Fourth-quarter rally creates cushion, fuels one-sided victory
A 13-0 run – nine of which came from Dwyane Wade – led to a 103-91 lead with eight minutes, 10 seconds remaining in regulation. The 12-time All-Star and three-time NBA champion gave the opposition the whole kitchen sink in the nine-point burst over a two-minute, 45-second span: step-back jumper, reverse layup, floating jump shot and two free throws.
“When [Thomas] has the ball, it allows me to be a scorer,” said Wade. “So I could be a little more aggressive. It was fun. With that second unit all year, we try to be a positive force with this team. Tonight it was no different.”
The offensive onslaught turned into a 27-6 rally, unlocking the opportunity to employ Cedi Osman and Channing Frye in the later stages of the game. Seven of Wade’s eight rebounds came in the decisive period, a testament to his effectiveness in critical moments.
“It was a total team effort,” Lue said. “The bench was great again tonight.”
Cleveland is now 6-0 at home vs. Western Conference opponents, and 38-6 since Jan. 21, 2015. Quicken Loans Arena has housed 13 consecutive victories for the defending Eastern Conference champions, the longest home streak since an 18-game stretch from Jan 19, 2015 to April 5, 2015.
John Alfes has covered Cleveland sports since August of 2016. Follow him on Twitter @JohnAlfes for breaking news and in-depth coverage all season long.