Latest posts by Sam Amico (see all)
- Amico: J.R. leaves Cavaliers with lots of good to remember - July 16, 2019
- Cavaliers express interest in former lottery pick Bender - July 15, 2019
- Smith waived by Cavaliers; not likely headed to Lakers - July 15, 2019
CLEVELAND — This was the kind of night the Cavaliers have wanted for quite some time.
They got hot, stayed hot and got even hotter.
They built a big lead — and slammed their foot on the gas.
They’re playing some of their best basketball of the season at the season’s most important time.
And man, more than anything, these Cavaliers are having some serious fun.
So make it Cavs 123, Hawks 98 in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference semifinal Wednesday at Quicken Loans Arena. The Cavs lead, 2-0.
And this truly was little more than 48 minutes of garbage time, with the Cavs burying an NBA record 25 3-pointers and building a 41-point lead.
That’s an NBA record for threes in any game — ever. That’s a blowout win and a major punch in the gut.
The Cavs also led by 36 at halftime. Last time someone did that in the playoffs? Try 1987.
LeBron James scored 27, including 4-of-6 on threes.
J.R. Smith was even more unreal, with 23 points – and 7-of-13 on threes.
“When he’s making shots like that, it’s contagious,” Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said of Smith.
It sure was.
Kyrie Irving went for 19 points and (you guessed it) went 4-of-5 on threes.
Or how about Kevin Love? He finished with 11 points on another tough shooting night, finishing 3-of-12 from the field. But on threes? Not surprisingly, Love went 3-of-4.
Granted, these are just the Hawks, and they’ve never matched up well with LeBron and the Cavs.
But that’s beside the point.
Perhaps better than the actual win was the Cavs’ approach. At one point, they were leading by 36 points – and continued to hustle as if things were still up for grabs.
“Aside from all the threes, I thought our defense was great,” Lue said. “The biggest thing for us was defense.”
Lue added “it’s fun to play that way,” and basketball-loving fans everywhere would agree.
These Cavs are hitting their stride, really hitting their threes and beginning to look like the team they believe they can be.