While the actual All-Star Game is headlined as the marquee attraction each year, the festivities on All-Star Saturday night can be just as enticing to the fans. The annual hype and anticipation of the Slam Dunk Contest is proof of this theory. While we have to wait a few more days to see what Zach LaVine, Victor Oladipo, Mason Plumlee, and Giannis Antetokounmpo have up their sleeves, the Cleveland Cavaliers put on their own dunkfest Wednesday night to hold fans over until Saturday evening at the Barclays Center.
LeBron James took on his former team, the Miami Heat, for the second time this season, and the Cavs were looking for revenge from their loss on Christmas Day in South Florida. Therefore, it wasn’t too surprising that Cleveland sought out any opportunity to work their magic in the open court to get ahead early. The Cavs’ transition game was on fire Wednesday night, as they threw a thrilling dunk party that included a Timofey Mozgov lob to ‘Bron, a delicious outlet pass by Kevin Love to J.R. Smith for an uncontested smash, LeBron charging his way through the lane like a freight train for the hammer, and much more.
Backed by a highly balanced offensive effort — seven players (including all starters) scored in double figures — and a much improved level of confidence, the Cavs steamrolled their way to a 26-point lead at the break. Miami was able to cut the deficit to 12 in the second half, but Cleveland pulled away again for good this time. The Cavaliers ended their last game at the Q before the All-Star break with a 113-93 win against the Heat, which marked their 14th win of the last 15 games.
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