(SportsNetwork.com) – The Cleveland Cavaliers will head further west on their
current road trip and take on the Portland Trail Blazers Tuesday night.
The Cavs unveiled their new look with a loss to New York last Thursday, then
came back the next night with a 114-108 overtime triumph over the Chicago
Bulls at the United Center in the opener of the four-game trip.
James had eight turnovers and 17 points versus the Knicks. He only turned the
ball over three times and scored 36 points against the Bulls. Kyrie Irving had
23 points against Chicago, Kevin Love posted 16 and 16 rebounds and Tristan
Thompson chipped in 16 points and 13 boards. Thompson tied the franchise
record for offensive rebounds with 12.
“We took two steps forward tonight,” said James. “We have an opportunity to be
very good and tonight was an example of how good we can be.”
Cleveland shot just 39.4 percent for the game and hit just 3-of-15 3-pointers.
James said the key was not committing too many turnovers. The Cavs had 12 in
Chicago as opposed to 19 against the Knicks. Cleveland outrebounded Chicago,
52-42, and scored 25 points off 20 turnovers.
Cavaliers coach David Blatt also earned his first NBA win.
As for James, he is one double-digit scoring game away from tying Karl Malone
(575) for the third-longest streak in NBA history. James has scored at least
10 points in 574 consecutive games and that run began back in 2007. Michael
Jordan holds the mark with 866 games and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar did it in 787.
The Cavs will also visit Utah and Denver on the swing.
Tuesday’s game features two of the best point guards in the NBA in Irving and
Blazers star Damian Lillard. Lillard is probable for tonight’s game with an
abdominal strain and scored 11 points to go along with six rebounds and five
assists in Sunday’s 95-90 loss to the Golden State Warriors.
Portland had three turnovers in the final 17 seconds and the Warriors scored
the final seven points for the win.
LaMarcus Aldridge ended with 26 points and 13 rebounds, and Wesley Matthews
added 18 points for Portland, which has dropped two in a row since opening the
season with a win over Oklahoma City. Robin Lopez had a double-double of 12
points and 10 rebounds for the Blazers, who committed 19 turnovers and shot
40.2 percent for the game.
“Well it certainly is a disappointing loss,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said.
“It was a good basketball game. I was disappointed that we lost the game.”
On a positive note, the Blazers outrebounded the Warriors, 56-41.
Portland will also host Dallas on this three-game homestand and went 23-7
against teams from the Eastern Conference last season.
The Blazers defeated Cleveland twice in 2013-14 and have won six of the past
seven matchups between the teams. The Cavs, of course, enter the Moda Center
with a revamped roster and one of the best players in the NBA in James.
Cleveland has lost 10 of 15 trips to the Rose City.