Cavs defeat Thunder despite injury and Westbrook’s triple-double.
The Cleveland Cavaliers took down the Oklahoma City Thunder Sunday night in the Q with a final score of 107-91. Although getting a slow start, the ball movement looked much improved. The team seemed to be making much smarter shots with beautifully intricate passes and quick looks that continued throughout the game. The famous and effective Tristan Thompson pick and roll returned with Kyrie Irving taking former Cavalier Matthew Dellavedova’s role in the play. Cleveland’s lead was lost in the second quarter when they attempted to go for a shooting approach but after Kevin Love left the game with lower back spasms, Head Coach Ty Lue regrouped and went back to attacking the basket and getting more points in the paint. A worrying realization was the ongoing struggle the Cavs are having at making free throws, but fundamental soundness rang throughout the rest of the game.
Thunder’s Russell Westbrook managed to sneak in a triple-double in the last two minutes of play with 20 points, 12 rebounds, and ten assists. Before the game Coach Lue strategized for a two man effort when it came to defending Westbrook and all things considered, the fact that he didn’t land a triple-double until the last minute is a testament to the effectiveness of Lue.
Leading the Cavs in scoring were Lebron James who flirted with a triple-double of his own, with 25 points, 14 rebounds, and eight assists- just two assists shy. Kyrie Irving lead scoring with 29 points and ten assists, and Tristan Thompson had a double-double of his own with a season high 19 points and 12 rebounds. Cleveland also looked better on the turnover front, only letting up ten to OKC’s 16.
The Cavs have had a struggle the past several games with Lebron even publicly stating the need for recruitment to take the load off, so this win was crucial for morale. Only time will tell if the Cavaliers make moves to acquire a backup point guard or a big man, so in the meantime it seems that Lebron will continue his high number of minutes in the game as Cleveland looks to turn their losing streak into a winning one.