Cleveland Cavaliers

Counting down top plays of Steph Curry's career before 30th birthday -- No. 5

Counting down top plays of Steph Curry's career before 30th birthday -- No. 5

Programming note: In the lead up to Stephen Curry's 30th birthday on March 14th, we will be unveiling the top plays of his historic career. Check back Sunday for the No. 4...

Top plays of Curry's career: #5 -- Dominating Delly in the 2015 NBA Finals

It’s the 2015 NBA Finals and there are whispers that the Cleveland Cavaliers have a defensive answer to Curry. A Steph Stopper, if you will, in scrappy guard Matthew Dellavedova. Competitor that he is, Curry feels obligated to prove otherwise. He uses a fantastic Game 5, scoring 37 points and torching Dellavedova, to crush that myth.

[RELATED: Counting down top plays of Steph Curry's career before 30th birthday -- No. 6]

LeBron James says the Cavs 'have a fu**ing squad now'


LeBron James says the Cavs 'have a fu**ing squad now'

Hours before the trade deadline, Cleveland made wholesale changes to its roster.

On Sunday, the new-look Cavs went into Boston and crushed the Celtics, 121-99.

On Monday morning, Dave McMenamin -- who covers the Cavs for ESPN -- shared the following story on Outside the Lines:

"I spoke to JR Smith after the game -- JR, LeBron, Tristan Thompson, Kevin Love -- the only four guys remaining on the Cavs from the championship team in 2016. And JR said they had a conversation on the plane, and he said, 'Man. Look at all these different faces we have now.'

And LeBron said, 'Yeah. But we got a squad now.' And he actually said we have a 'expletive' squad now.'"

From Dec. 19 to Feb. 6, the Cavs went 8-14 and had the second worst defense in the NBA.

There were countless reports of locker room turmoil and one report claimed that LeBron would even entertain meeting with the Warriors this summer in free agency.

Another story detailed how LeBron has no relationship with owner Dan Gilbert or GM Koby Altman.

Then, the trade deadline happened and the Cavs smacked the Celtics.

All it took was one game for the narrative to change drastically...

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Revamped Cavs crush Celtics in first game all together


Revamped Cavs crush Celtics in first game all together


BOSTON — LeBron James quieted a Celtics crowd that came to celebrate Paul Pierce on Sunday, scoring 24 points with 10 assists and eight rebounds to give new-look Cleveland a 121-99 victory over Boston in an individual performance reminiscent of the rivalry’s heyday.

And this time, Pierce was sitting courtside in street clothes, unable to do anything about it.

James shook off a first-quarter leg injury to score 13 in the second quarter — eight of them during a 13-2 run that turned a one-point deficit into a double-digit lead. The Celtics made it 64-55 on the first basket of the third quarter but never got within 10 again.

As the Cavaliers opened a 27-point lead midway through the fourth, the crowd began chanting “We want Paul Pierce!” But he remained in his baseline seat, awaiting the postgame ceremony that would raise his No. 34 to the TD Garden rafters — the 23rd person in the history of the NBA’s most-decorated franchise to be so honored.

The current Celtics, who have spent much of the season in first place in the East, could have used him.

Terry Rozier scored 21 with nine assists and Kyrie Irving scored 18 against his former team before sitting out the fourth quarter as the game became a blowout. The Celtics have lost three of four to fall behind Toronto in the Eastern Conference playoff race; the Cavaliers, who have won three straight, are 5½ games behind Boston.

In their first appearances for Cleveland since being acquired at the trade deadline, Jordan Clarkson scored 17 and George Hill had 12 points.

Pierce watched the game from a baseline seat, under the basket where the Celtics scored 42 points in the fourth quarter of Game 6 of the finals to clinch their 17th NBA championship. On the other side of the basket were former coach Doc Rivers and former teammates Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo and Antoine Walker.

Timeouts featured tribute videos from Rivers, Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant and Pierce’s college coach, Roy Williams.


James banged into Aron Baynes in the lane with about five minutes left in the first quarter and hobbled off the court, favoring his right leg. He came back in with nine minutes left in the half and hit a jumper to tie it 40-all before his outburst that helped the Cavs pull away.

He sat out the fourth quarter, losing the chance for an 11th triple-double this season, and third straight.


The trades mooted a mini controversy over whether the Celtics would honor Isaiah Thomas in his return to Boston. A fan favorite during his two-plus seasons in green, Thomas was traded last summer in the deal that brought Irving to the Celtics.

Thomas balked at being recognized on his first visit back with the Cavaliers because he was injured. And Pierce balked at sharing the stage with him on Sunday, Cleveland’s only other trip to Boston.

But Thomas was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers at the deadline, meaning he isn’t scheduled to return to TD Garden this year.


Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Marcus Smart continues to recover from a lacerated right hand, which has kept him out since he cut his hand on broken glass at the team hotel on Jan. 24 and needed stitches to close the wound.

“Not going to expect to see him on Wednesday night,” Stevens said. “Hopeful that he will be back and ready to go after the All-Star break. But we’ll see.”


Cavaliers: At Oklahoma City on Tuesday.

Celtics: Host the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night.