Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images
10-20 FG | 1-3 FT | 21 REB | 6 AST | 21 PTS | 0
His long arms once again controlled the boards as he posted his third 20-20 game of the season. Tyler Zeller was overmatched, as Nik collected eight offensive rebounds on the game and lorded over Zeller in the paint. He needs to work on setting tougher screens, particularly at the top of the key, and hitting his free throws, but he’s an octopus on the glass.
11-19 FG | 4-6 FT | 2 STL | 12 AST | 26 PTS | -1
Harris bounced back nicely from his shooting slump. Rather than settle for jumpers, he attacked the rim and hit the glass. Harris started hot, knocking down four of his first five shots, but after a big third quarter, he didn’t shoot well in the fourth. Harris’ defense left a lot to be desired too, as Gee dropped 19, including 3-for-6 from deep when Harris got stuck going under screens.
4-12 FG | 5-5 FT | 4 REB | 6 AST | 13 PTS | -5
Kyrie Irving shot 3-for-15 from the field, but it didn’t matter because Udrih wasn’t much better shooting. He did run the offense smoothly in the first quarter, collecting four assists — including a laser to a cutting Nik for a nifty leftie lay-in — but he only had two assists the rest of the way. And he disappeared down the stretch, committing two costly turnovers in the fourth.
4-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 8 PTS | -2
Thompson killed the rookie on the glass, and it got so bad Nicholson only played a minute and a half in the fourth. Nicholson did have four assists, and he knocked down a 20-footer in the second half that looked smooth, but he’s young and not quite big enough to grab rebounds without proper technique, which will hopefully come as he plays more.
Orlando was an abysmal 1-for-13 from beyond the arc. If Harris, Udrih, or Harkless had knocked down a couple of their 3-pointers, this is a totally different game. But even with their star struggling and C.J. Miles knocked out early after a Vucevic elbow found his cranium, the Cavs found a way to win behind their young forwards Alonzo Gee and Tristan Thompson.