Cavs Go Wire-to-Wire Over Lakers
Wrap-Up – With a healthy Kryie Irving, the re-energized Cavaliers jumped on the struggling Lakers – taking a 15-point lead into intermission and holding off Kobe Bryant’s barrage down the stretch to snap their five-game skein with a 100-94 on Tuesday night at The Q.
Irving and C.J. Miles – in his first start of the season – notched 28 points apiece, with Kryie leading both clubs with 11 assists. Anderson Varejao added 20 points and nine boards and Alonzo Gee finished with 17 points while trying to contain the Black Mamba. Tristan Thompson led Cleveland with 10 boards.
Turning Point – Despite running their lead to 16 early in the third quarter, the Cavs knew – with Kobe lurking – that the Lakers would make their push. Bryant did exactly that, leading L.A. on an 8-0 run that cut Cleveland’s 15-point lead to just seven – 57-50. But Alonzo Gee canned a three-pointer from the corner and Tyler Zeller hit a short jumper to push the lead back to a dozen. There were more dramatic points in Tuesday’s win, but that stretch showed that the Cavs would bend but not break.
Game Ball – C.J. Miles – Miles’ first season in Cleveland hasn’t been easy. But heading into Tuesday, Miles had notched double-figures in three straight games. And against the Lakers, he took the lid off – scoring a season-high 28 points, going 10-of-18 from the field, including 5-for-10 from long-distance. He added five boards, a steal and a blocked shot.
By the Numbers – .800 … Cavaliers’ winning percentage against the Lakers at Quicken Loans Arena since 2002-03. It’s their fourth-best home record against a team in that span – behind their mark vs. the Clippers (10-0), Bobcats (13-1) and Knicks (15-3).
Quotable – Coach Byron Scott, describing his young point guard, Kyrie Irving …
“He just loves to play basketball. He loves the competition. He likes being put in the position of having to deliver.”
Seen and Heard – Although not a huge Browns contingent made the game, spotted in the crowd were safety T.J. Ward and running back Trent Richardson. But one of the most entertaining sights of the evening came pregame, when Moondog and Dwight Howard squared off as they routinely do. Not as adversarial as Indy’s David West, Howard still likes to tangle with the Cavs mascot every time he comes to Cleveland.
Up Next – The Wine and Gold try to make it two straight as they play the second half of another back-to-back in Indianapolis against the Pacers on Wednesday. After an off-day on Thursday, it’s the third straight back-to-back this weekend – against the Bucks on Friday night at The Q and versus the Knicks on Saturday in the Big Apple.