Kyrie Irving spent the fourth quarter Wednesday relaxing at the end of the Cavs’ bench, a towel draped over his head while he cracked jokes with the rest of the team’s starters.
It was a strange, but familiar feeling for a Cavs franchise that hasn’t enjoyed a victory this easy since LeBron James played his home games at Quicken Loans Arena.
Irving had 22 points, Dion Waiters had 19 and the Cavs pounded the Charlotte Bobcats 122-95 for the team’s most lopsided victory since May 7, 2010 — James’ last win with the Cavs.
“We challenged ourselves to really come out and lay the hammer down and step on their necks,” Tristan Thompson said. “Let’s keep it going.”
The Bobcats concluded a five-game, 10-day road trip and played like a team ready to get home. The Cavs shot a season-best 57 percent, outscored them in the paint 50-30 and gave the type of performance that coach Byron Scott was expecting against an inferior opponent.
“This was one of those games where I was really curious to see if we learned from some of our past mistakes and if we’ve grown as a basketball team,” Scott said. “I can say we definitely have. It’s just a matter of now keeping it going. But I really loved the excitement I saw from our guys tonight, the effort at the beginning of the game and pretty much carried it throughout the game.”
The Cavs have struggled with their effort level against teams with losing records all season, but not on this night. Scott and some of the veterans challenged the players following Saturday’s big win over the Oklahoma City Thunder to keep the momentum going against the league’s worst team.
The game was so out of hand, the Cavs carried a 100-67 lead into the fourth quarter and the starters never got off the bench in the final 12 minutes.
“I think it was the first time all season,” Irving said. “The only other time I rested [for the entire fourth quarter] was against Detroit and we were losing. I’m glad to be on the other side.”
Cavaliers 122, Bobcats 95: Cavs enjoy most lopsided victory since LeBron James’ final win with team
Akron Beacon Journal | Feb 7