An explosive second quarter by the Cavaliers tonight was just enough for them to get a victory tonight, over the Denver Nuggets 117-109. After scoring 42 points in the quarter, and 66 total in the first half, the Cavs entered into the final two periods with momentum on their side. I held my breath though, considering the fact that in 24 minutes of basketball anything could happen. In the third quarter, the Cavs looked slightly lethargic. A handful of sloppy plays made me begin to wonder if the Wine and Gold would let their offensive clinic put on in the first half go to waste. In the fourth, the Cavs and Nuggets traded baskets. Denver was persistent in their comeback efforts, as three times they made it a one-possession game. A pair of Wilson Chandler triples with less than two minutes to play really had Cavs fans on the edge of their seats. However, an offensive explosion in the first half, specifically the second quarter, was enough to carry the Wine and Gold to victory.
KEY PLAY TO THE GAME
With the scoreboard reading 111-108 and the game clock making its way to less than one minute left in the game, we finally found ourselves the key play to tonight’s game. There were plenty of possibilities within the first 24 minutes of basketball, but to me, the play that really stood out game in crunch time. The Cavs lead by three and were trying to score in order to make it a two-possession game. Anderson Varejeo had the ball near the top of the key. With the game clock flashing 50 seconds, he pump faked then went up for a 15 foot jumper. The shot connected with the back of the iron and then sprung outward. Andy tipped the long rebound and it looked as if he was about to make one of his signature offensive rebounds but he could not fully gain possession of the ball. As the rock rolled on the hardwood, just pass the free throw line, Tristan Thompson emerged onto the television screen. He dove, completely sacrificing his body, and was able to tip the ball away from two Nugget players, into the arms of Kyrie Irving. Irving, shocked the ball made its way into his hands, was able to dump the ball down low to Luol Deng. Deng was all alone and easily slammed the ball home. His dunk extended the Cavs lead to two possessions but it was how the ball remained in the hands of a Wine and Gold player that was most impressive.
Wine and Gold MVP
Call it the night of Tristan Thompson if you want. I awarded him the play of the game due to his hustle and now I crown him tonight’s MYP. Kyrie led the team with 23 points tonight, but Tristan was far more valuable tonight. He chalked up 20 points, corralled 10 rebounds and swatted two shots. This all to go along with a +/- of +8 and oh yeah, he went 8-9 from the field too. He was incredibly efficient tonight overall, just looked solid. He had a few really nice plays in the offensive post as well as two nice mid range jump shots in the first quarter. I really enjoyed watching Thompson tonight and I will probably continue to applaud him for his late, possibly game saving hustle play with 50 seconds left tonight, for about a week. He was huge in capping the Cavs west coast trip off right.
Best quarter I’ve seen all year from the #Cavs
— Dustin Fox (@DustinFox37) January 18, 2014
68pts are most #Cavs have scored in any half this season
— Jason Lloyd (@JasonLloydABJ) January 18, 2014
That Varejao pass to the cutting Deng was beautiful.
— Chris Manning (@cwmwrites) January 18, 2014
Gary Payton: “I picked them (#Cavs) to go the playoffs earlier in the year, and I still pick them to go to the playoffs.”
— Cavs Basketball 365 (@Cavs365) January 18, 2014
The Cavs will be back at The Q taking on the Dallas Mavericks, after a five game West coast trip. The Mavs currently are in eighth place in the Western Conference. Tip-off will be January 20th, which is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, at 1:00 P.M.