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The Cavaliers needed a victory badly on Tuesday night against Atlanta, and they got it in dramatic fashion. On Wednesday, they validated it with an equally satisfying blowout win over the Rockets.
After taking it on the chin from one Western Conference foe after another over the past couple weeks, the Wine & Gold finally got a taste of revenge – blowing past the vertically-challenged Rockets after intermission for the 112-96 win at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
The Cavs trailed by a deuce at half against the slumping Rockets – who came in having dropped their last eight – but turned it completely around over the final 24 minutes, shooting 68 percent from the floor, including 60 percent (9-of-15) from beyond the arc.
Every Cavalier starter tallied double-figures and Dylan Windler stayed red-hot off the bench.
Jarrett Allen tied his career-best scoring mark (that he set on Sunday night against OKC) – finishing with 26 points to lead both teams, going 10-of-11 from the floor and 5-of-8 from the stripe.
The fourth-year man from Texas – and the league’s field goal percentage leader – notched his sixth straight double-double, also leading both squads with 18 rebounds and season-high-tying five blocks.
Collin Sexton topped the 20-point mark for the seventh straight game, adding 23 points – 16 after intermission – on 9-for-19 shooting from the floor, including 3-of-8 from long-range.
Windler was scorching again – chipping in with 13 points off the bench, going a perfect 4-of-4 from long-range, adding four boards and a pair of assists.
Darius Garland finished with 11 points and struggled from the floor for most of the night – going 4-of-14, 3-of-10 from deep – but led both squads with 10 assists and a +19 mark in his 35 minutes of work.
The Cavaliers two starting forwards – Dean Wade and Isaac Okoro – put up efficient numbers in the win.
Wade, getting his second straight start, finished with a career-best 11 points, going 4-of-4 from the floor, including 2-of-2 from long-distance. Okoro was 4-of-6 from the floor, also drilling both triples he attempted, adding two boards and a block.
Overall, the Cavaliers shot 51 percent from the floor and drilled 16 three-pointers. Cleveland dominated the boards against a Rockets team that started P.J. Tucker at center – 55-33 – and outran Houston on the break, 21-2.
John Wall led the Rockets with 20 points, with Eric Gordon adding 17 off the bench.
Miss any of the action? Find all the highlights and photos in the Game Tracker.
Jarrett Allen gets the loose ball on the defensive end and runs the length of the floor, capping the fast break off with a strong one-handed dunk.
On Wednesday night, Darius Garland was a one-man turning point.
Garland’s turnover on one end turned into a Victor Oladipo three-pointer on the other – giving Houston a one-point lead. That seemed to fire up the sophomore guard, who proceeded to drill three straight bombs – the third from 30 feet – to give Cleveland a six-point edge.
The Rockets bounced back to tie the affair, but didn’t lead for the rest of the evening, with the Cavs ending the third on a 12-3 run to give them all the breathing room they’d need.
By the Numbers - 1.000 … Dylan Windler’s shooting percentage from three-point range over the last two games – going 9-for-9 from beyond the arc against Atlanta and Houston.
The rookie from Belmont came into the week shooting .304 from deep; he heads into this weekend at .418.
"I’ve been kind of forced to watch (ABA) – with the nickname, the hair, the “J” as my nickname. So, I’ve kind of seen what he was able to do. Was it like that? Yeah, I guess so. We both have the afro, we were both soaring through the air, so it’s close!"
Enjoy the best broadcast calls of the night from Cavaliers Radio Network's Tim Alcorn and Rafa Hernandez-Brito from Power 89.1.
After dropping the Rockets on Wednesday night, the Cavaliers have just one more home contest remaining in the first half – one week from Wednesday when they welcome the Pacers to town before the All-Star Break.
In between now and then, the Cavaliers hit the road this weekend – traveling to Philly for a Saturday night showdown against Joel Embiid and the East-leading Sixers before heading to Houston for a rematch with the Rockets on Monday.
The Cavs start the second half with three straight on the road – beginning with a trip to the Big Easy on March 12.