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Gameblog: Cavs at Oklahoma City Thunder

By George Thomas Published: December 21, 2008

Post-mortem:
Give Oklahoma City credit, they played much better than when they appeared in Cleveland.  Yes, the Cavaliers eventually wore them down, but this Thunder team hustled, made the Cavaliers work for everything and beat them on the boards.  Ultimately the Cavs won because they out shot the Thunder hitting more than 55 percent from the floor.  LeBron James played masterfully, scoring 31.  Mo Williams backed him up with 20 points and Delonte West added 18.
Quotable:
Mike Brown on the Cavs winning three consecutive on the road:

I have to pat my guys on the back.  It’s the third game of a trip.  With the crowd here in Oklahoma City, I thought out guys stayed focused.  Hung in there. Hung in there and won the game in the fourth like you have to do sometimes on the road. My guys deserve credit for staying poised and hanging in there to win.
LeBron James on the team putting the game away in the second half:
We just picked our defense up and started making shots.  Once we start making shots it’s hard to contain us. 
Game: Cavs (22-4) at Oklahoma City Thunder (3-24)
Broadcast:  TV: FSOhio WAKR (1590 AM); WTAM (1100 AM), WHBC (1480 AM)
Starters: Cavs:  LeBron James (F); Ben Wallace (F); Zydrunas Ilgauskas (C); Delonte West (G); Mo Williams (G) Thunder:  Kevin Durant (F); Jeff Green (F); Nick Collison (C); Desmond Mason (G); Russell Westbrook (G)
Injuries/inactive:  Cavs:  Eric Snow (knee); Daniel Gibson (sprained left big toe) Thunder:  Robert Swift (day-to-day, lower back discomfort).  D.J. White (jaw surgery).
Streaking:  The Cavaliers have won two in a row, the Thunder one.
This year:  The Cavs pummeled the Thunder 117-82.
What to watch:
LeBron James and Kevin Durant - Durant has been averaging more than 25 points in his last three games and is averaging more than 23 on the season. James has clamped most opponents this year, including Durant, who he held to just 13 points in their first meeting. The Cavaliers defensive play - Let's face it.  Against the Nuggets, it wasn't exactly sharp.  In fact that game, which the Cavs won, was a lot closer than it needed to be and that's because the Cavaliers defense faltered in spots, giving the Nuggets too many easy shots. Thunderous momentum?  Yes, this one is a long shot, but the Thunder put the beat down on the Toronto Raptors.  OK so it was only 91-83 against a team that's in disarray and reeling. Still, a win is a win is a win.  In short, the Cavaliers cannot take the Thunder lightly or they just could end up embarrassed.
Quotable:
Mike Brown on what to do if Daniel Gibson doesn't have his best in his return:
He’s a guy who has a nice stroke and you know that’s what he does well. Anytime anyone is shooting it as well as he was at the time you hope they don’t go down with an injury because it can mess with their rhythm a little bit.  If it does, he’ll shoot his way out of it because he is a shooter, a scorer and he has confidence and we have confidence in him.
LeBron James on his relationship with Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant:
It’s pretty solid.  I can say that anytime Kevin needs help from me, he can give me a call, for advice for anything.  I let him know that when he was coming out of college that I wanted to help him because being the No. 1 pick and trying to save a franchise, I’ve been in that position.
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