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Find out the scoop on the CAVS from award-winning sports writer Bob Finnan.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Game 47: Trail Blazers at Cavs

Quicken Loans Arena
Radio: WTAM-AM 1100, WMMS-FM 100.7, La Mega-FM 97.7
TV: Fox Sports Ohio

1. The high-flying Trail Blazers haven't played since Saturday, Jan. 24, vs. Washington. If nothing else, they should be well-rested. Yet it was the Cavaliers who were the aggressor all night. They took it to one of the best teams in the league. The Trail Blazers have fashions on making it to the NBA Finals. They are that good. But they were no match for the Cavs, and more specifically Kyrie Irving, on this night.

2. Irving's 55 points were one point shy of the franchise record. LeBron James had 56 at Toronto on March 20, 2005. Irving was fantastic on the night. The Cavs needed every one of his points, too. The Blazers wouldn't go down easy.

3. Power forward LaMarcus Aldridge recorded his 21st double-double of the season with 38 points, 11 rebounds, two blocks and one steal. He is a load. The Cavs tried a handful of players on him defensively - to no avail. The thing that separates him is he can shoot the ball and score in the post. Love his game.

4. I don't love what I'm seeing from Kevin Love right now. He had a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds. Unfortunately, he missed his last 11 shots from the field. He ended 3 of 15 from the floor, 2 of 8 from the arc. He doesn't look right to me. Perhaps his back is acting up. I think he could use a rest. A two-week layoff would do him wonders. He sure isn't playing his way onto the All-Star team. When the reserves are announced on Thursday, I think Irving will be picked and Love will be left off.

5. Irving has connected on 17 3s in the last two games, one off the NBA record set by Golden State's Stephen Curry. He had 18 on Feb. 26 and 27, 2013. Irving's 93 points in back-to-back games are the most ever by a Cavs player. The previous mark was by LeBron James with 89 on March 5 and 6, 2008.

6. Don't expect to see James on Friday, either. I think they've already decided he will miss the Sacramento game.

7. The Blazers are a bit banged up. Big men Joel Freeman (right shoulder strain) and Robin Lopez (right hand fracture) missed the game. The loss of Lopez could have been huge, but Chris Kaman pulled down a season-high 13 rebounds. 

8. The Cavs' eight-game winning streak is the second-longest in the NBA, trailing only Atlanta's remarkable 17-game streak. The Hawks are 31-2 since Nov. 28.

9. The Cavs are outscoring opponents by an average of 13.8 points per game in the streak (112.7-98.9). In their recent 4-0 homestand, they won by at least 10 points in each game. They hadn't done that since the 1988-89 season.

10. The Cavs' defense stood the test tonight. They've held their last six opponents under 100 points - 93.8 to be exact - and a combined 40 percent shooting from the field. That is getting it done on that end. 

UP NEXT: vs. Sacramento, Quicken Loans Arena, 7:30 p.m. Friday

SF Shawn Marion (6-7, 228) vs. Nicolas Batum (6-8, 225)
PF Kevin Love (6-10, 243) vs. LaMarcus Aldridge (6-11, 250)
C Timofey Mozgov (7-1, 250) vs. Chris Kaman (7-0, 265)
SG J.R. Smith (6-6, 220) vs. Wesley Matthews (6-5, 214)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 193) vs. Damian Lillard (6-3, 195)
Cavs - C Anderson Varejao
Blazers - F/C Joel Freeland, C Robin Lopez
Zach Zarba, Mark Ayotte, Derek Richardson


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