When you get NBA stars like Kyrie Irving, James Harden, LeBron James, and Kevin Love on the same court, then offensive explosiveness is expected. With 248 combined points scored, the Houston Rockets and Cleveland Cavaliers certainly delivered when it comes to entertainment. The Cavaliers beat the Rockets by a score of 128-120, as reported by ESPN.
Going up against the defending NBA champions and three of the best players in the league, much was expected of James Harden. The 6-foot-5 guard came through like a superstar. He notched 41 points, seven rebounds, and 15 assists. Harden also made 13 of the 20 shots that he took, including five of the nine shots from the outside. The 27-year-old also got to the free-throw line 14 times, making 10 of those shots. Harden put on a strong effort to get the Houston Rockets the victory on Tuesday night.
Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni came into the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers with the goal of having three of his starters spreading the floor. Eric Gordon, Trevor Ariza, and Ryan Anderson combined for 39 points. The trio took 26 shots from beyond the three-point line, hitting 11 of them. The goal for Gordon, Ariza, and Anderson was to make it easier for James Harden to get to the basket.
Starting center Clint Capela had eight points, four rebounds, and a block, but it was not enough to help the Houston Rockets pick up the victory.
Nene Hilario proved to be a solid big man off the bench for the Houston Rockets. The 6-foot-10 veteran center had 13 points, five rebounds, four assists, and a block. Hilario made all four shots that he took, including one from beyond the three-point line. The 34-year-old even got to the free-throw line six times.
Montrezl Harrell and Kyle Wiltjer were the only two members of the Houston Rockets who did not make it off the bench, but that was mainly because Mike D’Antoni did not need the size.
The trio of Kyrie Irvin, LeBron James, and Kevin Love all played like superstars.
Kyrie Irving produced 32 points by making 10 of the 19 shots from the field, including four of six from the outside. The former Duke Blue Devils star also nailed all eight of his free-throw attempts.
LeBron James was just two assists away from notching yet another triple double. The 6-foot-8 forward had 19 points, 13 rebounds, and eight assists. Against the Houston Rockets, it appeared as if James was deferring to his teammates, including JR Smith and Channing Frye.
Kevin Love put up 24 points, five rebounds, two assists, and a block. Those are numbers that were similar to what he was accustomed to putting up when he was the franchise player for the Minnesota Timberwolves. He has deferred since joining the star-studded Cleveland Cavaliers roster, so it is nice to see him being given the spotlight every once in a while.
In just 15 minutes off the bench, Channing Frye was given a dozen shots. The veteran forward only made four of those shots, but it was enough for him to chip in 11 points and four rebounds.
Mike Dunleavy, acquired from the Chicago Bulls, had an efficient night off the bench with 11 points, four rebounds, and two assists. The 36-year-old swing man was able to stretch the floor, making things much easier for Kyrie Irving and LeBron James.
Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue did not give any playing time to Jordan McRae yet again, which is weird because many around the NBA expected the team to showcase McRae for a potential trade. Instead, Lue has limited the 25-year-old swing man to just six minutes, all of which came during the regular season opener against the New York Knicks.
[Featured Image by Jason Miller/Getty Images]