Kevin Love snapped the world out of its Thanksgiving reverie by scoring 34 points with eight 3-pointers in the first quarter of Wednesday's 137-125 win at home over the Portland Trail Blazers Wednesday night.
Cleveland, which made its first nine 3-pointers, led 46-31 after one quarter and scored 81 points in the first half, two short of the franchise record.
"To hit shots like that in the first quarter - never seen it". "And it was on from there".
LeBron James recorded his 44th career triple-double with 31 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists, but thought Love owned the night.
The Cavaliers hit 21 of 36 three-pointers, stretching their own National Basketball Association record to 13 consecutive games to open the season with at least 10 made three-pointers. "I can print out the second through fourth quarters instead if you want", the staffer joked, poking fun at what was a rather dreary six points on 1 of 6 shooting for Love after the first quarter. "But we're going to have to make it better".
"So many guys close out to me so hard, but having my size, I'm able to get the ball off quick if I just catch and shoot", Love said. "That was lightning. We just kept giving him the ball and he kept knocking them down". He made his first seven shots of the game, and he finished the quarter 11-for-14 from the field and 8-for-10 from beyond the arc. He is continuing to get touches at the elbow and in the post, which opens up his whole game and allows his 3-point attempts come naturally through the flow of the offense. "I've been catching them in rhythm and shooting."While watching film with assistant coach Phil Handy, Love noticed that he was pump-faking too much to try to get into the lane or to the free-throw line. Stay even keel. Whatever you're thinking about right there, just stay there, because we're going to keep coming to you".
For the Trail Blazers, Damian Lillard led the way with 40 points and 11 assists.
LeBron James and the Cavs (12-2) can now board that plane for Columbus and Saturday's Ohio State-Michigan game in peace.
Kawhi Leonard filled the stat sheet with 30 points, five rebounds and four assists to help the San Antonio Spurs defeat the Charlotte Hornets 119-114 on the road.
Kyrie Irving added 18 for Cleveland, hitting three of the Cavaliers' franchise record 20 triples. Despite only scoring nine points, Love is remembered most in this final game for his 14 rebounds and for a one-on-one defensive stop on Steph Curry when the Warriors had a chance to tie the game with less than one minute remaining. That went along with 12 turnovers, but think of it this way: Harden had one 15-assist game all of last season.
Suns 92, Magic 87: Alex Len had 17 points and 12 rebounds, and Eric Bledsoe added 16 points to lead Phoenix past Orlando.