Return of Westbrook and Carmelo not enough as Thunder fall to Cavs

Golden State Warriors Cleveland Cavaliers

The Thunder responded with an 8-0 run to get back into the game but the Cavaliers led 91-87 heading into the final quarter.

OKC weathered it, though, with Russell Westbrook finishing a spinning and-1 layup, then Carmelo Anthony hitting a jumper and a wing 3 to stabilize after James dropped fireballs on them.

George Hill, acquired as the league's best three-point shooter, is an obvious upgrade over a noticeably-behind-schedule Thomas, ancient Rose, and Jose Calderon. Westbrook finished with 21 points, 7 rebounds and 12 assists, but the Thunder's offense staggered in the second half with some stale execution and iffy shot selection. Nance is able to smother opposing primary ball handlers when they try to isolate him onto them, and that allows Cleveland to now be more matchup-sound in rotations. It was Cleveland's second straight road win against top competition - the Cavaliers rolled past Boston 121-99 on Sunday. Cleveland made sixteen triples in the game, which is way more than what Boston gives up on the season, which is just over nine per game (per nba.com). Melo hit some tough shots in my face. However, he shouldn't lead the team in field goal attempts basically ever. Go out there, have fun, take our shots, be ourselves.

Adams got off to a blistering start, scoring 11 points and grabbing 5 rebounds (all offensive) in the first quarter.

As Cleveland continues to trend upward, the Thunder are sliding.

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Following the roster overhaul before the trade deadline, and ahead of their game in Boston on Sunday (Feb. 11), LeBron James said planned to test out the new Cavaliers look via National Basketball Association 2K18. Gotta keep feeding the big man.

After playing fairly evenly over the course of the first half of the game, the Thunder held their last lead of the game with 3:28 left in the third quarter. In the past two games he is 9 of 13 from downtown.

The bench had an excellent game in Cleveland's win. Atlanta's Dewayne Dedmon contributed 13 points and 10 rebounds. It was his 417th career 30-point game and fifth with at least 35 points this season. Hill started at point guard and went 24 minutes without a turnover. Melo was back from injury, which certainly cut into his minutes dramatically....but 10 minutes is a joke.

J.R. Smith was the only other starter besides James to score in double figures with 18 points. In LeBron's system, you need players who can defend and shoot threes, and that's what the Cavaliers have now.

LeBron James. There's not much to say about LeBron James that hasn't already been said.

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