The Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Oklahoma City Thunder, the No. 1 team in the Western Conference, 96-90 at Chesapeake Energy Arena on Friday, March 9.
After going on a six-game losing streak, five of which that came after the All-Star break, the Cavaliers (15-23) now find themselves on a two-game winning streak after defeating the Thunder (31-9) Friday night and the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday, March 7. The Nuggets (22-18), who like the Thunder are a playoff-caliber team, are currently the seventh best team in the West. The Cavaliers, who looked like they were reverting back to their form last year after losing six games in a row, found themselves stealing two games on a road trip that only lasted three days.
Cavaliers forward Alonzo Gee, who found himself in the starting lineup for the first time this season, scored 12 points, collected 8 rebounds and recorded two steals in his debut. He also managed to hold last year’s scoring champion Kevin Durant to only 23 points. It was good to see someone other than Omri Casspi named the starting small forward. Casspi has struggled all season long as a starter, averaging only 7.4 points per game and 3.5 rebounds per game. Gee on the other hand is 10.2 points per game and 4.2 rebounds per game. And that’s with Gee coming off the bench. I know that head coach Byron Scott loves the explosive Gee coming off the bench, but I was happy to see him make a switch in the lineup, something that he doesn’t do often.
Also, the Cavaliers did tonight what only one other team has done this season: beat the Thunder at home. What makes this statistic even more impressive is the Cavaliers had not won two road games in a row since Nov. 10, 2010. Now that’s amazing.
If the Cavaliers go on some kind of extended winning streak, let’s just all remember that it all started with a Kyrie Irving game winner.
The Cavs travel back to Cleveland for a game against the Houston Rockets Sunday night as they look to extend their winning streak to three.