The Cavs didn’t waste any time building a lead. They opened the game on a 10–2 run and spent most of the first quarter up double-digits. Isaac Okoro, who played perhaps his best game of the season, scored 11 of his season-high 20 points in the opening frame.
Then the second quarter happened, and the Cavs did some unholy things. The official box score suggests they only outscored the Kings by 16, but it felt more like 16 million. They seemed to find a perfect division of labor: Cedi Osman and Ricky Rubio carried the offense with 23 of the Cavs’ 45(!!!) in the quarter; Jarrett Allen and Isaac Okoro held down the defense and kickstarted fastbreaks off blocks and deflections; Darius Garland threw up a lob on every trip down on his way to a new career-high 13 assists.
And then it got uglier. For the last three minutes of the first half, it looked like the Kings had been replaced by the little kids who scrimmaged on the court at halftime.
interrupted by only a De’Aaron jumper. a timeout, and an OB, here is quite-possibly the biggest beatdown sequence of the NBA season by the Cavs.— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) December 12, 2021
holy hell that was a rush. https://t.co/vxLURcRCLk pic.twitter.com/OjXX1tfk8T
Cavs, if you’re reading this, either send this film to the Basketball Hall of Fame, or burn it as evidence of murder.
The second half…well, whatever evil the Cavs unleashed must’ve depleted their lifeforce. Sacramento went on an extended 20–2 run between the third and fourth periods, and those two Cavs points were their only fourth-quarter points until almost the five-minute mark.
Lucky for Cleveland, Ricky Rubio…yeah, Ricky Rubio. With the Kings within seven late, Rubio nailed a three, followed up with a strip leading to a foul, then drained another three to notarize the win.
The Cavs are dispensing beatdowns left and right, and it is a blast. This game makes you wonder about the short rotation, but the ‘go up by 30 early’ strategy seems like a solid counter.
Up next: The Miami Heat come to Cleveland on Monday, and they’ll be looking to avenge another beatdown the Cavs gave out last week. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.