After a disappointing road trip, the Cavaliers returned to the shores of Lake Erie in time to see their Brownies tear apart the hated Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday night.
The Wine and Gold then took the floor against an undermanned Portland Blazers team and headed to the locker room at half time down 54 – 45. After LaMarcus Aldridge put in two quick buckets over JJ Hickson to open the third, Mike Brown turned to Anderson Varejao and Mr. Efficiency responded with 18 second half points to turn the game around. Shaquille O’Neal added 9 of his 14 points in the quarter before leaving the game with an apparent eye injury and the game was tied heading into the fourth.
With LeBron on the bench and the Wild Thing holding down the fort to start the final period, Cleveland took a page out of Rob Ryan’s playbook and sacked their opponents. Varejao went 6 of 7 in the period to pour in 12 of his season-high 22 points. They outscored Portland 28 – 23 in the period and picked up a 104 – 99 victory.
The King finished with 33 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists on the night and added an impressive punctuating block of Brandon Roy with 30 seconds to go. Mo Williams, who missed the morning shootaround with flu-like symptoms, tossed in a solid 14 point-10 assist performance while the defensive combination of Anthony Parker and Delonte West held Roy to a quiet 23 points on the evening.
Cleveland outscored the Trail Blazers 52 – 18 in the paint and 18 – 7 on fast breaks to pick up their sixteenth win of the season. They will be back in action in Oklahoma City on Sunday night to take on Kevin Durant and the OKC Thunder.