibly valuable offensively tonight. The Lakers let him wander around, and he scored 15 points on six shots. He added 13 rebounds, four assists (!), and a block to go with zero turnovers. He was handing out dimes and it didn't make much sense, but it was great.
Of course, it's the Lakers.
Kyrie Irving looks healthy. He's incredible. The Cavs are pretty much unstoppable when he plays like this. 35 points on 24 shots, seven assists, one turnover. Goodness. Again, the Lakers.
In the meantime, LeBron James was insanely good. 29 points on 22 shots, and 11 assists to one turnover. He deferred to Kyrie for a lot of the night, but in a lot of ways, he's the point guard. The Cavs are going to score a ton of points when Irving and James are playing like this. They did last year, they have this season.
Defense was sporadic in this one, and D'Angelo Russell and Lou Williams and Jordan Clarkson all took turns hitting jump shots and forcing dumb fouls. At the end of the day, the game was never really in doubt. Still, you'd like to see the Cavs defense turn up the screws. Neither Anderson Varejao, Timofey Mozgov, nor Iman Shumpert were particularly effective tonight. If Kevin Love is healthy, that's okay on the part of the bigs. If Matthew Dellavedova is healthy, that's okay with Shumpert.
We will see. Stay here for all your All-Star Cavs coverage.