The final score was 102-92, but the Cavaliers led by twice that many late in the fourth against a team many consider to be Top 3 in the Eastern Conference. Every time the Heat drew close, the Cavs hit back, as when Dwayne Wade cut the lead to three late in the third, and Kevin Love drained back-to-back 3's to put 'em up seven again. Eventually, they just put 'em away.
He was feeling good. That was obvious from the start, as he threw down 10 points in the first 8 minutes, and 18 of his 29 in the first half. Once he realized that rookie Justise Winslow was on him, he took the kid to school. And in the second half, James shared the wealth, watching his teammates, including the bench, pull away. Which brings me to...
3. The Bench
The Cavaliers just roll so many players at you, it's overwhelming. Mo Williams comes out, Delly goes in, and goes on to dish out 10 assists. A few of those were alley-oops to Tristan Thompson, who threw down 13 points. As David Blatt said after the game, it's no longer good enough for the bench players to hold down the fort. They need to be a source of advantage. And three games in, they certainly are.
4. Love Story
Kevin Love has now scored 59 points in three games, along with 35 rebounds, after going for 24 and 14 against the Heat. He's hitting his shots from outside, but looking just as strong inside, and proving LeBron right when James said that Love will be an All-Star again this season.
The Cavaliers, through their first three games, have held each opponent under 43% shooting. Blatt says they've basically picked up where they left off last season, when they were a phenomenal defensive team. I asked LeBron if they're already where they want to be defensively this season. He told me "No. Not even close". That should be a very scary thought to the other teams around the league.
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