For the second night in a row, Kevin Love and LeBron James dominated the opposition, holding off the LA Clippers with a 115-102 win Thursday.
A rejuvenated Love finished with 18 points and 16 rebounds; James added 22 points and 12 assists.
J.R. Smith pumped in 22 points, while Kyrie Irving chipped in 21 for a well-balanced effort.
Per Akron Beacon Journal:
Kevin Love’s averages from the last two nights – 17.5 points, 17 rebounds – are befitting the All-Star the Cavs hope he becomes next week. Even more telling, he has totaled 16 free throws in his last two games – and indication he’s getting to the line far more frequently. He totaled 20 free throws in his seven games prior to Brooklyn.
Irving hatched the plan with Love at shootaround Thursday prior to the game against the Nets to quicken the pace. The Cavs have been one of the slowest teams in the league by pace, but when I asked (David) Blatt about it earlier in the season he dismissed it because they were one of the slowest teams last year. He wasn’t concerned about it, he said, because the Cavs would be successful by playing good defense and being efficient on offense. Since the blowout loss to the Warriors, pace seems to matter a bit more. […] “I’ve just tried to make a conscious effort just to get it up (the court) whether we have numbers or not,” Irving said. “Then we flow better. We flow a lot better. We look like a better team when we’re playing faster. When we’re playing slow, it gets into isolation basketball and we want to stay away from that.”
“Kyrie started that (playing faster) mindset at shootaround the other day and Bron tonight as well,” Love said. “You saw him really trying to pick up the pace. It’s just something we’re going to continue to get better at because we can be devastating when we’re playing downhill, especially with those two guys handling it.” […] The fallout from the loss to the Warriors was swift and sharp. And it’s still going. Everything from Love’s role within this system to Blatt’s coaching techniques have suddenly come under fire after one horrendous loss. Blatt fired back before and after the win against the Clippers, insisting he’s heard about enough considering this is still a first-place team.