Everything is clicking for the Cleveland Cavaliers over the last two weeks, beating the Charlotte Hornets 129-90 with another fantastic performance from LeBron James, getting plenty of help from J.R. Smith and Kyrie Irving.
James scored 25 points to lead the Cavaliers in their biggest win with him on the team and the franchise’s biggest in over 20 years, although quite far from their record 68 points win over the Miami Heat in 1991. J.R. Smith scored all of his 21 points with shots from beyond the arc while Irving added 18, as no one on the starting lineup needed to play more than 30 minutes, with Kevin Love the only one to reach that number.
It’s a fifth consecutive win for the Cavaliers, and things suddenly look a lot more promising for them in the East. They’re still 12 games behind the Atlanta Hawks, breaking all kinds of franchise records on their own, but the Cavs no longer look in danger of losing their playoff spot, now six games ahead of the Hornets who are holding the ninth spot in the East. Their five game winning streak is the second longest in the NBA right now behind the Hawks.
It’s not James’ health that’s made a difference. Irving is playing responsibly, Kevin Love (despite just nine points this time) is following suit and J.R. Smith, at the moment, isn’t trying to do too much, which is always a weakness for him and his teams. As for James, he’s averaging 29.7 points on 52.9% from the field, and with his team playing so well, there are bound to be more nights for him to do well enough early so he can get his precious rest while the game is still going.