Post-mortem: Cavs 102, Thunder 89
The good: Mo Williams' borderline miraculous three-point shot from 48 minutes with five seconds left on the 24 second clock. It wasn't the shot itself - as good as it was - but its effect on the game that makes the big difference. After Williams connected on it, the Thunder played like someone had busted their ball. They missed the next seven shots after that as it helped the Cavaliers continue a 17-3 run that eventually put the game out of reach.
The better: LeBron James' 44 points, six rebounds and seven assists. Even as I write about it, it's almost an afterthought because he does stuff like this so often. It was a dominating performance adn he single handedly kept the Cavaliers in the game until Mo Williams showed up to give him a hand in the second half. In a one-minute stretch toward the end of the third quarter, James hit three consecutive three-point shots to help give the Cavs the lead at 78-76, but some momentum that Williams' shot only added to.
The best: The Cavs continue to play clamp down defense at the most important time of the game. Williams' shot not only gave them a boost offensively, but it spurred them on defensively. The Thunder shot just 30 percent in the fourth quarter.
Game: Cavs (16-7) at Oklahoma City Thunder (12-9)
TV: FSOhio Radio: WAKR (1590 AM); WTAM (1100 AM), WHBC (1480 AM).
Cavs: LeBron James (F); J.J. Hickson (F); Shaquille O'Neal (C); Anthony Parker (G); Mo Williams (G).
Thunder: Jeff Green (F); Kevin Durant (F); Nenad Krstic (C); Thabo Sefolosha (G); Russell Westbrook )G):
Cavs: Daniel Gibson (strained pinky); Shaquille O'Neal (left eye contusion) - QUESTIONABLE. Leon Powe (left knee surgery) - OUT.
Thunder: Kyle Weaver (shoulder surgery); Kevin Ollie (right knee surgery) - OUT.
Officials: Derrick Stafford, Leon Wood and Haywoode Workman.
- The Cavs will face a much-improved Thunder team that is young and playing extremely well. Led by Kevin Durant (28.3 points per game), they rank in the bottom half of the league in scoring, averaging 97.5 points per contest, but where they rate hightly is defensively, ranking just behind the Cavs at No. 6 in the league. Durant has stepped up his game significantly and look for LeBron James to spend a lot of time on him on the night.
- Mo Williams will have his hands full with the multi-talented Russell Westbrook who averages 16.4 points, 4.7 rebounds and 6.9 assists per game. Westbrook, a 6-foot-3 guard out of UCLA can score and pass and makes Durant better. Overall, so far this season, his numbers are up noticeably over last year.
- Watch to see what coach Mike Brown does with J.J. Hickson. Against the Portland Trail Blazers, he only played nine minutes because LaMarcus Aldridge essentially did what he wanted on offense versus the Cavs. Tonight he's up against Jeff Green, who averages 14.5 points per game. Another performance like that and Brown won't hesitate to yank his chain and pull him back to the bench.
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