The Cavaliers Extend Their Win Streak to 3 games, as the Young Core Puts on a Show Against the Hawks.

The Cleveland Cavaliers played the Atlanta Hawks tonight, Dec. 23rd, looking to extend their win streak to three games and sweep their home stand. The major story lines coming into the game was if the Cavs could hinder the play of Atlanta’s star PG, Trae Young and the return of John Collins. Before the game even started, the Cavs took a hit to their bench as it was reported that the Utah Jazz agreed to a trade, exchanging Dante Exum for Jordan Clarkson.

It was a back and fourth start to the game as the Cavs came out swinging, runing the offense through their All-Star Kevin Love. Love drilling a few jumpshots, and Matt Dellavedova facilitating good offense from the bench helped the Cavs raise the lead to 11 points late in the 1st quarter. The second unit seemed not to miss a beat early even with missing Jordan Clarkson, yet defensive struggles hindered them from pulling away big

The Hawks made quick adjustments in the start of the 2nd quarter, cutting their deficit down to single digits. The Cavs scoring did not catch up as fast in the first quarter, and Atlanta took advantage cutting the lead down to 2 and continued to put pressure on the Wine and Gold. However, Love and Sexton kept the pace up and made sure that the lead never disappeared fully. Collin, Kevin and Cedi Osman finished the first half in double figures for scoring, with no Cavs’ starter having a negative plus/minus. The Cavaliers finished the half strong, 71-64

The second half started similarly to the 2nd quarter, as the Hawks came out faced paced, and the Cavs not wanting to catch up, once again trimming the lead and eventually taking the lead around the 8:30 mark in the 3rd quarter. The Cavs kept it within striking distance, as Vince Carter made his presence felt in the game, making a 3 pointer and swatting a Kevin Love jump shot to the crowds delight. As the 3rd quarter wound down, the Hawks drove up to a 4 point lead. But Matt Dellavedova and John Henson continued to make their presence felt on defense causing turnovers. The game was tied heading into the 4th Quarter at 94 a piece.

Kevin Porter Jr. led the charge early for Cleveland in the 4th, drilling a step-back 3 and causing a turnover. The young core for Cleveland continued to lead the team to pull away with the lead, with big buckets from Darius Garland and Kevin Porter Jr. The Hawks looked like they were starting to run out of gas as time rolled on and the window began to close. Garland and Porter kept the pressure up on offense, while Tristan Thompson and Brandon Knight caused disarray on the defensive end, growing the lead back to double digits. Kevin and Darius had scored every point for the Cavaliers in the 4th quarter until the 5 minute mark, combining for 18 points from the rookie duo. The Cavs didn’t let up on the gas, and continued to lead until the end of the game. Kevin Porter Jr. finishes with 15 points, Darius Garland with 21, and Colin Sexton led the team with 25.

Final Score: Cavaliers 121, the Hawks 118

Z88 Sports Embraces the Madness!

The WZIP Sports team has decided to have a competition as March Madness has officially begun! The brackets have come out and so have the competitive spirits. But the Sports team has decided to add a little edge to their bracket pool. The winner will not only get bragging rights around the studio, but also a sports jersey of their choice! Now, lets breakdown all of the team’s Final Fours and winner:

Kyle Molinelli- Duke, Gonzaga, Cincinnati, and North Carolina. Winner: Duke

Deontae Shahid- LSU, Gonzaga, Virginia, North Carolina. Winner: North Carolina

Justin Miller- Duke, Gonzaga, Tennessee, North Carolina . Winner: North Carolina

Neil Hassan: Duke, Michigan, Villanova, North Carolina. Winner: Duke

Anthony Barnes: Duke, Gonzaga, Virginia, North Carolina. Winner: Gonzaga

Jack Riedinger: Michigan ST, Florida ST, Wisconsin, North Carolina. Winner: Michigan

Zach Bush: Duke, Marquette, Tennessee, North Carolina. Winner: Duke

Jeff Longville: Duke, Gonzaga, Tennessee, Kentucky. Winner: Duke

John Alfieri: Duke, Syracuse, Virginia, North Carolina. Winner: Duke

Jeanette Spencer: Duke, Gonzaga, Tennessee, North Carolina. Winner: Duke

Tyler Lane: Duke, Gonzaga, Tennessee, North Carolina. Winner: Duke

Darnell Crider: Duke, Michigan, Tennessee, North Carolina. Winner: Duke

Keep in touch with us on our Twitter, @SportsPowerTalk, for live updates of our competition, as well as live on Sports Power Talk, every Sunday 11-12:30. And of course we wanna hear who you are cheering for. Let us know!

Heat Snuff Out Cavalier Comeback as Dwyane Wade’s Retirement Tour Rolls Through The Land

The Cavaliers’ struggles continued tonight as they lost their sixth straight game. This time, facing the Miami Heat in what will be Dwyane Wade’s last visit in Cleveland. Coming off their loss on Wednesday against Boston,  the Cavs looked to spark some momentum off Cedi Osman’s best game yet as a pro, putting up a stat line of 25-8-2, and shooting 6-7 from 3 point land. For a while it looked like they had.

The game was back and forth, and neither team could gain consistent momentum heading into halftime. The Cavs pulled out a little lead at the end of the second quarter, but it was not to be maintained.

Even with forward Larry Nance JR. back in the rotation, Cleveland had no answer to stop the Heat’s bigs. Miami started to pull away, growing their lead to as much as 18 points, led by Hassan Whiteside and Justice Winslow. Sloppy ball movement and stagnant offense has plagued the Wine and Gold this season, and it seems to what cost them this game early, until two threes made by Colin Sexton and Alec Burks sparked a 13-1 run for the Cavaliers.

The Cavs made it close, but the just could not finish them off. Which seems to be a running theme for this team. The Heat took the win 100-94.

Cedi Osman completed another career high going 29-4-4, Sexton and Burks both contributed 13, and the big man Ante Zizic almost had a double-double dropping 11 points and 9 rebounds. For Miami, they were led by Justice Winslow going 27-7-2. Followed by Hassan Whiteside contributing a double-double having 14 points and 13 rebounds. As for Dwyane Wade’s last ride in the Q, he made it a good one, going 13-6-3, capped off by trading jerseys post-game with Colin Sexton.

Following the loss, head coach Larry Drew was asked about Cedi Osman’s  progress, and what is the team’ next step to finishing out these close games. This is what he had to say:

Video courtesy of Cavs.com

 

The Cavaliers will be back on the court Sunday against the Bulls at 3:30 as they look to earn their 10th win on the year.