Thunder Roll Cavaliers in Saturday Matinee

LeBron Denied Historic Mark in OKC's Wire-to-Wire Win Over Struggling Cavs
Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images

Wrap-Up -- Quicken Loans Arena was geared up a for a good one on Saturday afternoon – with LeBron James on the cusp of making history and the star-studded Thunder in town.

But the Thunder took the crowd – (and eventually the Cavs) – out of it early, running out to a 19-point edge after one quarter and never looking back, handing the Wine & Gold the lopsided 148-124 loss at The Q.

History was eventually made, but it wasn’t the kind Cleveland was hoping for as the Cavaliers allowed a franchise-tying 148 points to Oklahoma City, matching a mark that stood since 1972 – the franchise’s second year of existence.

Making matters worse, the historic event fans did come to see – LeBron James reaching the 30,000-point plateau – never happened, as James watched the final six minutes of Saturday’s affair from the bench, still seven points shy of his landmark moment.

The loss was Cleveland’s ninth in its last 12 outings – with six of those losses coming by double-digits and three of the last five by more than 20 points apiece.

On Saturday afternoon, the Thunder shot 58 percent as a team, canning 14 triples and handing out 37 assists. Paul George led everyone with 36 points while Carmelo Anthony (29 points, 10 boards) and Steven Adams (25, 10) and the reigning MVP Russell Westbrook (23 points, 20 assists) each doubled-up in the victory.

Making the one-sided loss even tougher to swallow was the fact that Cleveland played well offensively – shooting 52 percent from the field and handing out 32 helpers of their own. Their defense was another story – allowing OKC at least 33 points in all four quarters.

Isaiah Thomas tallied a season-high 24 points to lead the Cavs – going 8-for-14 from the floor, including 4-of-8 from long-distance, adding four assists in the loss.

LeBron needed 25 points to become just the seventh player in NBA history (and the youngest) to reach the 30,000 points, but he’ll have to settle for being three days older when he tops that mark on Tuesday night in San Antonio. On Saturday afternoon, James finished with 18 points on 8-for-17 shooting, adding a team-high seven assists, three boards and a blocked shot.

Jae Crowder chipped in with 17 points, going 7-for-12 from the floor, adding four boards and four assists.

LeBron James


Balanced scoring wasn't enough as the Wine & Gold fell to the Thunder.

Cleveland’s second unit combined for 57 points – with Jeff Green and Derrick Rose notching a dozen points apiece and Dwayne adding 11 points on 4-for-5 shooting.

Tristan Thompson led the Cavaliers with seven boards to go with nine points – taking over in the middle after Kevin Love came under the weather and left the game in the first quarter.

Turning Point -- The Cavaliers never led on Saturday and were down double-digits by the halfway point of the first quarter – so a turning point never fully materialized in the 24-point loss.

About the only point in the game in which Cleveland mounted a serious threat came late in the third quarter, with the Cavaliers cutting OKC’s 20-point edge to 12 – using a 10-2 run to get back in the ballgame.

But the Thunder answered right back – with Paul George and Russell Westbrook draining triples to keep the Cavs at bay. And when Raymond Felton drilled a three-pointer in the closing seconds of the quarter, OKC had reestablished their 20-point advantage heading into the final period.

By the Numbers29 … games so far this season that the Cavaliers’ second unit – which ranks 5th in the NBA at 40.7 ppg – has combined for at least 40 points, including Saturday’s 57-point collective at The Q.

QuotableIsaiah Thomas, with an honest assessment of Saturday’s defeat at The Q …

"It’s embarrassing. It’s not acceptable. We can only go up from here – that’s the only positive about that. But we’ve got to really look in the mirror, look at ourselves and get some pride. That was embarrassing."

Up Next -- After wrapping up their three-game homestand with Saturday afternoon’s blowout at The Q, the Wine & Gold hit the road for a tough test on Tuesday, traveling to San Antonio to take on the Spurs. The Cavs then close out the month of January with three of their final four in Cleveland – welcoming the Pacers to town on Friday night and the Pistons the following Sunday evening. The Cavs then travel to Detroit to face the Pistons next Tuesday before wrapping up the month the following night against Miami at The Q.

