The Cavaliers came out breathing, if not fire, certainly something with incendiary potential: up seven after the first quarter, they stretched the lead to as much as fifteen before the Thunder shifted gears. From a 47-all tie at halftime, OKC outscored Cleveland 53-36 in the second half to skunk the Cavs, 100-83, gaining a season sweep and maybe a little bit of confidence.
One thing is for sure: just about anyone might end up at Thunder shooting guard. Tonight it was Alex Abrines, who ended up +13 despite making only one shot, but being Señor Splash, it was a 3-pointer. Raymond Felton climbed back into the rotation; two-way guy Tyler Davis actually got a minute of playing time. Paul George got four fouls in a hurry, but never did foul out. (In fact, the Cavs took only eight free throws all night, and missed half of them.) And Russell Westbrook climbed another rung on the All-Time Triple-Double Ladder, waving to Jason Kidd as he went by. Westbrook’s line: 23 points, 19 rebounds, 15 assists.
One oddity on the Cleveland side of the box score: sixth man Jordan Clarkson led all scorers with 25 points on 10-22 shooting, including 4-8 on treys. Only two other Cavalier reserves saw action — Ante Žižić and Andrew Harrison — and neither of them made a shot (though they took four each) all night. So no Channing Frye, no George Hill, no J. R. Smith (though he’s going to be dealt shortly), and with a DNP-Personal, no Kyle Korver, though Woj says there’s a reason for that:
Cleveland has traded Kyle Korver to Utah, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 28, 2018
In return, the Cavs get Alec Burks and a couple of second-round draft picks. Korver played three seasons with the Jazz; let’s hope he’s happier now.
Friday the Atlanta Hawks will arrive in town; I’m sort of looking forward to seeing how Hawks alumnus Dennis Schröder fares against his old team.