Cavs/Magic Game 2 Recap
We are all witnesses.
Six for 19. For those without a calculator that works out to be 31.5%. Why are these numbers significant? That is what Mo Williams shot from the field in Cleveland’s Game 1 loss to the Magic. Despite personally playing abysmally, and his team losing on its home floor, Mr. Williams felt the need to talk smack about Orlando. Was it a case of Williams’ ego running wild, or did he know something the rest of us didn’t know? Game 2 would answer that question.
Fittingly, Williams took the first shot of the game on Friday night in Cleveland. It was an airball. Luckily for Cleveland the rest of the team was on point, and after Williams got away technical-free with throwing a ball at Dwight Howard, he knocked down a long J and the home team was up 15-5. Despite some wild misses by Williams – and some solid bench play from the Magic – Cleveland ran out to a big lead at the end of the quarter, 30-16. However, they were also up big at the end of 12 minutes in Game 1, 33-19.
Cleveland showed in the second quarter that they weren’t playing around. With LeBron giving himself a manicure on the bench, a Joe Smith three-pointer (yes, you read that correct) pushed the Cleveland lead to 43-20. The rout was on. Or so it seemed. When the Best Player In Basketball re-entered the game Orlando made a push, with a J.J. Redick three-pointer and stumbling layup cutting the lead down to 14. Despite James slashing to the hoop at will, Orlando is able to cut into the lead some more and should have been quite happy going into the locker room with the score 56-44
Apparently someone was playing with matches too close to Rashard Lewis at halftime because he came out on fire in the third quarter. Back-to-back three-pointers from the big guy makes it 64-58 Cleveland. Now, ladies and gentlemen, we have ourselves a game. The only thing keeping Cleveland in the lead is the fact the LeBron is playing the role of the hot knife and Orlando’s defense is the butter. 75-69 with 36 minutes in the books.
But let’s not forget about the beauty of the home court advantage. Two botched block/charge calls in the early going of the fourth both went Cleveland’s way, and they are able to inch the lead up towards double-digits again. Then LeBron forgot he was in the NBA and not the NFL (he must have caught a glimpse of his physique in a mirror) and got called for two charges. There goes the theory that the stars get all the calls. Momentum is a funny thing – after James’ last charge, Mickael Pietrus nailed a three-pointer and Courtney Lee slashed in for two more and the game was knotted at 82.
Lewis earned his significant paycheck tonight. Not only did he knock down threes, he also exploited mismatches by posting up smaller defenders and boxed out and crashed the boards. And for good measure, he also received an elbow to his face while trying to draw a charge. With 5:30 left in the game Orlando takes their first lead. Cleveland kept creeping ahead but Orlando wouldn’t go away, and a Hedo Turkoglu three-pointer tied up the game once again. Whoever could score the most points in the last 48.7 seconds would be the winner.
LeBron called for travelling?!? What?? Don’t they know he’s The King?! Orlando gladly takes the King’s gift to them, and Turkoglu caps off a strong game for himself by hitting the game-winner with a tick left on the clock. But hold up – a game-winner isn’t a game-winner until the game is over, and we still had a second left. Maybe James felt guilty for travelling, or he remembered he was The King, because he hit, in his own words after the game, “a great shot.” A buzzer-beating three-pointer over Turkoglu keeps Cleveland’s title hopes alive. 96-95 Cleveland is your final.
Maybe Mo does know what he is talking about.