We talk about LeBron James and his team pretty often around here, but their 123-114 win over Atlanta tonight (not as close as it appears) was yet another reminder of how the King can take your breath away. The Cavs always dominate the Hawks—they’ve hit in NBA-record 25 threes against them twice—and this was just another stage on which to reinforce their superiority.
First, Cleveland started the first quarter with nine triples, and very quickly set a franchise record by hitting 10 or more threes in 17 straight games. With 13 in the first half, they ended the second quarter holding a 62-48 lead, and their final mark of 20-38 from beyond the arc is not too shabby.
The best one, no surprise, was courtesy of a double-teamed LeBron, who used some kind of radar to lead Kyle Korver into the corner for an open look. Korver, who went 6-for-9 from three tonight, is now 36 years old but perhaps more dangerous than he’s ever been in his career.
LeBron’s passing remained delightful. He had an absurd 17 assists, while also becoming the first player of the NBA season to go over 300 made field goals. Korver was a great target for LeBron to get tricky with.
Even Cedi Osman, who was averaging 1.5 points per game heading into tonight, got in on the fun.
And Lebron’s dunking, oh my god his dunks—though when every one of your teammates are striking fear into the defense, you can get some pretty clear runways.
By the end of the first half, the Hawks were so discombobulated that they were left taking uncertain half-steps all over the court as the Cavs moved the ball around too fast. They eventually slowed down, but Cleveland’s hot shooting spread out their opponents and gave the team space to score however they wanted, wherever they wanted. With that kind of freedom, they put on a show.