Perhaps the biggest storyline thus in the early NBA season has been the lackluster start of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Playing with a powerhouse of a starting lineup, LeBron James and company entered their Friday night matchup with the Denver Nuggets with a disappointing 1-3 record. Through the first three quarters of the night, ‘Bron’s use of Aaron Rodgers’ call for everyone to “relax” appeared to be working to perfection, as the Cavs pushed their lead to 21 points in the third quarter.
Speaking of the third quarter, Kyrie Irving transformed into Uncle Drew right before our eyes in one play that made the Denver defense look silly. After grabbing the defensive rebound, Kevin Love threw the outlet pass to Shawn Marion, who dished the touch pass back to Irving near the three-point line. That is when the two-time All-Star went to work. The crafty point guard pulled off some ridiculous dribbling moves to whirl around three Nugget defenders and attack the rim with a delicious reverse layup.
After reaching a 21-point lead in the third, the Cavs eased up on the gas pedal, and the Nuggets took full advantage, cutting the lead down to six with four-and-a-half minutes left in regulation. However, for the first real time this season, the Cavs received relief from the reserves, with 17 points off the bench from Dion Waiters in particular.
Another improvement last night was the fact that the Cavs played with good ball movement throughout all 48 minutes. After coming off a zero assist performance in their loss against the Jazz, Irving finished with six assists to go along with 12 points. In fact, it was a much more balanced offensive effort for the Cavs on Friday night, with all starters scoring in double-digits. LeBron James’ 22 points, 11 dimes, and 7 boards led the team in their second win of the season with a 110-101 victory in The Mile High City.
Here’s a look at all the highlights from the Cavs and Nuggets battle last night, caught through the beautiful lens of the phantom camera.
(Videos via NBA)
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