Joe G's Running Game Blog

April 2, 2014
by Joe Gabriele Managing Editor

FINAL - CLE 119, ORL 98 ... For the second straight game, the Cavaliers completely dominate from the opening tip, going wire-to-wire over Orlando for the Wine and Gold's fifth win in their last six games; Dion Waiters led both teams with 26 points and Tristan Thompson doubled-up with 20 points and 11 boards; Kyrie Irving returned to action without missing a beat -- finishing with 17 points on 7-for-8 shooting, adding a game-high eight assists; Spencer Hawes added 20 points, going 4-for-7 from beyond the arc and Jarrett Jack pitched in with 13 points of the bench.

2:36, 4Q - CLE 112, ORL 91 ... Cavs have this one locked up, second straight game going pretty much wire-to-wire; shooting 56 pct FG with five guys with at least 13 pts; Dion leads everyone w/26 pts, 10-15 FG, 3-3 3pt FG; Mike Brown empties bench -- Karasev gets a run, so does recently-signed Scotty Hopson; Cavs can do a little scoreboard-watching after wrapping this one up.

Game highlight Kyrie makes the steal and feeds ahead to Tristan ...

Steal, Dish and Jam

5:47, 4Q - CLE 105, ORL 84 ... Cavs continuing to dominate, guard rotation has been fantastic with Kyrie back; five Cavs now in double-figures, led by Waiters w/22; Hawes, 20 pts, 4-7 3pt FG; Tristan, 20 pts, game-high 11 boards; Jack, 11 pts, 4 asst off bench; Cavs have forced 15 turnovers, killing ORL in the paint and on the break. Luol Deng left the game with a sore lower back and his return is questionable.

Game highlight Kyrie cuts through the defense ...

Weaving Through Traffic

End 3Q - CLE 94, ORL 68 ... Coming off the thumping they put on Indiana, the Cavs are firing on all cylinders again tonight; three starters (Hawes, Thompson, Waiters) with 20 points apiece; Kyrie right behind, 6-7 FG, 15 pts, 6 asst; Cavs w/50 pts in the paint, shooting 55 pct FG, beating up ORL on the FG, 19-6; have led by as many as 27; just an overall beating by Cavs so far.

Game highlight Cavs big men working it out ...

Bigs Working Together

4:08, 3Q - CLE 82, ORL 65 ... Aflalo trey cuts CLE's lead to 17, but Cavs still in control; Waiters now 8 pts in 3Q, 18 on the night; Hawes leads everyone w/20 pts, to go with 6 reb, 5 asst; Tristan, 33rd double-double of the season, 14 pts, game-high 11 reb; Kyrie, 6-7 FG, 15 pts, 6 asst.

First half highlights ...

Cavaliers vs. Magic: First half

End 1H - CLE 70, ORL 47 ... Cavs cruising, season-high 70-point 1H; Magic not offering much resistance up the middle -- Cavs already with 38 points in the paint (ORL, 16); Cavs shooting 61 pct FG, 56 pct 3pt, 93 pct FT; four starters already in double-figures -- Hawes, 18 pts, 6-8 FG, 4-5 3pt FG, 5 asst; Tristan, 14 pts, 5-7 FG, game-high 7 reb; Kyrie, 5-6 FG, 13 pts, 5 asst; Waiters, 4-7 FG, 10 pts; Cavs also killing ORL on the FB -- 15-2; total domination by CLE so far.

2:48, 2Q - CLE 60, ORL 44 ... Cavs now shooting 59 pct FG; three starters in double-figures -- Thompson, 5-7 FG, 14 pts, 6 reb; Hawes, 5-7 FG, 13 pts, 5 asst, 3 reb; Kyrie, who I'd say is feeling good in his return, now 5-5 FG, 13 pts, 3 asst; Waiters, Deng, 8 pts apiece.

7:34, 2Q - CLE 47, ORL 39 ... Hawes having himself a game, 5-7 FG, 13 pts -- 10 in 2Q -- to go with 5 asst, 3 reb; Tristan 10 pts, 3-5 FG, 4 reb; Deng, 4-4 FG, 8 pts; Irving, Waiters, 6 pts apiece.

End 1Q - CLE 35, ORL 27 ... ball movement very good in 1Q, Hawes, 4 asst, Kyrie 3 asst in first game back after missing eight; Tristan, 10 pts, 3-5 FG, 4-4 FT, 4 reb; Deng 8 pts, 4-4 FG; Jack, 4 pts off bench; both teams shooting well -- ORL 55 pct FG, CLE, 52 pct.

4:48, 1Q - CLE 19, ORL 14 ... Dion picks up two quick PF, but otherwise the new-old starting backcourt looks good; Deng, 3-3 FG, 6 pts; Tristan, 2-4, 6 pts, 3 reb; Kyrie, 3 pts, 2 asst, 1 reb.

PREGAME ... Just in time for the stretch run, the Cavs get their two-time All-Star point guard back and Kyrie will start alongside Dion Waiters for the first time since November 13. Irving, who's missed eight games after injuring his left biceps against the Clippers on March 16, will not be on a minutes restriction tonight, nor will he scale back on his aggressiveness. "That's never going to change," said the East's top-scoring point guard in the pregame locker room.

Cavs come in having won six straight against Orlando -- their longest current win streak against any team. They're 3-0 against the Magic this season, including a wire-to-wire win over Orlando on February 19. The only time Cleveland has swept the season series was 1990-91.

Tristan Thompson will play in his 200th straight game tonight, the fourth-longest streak in the NBA. But more importantly, he's rediscovered his form after a mini-slump. On Sunday, Tristan notched his 32nd double-double of the season with 12 points and a game-high 16 boards. This year, the Cavaliers are 8-1 when TT grabs more than 14 boards. He's also been very good against Orlando. In the last two matchups with the Magic, the third-year forward is averaging 16.0 points on .500 (11-22) shooting and 12.0 boards per game.

Big night for the Cavs in Orlando, but they'll also be keeping an eye on Knicks-Nets at the Garden and Bulls-Hawks at Philips Arena.

Starting lineup for tonight: G Irving, G Waiters, F Deng, F Thompson, C Hawes