Calls of the Game

Gloria James on LBJ 30K

LeBron James' mother, Gloria James, reflects on her son's impending accomplishment of reaching the 30,000 point plateau (courtesy of FOX Sports Ohio).

Cavs vs. Thunder - January 20, 2018

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Gloria James on LBJ 30K

LeBron James' mother, Gloria James, reflects on her son's impending accomplishment of reaching the 30,000 point plateau (courtesy of FOX Sports Ohio).
Jan 21, 2018  |  00:46

#CavsThunder Postgame: Isaiah Thomas - January 20, 2018

Cavaliers guard Isaiah Thomas spoke with the media following Saturday's loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder at Quicken Loans Arena.
Jan 20, 2018  |  03:56

#CavsThunder Postgame: Dwyane Wade - January 20, 2018

Cavaliers guard Dwyane Wade spoke with the media following Saturday's loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder at Quicken Loans Arena.
Jan 20, 2018  |  06:15

#CavsThunder Postgame: Coach Lue - January 20, 2018

Cavaliers Head Coach Tyronn Lue spoke with the media following Saturday's loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder at Quicken Loans Arena.
Jan 20, 2018  |  07:28

#CavsThunder Postgame: LeBron James - January 20, 2018

Cavaliers forward LeBron James spoke with the media following Saturday's loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder at Quicken Loans Arena.
Jan 20, 2018  |  06:19

GAME RECAP: Thunder 148, Cavaliers 124

Paul George goes off for 36 points and seven rebounds as the Thunder defeat the Cavaliers 148-124.
Jan 20, 2018  |  02:17

I.T. with the Tough Finish

Isaiah Thomas weaves his way inside and comes up with the tough finish.
Jan 20, 2018  |  00:15

Featured Highlight: DWade Lobs LBJ

Dwyane Wade gets the steal and goes down the other end to feed LeBron James for the monster alley-oop finish.
Jan 20, 2018  |  00:10

DWade with the Tough And-One

Dwyane Wade throws up the shot in transition and gets it to fall, plus the foul.
Jan 20, 2018  |  00:10

LBJ Hustles Over for the Block

LeBron James provides great help-side defense and comes up with the block.
Jan 20, 2018  |  00:10

DRose with the Fastbreak Finish

The Wine & Gold get loose on the break as LeBron James throws the nice bounce pass to Derrick Rose for the fancy reverse finish.
Jan 20, 2018  |  00:09

Jeff Green with the Hoop and the Harm

Jeff Green takes it strong into the paint and gets the bucket to fall, plus the foul, in this Goodyear 'More Driven' highlight.
Jan 20, 2018  |  00:24

Highlight in freeD: DWade with the Jumper

Experience freeD with this highlight of Dwyane Wade shaking the defense for the jumper.
Jan 20, 2018  |  00:11

LBJ Lobs Tristan

LeBron James finds Tristan Thompson on the pretty high-handoff.
Jan 20, 2018  |  00:09

Highlight in freeD: Crowder And-One

Experience freeD with this highlight of Isaiah Thomas finding Jae Crowder for the layup, plus one.
Jan 20, 2018  |  00:14

#CavsThunder Practice: Derrick Rose - January 19, 2018

Cavaliers guard Derrick Rose spoke with the media following Friday's practice at Cleveland Clinic Courts.
Jan 19, 2018  |  05:35

#CavsThunder Practice: Dwyane Wade - January 19, 2018

Cavaliers guard Dwyane Wade spoke with the media following Friday's practice at Cleveland Clinic Courts.
Jan 19, 2018  |  10:18

#CavsThunder Practice: Coach Lue - January 19, 2018

Cavaliers Head Coach Tyronn Lue spoke with the media following Friday's practice at Cleveland Clinic Courts.
Jan 19, 2018  |  10:06

Marquee Matchups Against the West's Best

The West is coming! Join the Wine & Gold as they host some of the Western Conference's top contenders for two marquee matchups at The Q. Great seats are still available, so act NOW!
Jan 18, 2018  |  00:30