Cavs Throttle Bobcats at The Q
Wrap-Up – Coach Byron Scott spoke all week about his young team playing with the edge that comes with the fear of losing. The Cavs must have been scared to death on Wednesday night, as they jumped on the road-weary Bobcats from the opening tip and never let up – at one point extending their lead to 33 points before coasting home with the 122-95 win at The Q.
The Cavaliers got big efforts from a trio of starters, who did all their damage in just three quarters of ball. Kyrie Irving led both teams with 22 points – going 5-of-5 from three-point range and 8-from-12 overall. Rookie Dion Waiters followed up with 19 points on 9-for-14 shooting. And Tristan Thompson chipped in with 17 points and nine boards. Marreese Speights doubled-up with 11 points and 10 boards and has now notched double-figures in all six games as a Cavalier since coming over in January 25th deal with Memphis.
The Wine and Gold shot 57 percent from the floor on the night, beat up Charlotte in the paint (50-30), and committed just six turnovers as a team. Cleveland featured nine players with at least two assists apiece.
Turning Point – Three-pointers by C.J. Miles and Wayne Ellington early in the second quarter gave the Cavs some separation, but Tristan Thompson blew the game open – going on a personal 7-0 run to put the Wine and Gold ahead, 50-29. Thompson’s layup before halftime put Cleveland ahead by 28 and they never looked back.
Game Ball – Tristan Thompson – Although this could have gone to any number of Cavaliers, Thompson continued his strong blue-collar work in the post on Wednesday night, going 7-of-8 from the floor and adding three assists and a game-high three blocked shots to his nine-rebound effort. And he did it all in just over 24 minutes of play.
By the Numbers – 5-1 … Cleveland’s record against the Eastern Conference since January 8. They’re now 5-2 versus the Southeast Division on the season and, since the calendar turned to 2013, the rapidly-improving Cavaliers have gone 8-9.
Quotable – Tristan Thompson, on the team’s mindset going into Wednesday’s matchup …
“We wanted to show growth. Coach Scott challenged us. We had a big win against Oklahoma City and he told us simply that if we don’t win tonight, we could scratch that win against Oklahoma City. We wanted to come out and really lay the hammer down.”
Up Next – The Cavaliers are home through the All-Star Break and, after starting the seven-game homestand 2-0, welcome the Orlando Magic to town on Friday. The following night, the high-scoring Nuggets roll in. On Monday night, it’s Ricky Rubio and the Minnesota Timberwolves and on Wednesday, the Cavaliers complete the unofficial first half of the season – welcoming the Spurs to Cleveland in the final game before All-Star Weekend.