Hot-shooting Cavs embarrass ThunderNov 27, 2008 - 4:05 AM By Jeff Brewer PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
CLEVELAND (Ticker) -- The Cleveland Cavaliers shot 61 percent and needed only 17 minutes from LeBron James to post a 117-82 victory over the hapless Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday.
James scored 14 points as the Cavaliers led wire-to-wire, easily disposing of the Thunder.
Cleveland (12-3) solidified the third best record in the NBA while improving to 8-0 at home. The Cavaliers, off to the best start in franchise history, have won three in a row and 11 of their last 12.
Oklahoma City (1-15) lost its 13th consecutive game and third straight under interim coach Scott Brooks, who played 43 games for the Cavaliers during the 1997-98 season.
A positive trend for Cleveland in recent games has been taking charge early against lesser opponents.
"We have a great team right now," James said. "We're not taking anything for granted. We're hungry."
James struck for 10 points and three assists in the opening quarter as the Cavaliers led, 33-14, after 12 minutes. Cleveland had eight assists on its first nine baskets.
"King James" did not play in the second quarter but the Cavs expanded on their lead with numerous dunks and lay-ups in building a 66-32 advantage at the half.
"We caught a team that's going through transition, coming off a tough loss last night," Cleveland coach Mike Brown said. "Our guys entered the game with the right frame of mind. Let's keep developing good habits."
Cleveland shot 64 percent from the floor in the first half compared to 29 percent for the Thunder and doubled them up on the boards, 26-13.
Wally Szczerbiak had an 11-point second quarter and finished with 13 in the game.
"I'm the same player," Szczerbiak said. "I'm just starting to get comfortable."
Cleveland stretched its lead to as much as 42 points in the second half.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas finished with 17 points and has scored in double figures in each game this season.
J.J. Hickson led the charge off the bench for the Cavs with 14 points, six rebounds and four blocks.
Six Cavs players scored in double figures as every active player cracked the points column.
"It's too much fun," said Cavaliers guard Daniel Gibson, who had 15 points off the bench. "We're all out there laughing and smiling. It takes you back to the college days."
"We feel like we're a confident enough team that if we go up 20 points, there should be no way in the world that we give up that lead," Cleveland guard Mo Williams said.
Kevin Durant, who had 59 points over his last two games, was limited to 6-of-16 shooting and 13 points.
"When you play a good team like Cleveland, you have to be prepared to take their first hit," Brooks said. "They put us on our heels early tonight. We have an opportunity to learn from this and we will."
Chris Wilcox added 14 points and rookie Russell Westbrook 13 for Oklahoma City.
OKLAHOMA CITY 82
CLEVELAND 117 FINAL
Nov 26 9:25 PM
OKLAHOMA CITY 52
CLEVELAND 92 END, 3RD QTR
Nov 26 8:48 PM
OKLAHOMA CITY 32
CLEVELAND 66 HALFTIME
Nov 26 8:08 PM
OKLAHOMA CITY 14
CLEVELAND 33 END, 1ST QTR
Nov 26 7:37 PM
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