The Cavaliers took the floor on Thursday night and looked plain sloppy on both ends of the floor in the first 24 minutes. Boston (Rajon Rondo) was getting wherever they wanted to go and, as a result, the Cavaliers saw the Celtics surge out to a 13 point lead early in the second quarter. The Wine and Gold cut into the lead a tad before the half was over and headed into the locker room trailing 56-48.
Mike Brown was visibly upset with his team’s defense. And rightfully so.
The Cavaliers came storming out of the locker room in the second half and looked like a completely different team. Knocking down jumpshots. Battling for every rebound. And most importantly, playing lock down defense.
Cleveland played real Cavaliers basketball and sank the C’s 60-32 in the second half of play. LeBron James put up royal numbers again going for 36 points, 9 assists and 7 rebounds. Mo Williams regained his swag in the fourth quarter and tossed in 14 of his 19 points in the period. Mo canned 5 of 9 three point attempts. Anderson Varejao gave Cleveland some very good minutes tossing in 16 points on 6 of 7 from the field to go along with 10 rebounds. And Leon Powe say his first 3:50 of action this season putting up 4 points and snagging 2 rebounds in the win.
Shaquille O’Neal went down early in the second quarter with a sprained thumb and never returned to the floor. But JJ Hickson stepped right back into the action and gave Cleveland 22:45 of effort going for 8 points and 3 rebounds. Hickson was tied with Delonte West for a team-best +27 efficiency rating. West also poured in 7 points on top of 8 rebound and 5 assists while playing excellent defense on Rondo later in the game.
Overall, it was a very impressive victory for our Cavaliers. Excellent performance in the second half and, when they play like that, they’re real real tough to top. I’m anxious to see whether or not they can keep it up on Friday night against the Toronto Raptors.