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Cavs Cavs Archive Cavs Dominate World Champs
Written by Rich Swerbinsky

Rich Swerbinsky

Team Now 15-3 at Home Against Teams With Winning Records

In well over twenty years of watching Cavaliers basketball, I don’t know if there's ever been a more perplexing version of this team.  It’s unfathomable to think that the same team that got handled at home against a bad Warrior team missing two of their best three players was the same team I watched dismantle the World Champs last night.

The Warriors had not won a road game in 2006, yet dominated the Cavaliers Saturday night.  The Spurs were 40-10, and on a nine game winning streak that included eight consecutive road wins.  The Cavs fell to Golden State 99-91, then came back and dumped the Spurs 101-87 last night.

Last night was one of the best performances of the year for the Cavaliers, highlighted by a superhuman performance from LeBron James.  James scored 44 points on 19-33 shooting; getting most of those points on impressive and unstoppable drives to the bucket against one the league’s top defensive teams.   James also defended Spurs All-Star Tony Parker almost the entire night.  Parker ended with just 4 points and 4 assists, and 7 turnovers.

The game was tight throughout until a big third quarter Cavs run, spearheaded by King James.  James went for 18 of his 44 in the third quarter.  James got help down low all evening from Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Drew Gooden, who both double-doubled.  Z ended with 17 points and 11 rebounds, and Gooden finished with 10 and 10.  Z also did a very good job on Tim Duncan, who was reduced to tough shots all evening, and scored only 3 points in the second half.

The Cavs also got a solid contribution from recent acquisition Stephen Graham, who is seizing an opportunity that presented itself in the wake of injuries to Larry Hughes, Ira Newble, and Luke Jackson.  Graham played 26 incredibly active minutes, scoring 8 points and grabbing 5 rebounds, showing a willingness to crash the basket.

The Cavs played a very smart, fundamentally sound of basketball throughout.  They committed a season low 5 turnovers, and grabbed 18 offensive rebounds.  They attempted a season low 10 shots from three point range, making the extra passes all night, and creating high percentage scoring opportunities.  The Spurs actually shot the ball well, making 51% of their attempts, yet the Cavs controlled the game and pace much of the night.

The win moves the Cavs to 30-21 on the season, which is the exact same record they had through 51 games last season.  They stumbled to the finish line a year ago, going 12-19 down the stretch amid an ownership and coaching change.  The Cavs play at Boston Wednesday night in their final contest before the All-Star break.

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