Cavaliers 94, Memphis 79 (Box)
The wrist was sore enough for Delonte West to miss his 17th game of the season. The Cavaliers say there is nothing to worry about and they were just being cautious. I have to imagine those 15 wins Memphis came into town with weren’t intimidating enough for the Cavs to allow Delonte to push himself. Hey, why are the numbers bold? Ah, it must be time to break down a Cavs win by the numbers…
9– As in blocked shots. The Cavaliers were business like early in the game, especially on the defensive end contesting every shot and recording several blocks in the first few minutes of the game. Ben Wallace was getting off the floor to erase shots, and LeBron and Z combined on one play to block consecutive shots. The early defensive pressure set the tone for the game and got the Cavs a secure lead.
3– Kinsey started for Delonte, his third start of the season. As I watched the pregame high fives at the tip-off circle, I started to wonder how Daniel Gibson feels about being leap-frogged by Kinsey for these starts? Perhaps we got our answer as Daniel had one of his better games of the season, hitting 3 triples and scoring 19 points. It was probably his strongest performance this returning from injury.
39– Bench points. Gibson led the way for the bench crew, but J.J. Hickson had a nice ball game as well. He grabbed 9 boards and altered several shots.
77– Percentage of baskets that were assisted. Impressive considering West’s absence. LeBron, Mo and Wally Szczerbiak were the best distributors of the ball. 24 assists total compared to 14 turnovers.
29– Free throw attempts. The Cavs went to the line frequently because they weren’t afraid to go to the lane. Of course the Grizzles don’t have many shot blockers, but Cleveland did a good job exploiting their small front line. Once there, the Cavs did well by making 24 of their freebies.
38– Combined minutes for Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Ben Wallace, 19 apiece. That was good. The Cavs embark on a tough road trip in which they have several back-to back games and they will need the big men in those games. Speaking of rest…
9– Number of games that LeBron James has sat the entire fourth quarter this season because of large leads. Let that sink in for a minute. 16 percent of the season LeBron has not played a fourth quarter minute. Compare that to last season when LeBron scored more fourth quarter points than anyone else in the league. He had to. Not so this season. What this means is a fresher LeBron James when they get to the post-season.
31– Double digit wins for the Cavaliers, who average 10.2 more points than their opponents. Best point differential in the league.
26– As in 26th win at the Q, tying the Lakers for most home victoires and maintaining the best home winning percentage in the league.
(Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)