Cavs dominate Kings with hot start
The Cleveland Cavaliers have now won three straight wins and seven of their previous nine double-digit games, having outscored the Sacramento Kings. Building on a monster first-half performance, the Cavs sailed to the 117-103 resounding victory at home.
Much like in the rout of the Minnesota Timberwolves just a day ago, Cleveland took the lead on their opponents to build up a 29-point cushion at halftime after dropping a huge 81 points on the Kings in front of a Sold out crowd at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse.
Seven Cavaliers again finished in double digits in another balanced offensive attack, led unlikely by defensive-minded Isaac Okoro’s 20 points on a super-efficient 78% shot from the field.
All-Star contestant Jarrett Allen continues to build his resume with 19 points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots, while rookie Evan Mobley scored a career-bouncing night with a 15 and 15 double-double as the Cavs never gave up on the advance all night long.
On the flip side, one of the Cavs’ alleged interests, Buddy Hield, led all of the game’s scorers off the bench for Sacramento with an effective night of shooting, including 40% of his attempts at depth.
Cavs will look to extend home winning streak
Much of the team’s success rests on the broad shoulders of the Tower City frontcourt in Cleveland, rising star Darius Garland and the veteran crowd, who were equally crucial in the resurgence.
Against the Kings, the triumvirate of Ricky Rubio, Kevin Love and Cedi Osman provided the spark for the second unit, leading to the huge scoring explosion in the first half even as the starters left the game. Osman had 18, while Rubio and Love combined for 26 points as the trio drained nine of their 18 attempts to shoot beyond the arc.
With a third of the season over, we now have a sufficient sample size to determine that the young team’s early season success was no fluke. The Cavs are really excelling ahead of schedule, and the front office’s publicized quest to seek a playoff berth this early is legitimate.
The rest of the NBA world is starting to take notice as well, with an odds report from the statistics site Basketball Reference predicting the Cavs would secure a playoff berth and finish near or even above the Eastern Conference.
If the streak of success is to continue, Cleveland could really capitalize on it by holding the fort in the last two games of three home games against the Miami Heat (December 13) and the Houston Rockets (December 15).