Perimeter shooting catches fire
The Cavs started the game in a shooting slump, going 0-for-6 from three-point range despite a 50 percent (11-of-22) clip from the field in the first quarter. Not one name stood out during the dry spell, as five different players misfired from deep in a sloppy, 12-minute lull of offense.
A 27-23 deficit against the worst team in the NBA would not last long.
After Jeff Green bricked an open trey, Cleveland made its next four three-pointers to take a 47-35 advantage. Clarkson and JR Smith rattled off 11 and eight points respectively throughout the second-quarter outburst.
“We had a lot of good looks,” said Love. “Taking advantage of those mismatches and just shooting that shot that was there for a lot of us. A lot of guys played with confidence tonight, a lot of guys stepped up.”
Drew has designed an offensive scheme that plays to the team’s strengths since temporarily taking over at the helm. His roster entered play ranked fourth in the NBA in three-point shooting (37.1 percent), with Jose Calderon (47.4 percent), Korver (45.8 percent), George Hill (42.2 percent) and Love (41.1 percent) leading the way.
The streaky nature of the first half played well into the hands of the Cavaliers, as they were able to erase Phoenix’s 20-8 run to end the first quarter with a 16-2 rally of their own. The Suns rank last in the league with a 110.9 defensive rating, a stat that computes the expected number of points a team will allow over 100 possessions.
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