Who was that masked man? Kyrie Irving (40 PTS, 5 AST, 3 REB, 2 STL) hit 16 of 24 shots to win the PG battle over Rajon Rondo (17 PTS, 13 REB, 8 AST) and lead the shorthanded Cavaliers to an impressive win. Tristan Thompson (21 PTS, 9 REB, 5 AST) was solid up front, while Tyler Zeller (6 PTS, 10 REB, 4 AST) learned a few lessons from professor Kevin Garnett (16 PTS, 5 REB, 3 AST, 5 BLK). Cleveland made a trade earlier in the day to add Marreese Speights to the frontcourt mix. They play a faster pace than Memphis, and Mo Speezy should get at least 25 minutes a night as the PF-C backup. For Boston, Paul Pierce is now 18-for-58 (31%) during a 4-game losing streak, and promising rookie Jared Sullinger (12 PTS, 10 REB) fouled out, again.
Other January 22 Game Recaps
PHI @ MIL: OK, it’s time to get excited about Ersan Ilyasova (27 PTS, 16 REB, 3 STL) who followed up his breakout game with an even better performance. Milwaukee’s guards ran wild — Brandon Jennings (25 PTS, 7 AST, 3 STL) more than matched an exhausted Jrue Holiday (9 PTS, 12 AST, 6 REB but 8 TO) at both ends of the floor and as expected, Monta Ellis (18 PTS, 10 AST, 5 REB, 2 STL) had a field day against temporary Sixers SG Royal Ivey (8 PTS, 4 REB in 19 minutes). Spencer Hawes (21 PTS, 12 REB) and Nick Young (20 PTS, 3 REB, 3 AST) played well off the bench and Evan Turner (23 PTS, 6 REB, 7 AST) hit four 3-pointers, but Philly never recovered from missing 14 of their first 16 shots.
ORL @ DET: You have to hand it to Jason Maxiell (11 PTS, 11 REB in 23 minutes) for playing aggressive D on Glen Davis. Big Baby shot 4-16 to finish with 11 points, lost his temper and watched most of the second half from the bench. Nikola Vucevic (10 PTS, 9 REB) has cooled off a bit since Davis returned; Greg Monroe (16 PTS, 6 REB) and the ever-energetic Andre Drummond (11 PTS, 11 REB, 2 STL, 2 BLK) kept up the physical pressure all night. The lone bright spot for Orlando was J.J. Redick (26 PTS, 3 AST, 2 REB) who started at SG and hit five 3-pointers. E-Twaun Moore (9 PTS, 5 REB in 19:33) becomes the primary backup guard if they stick with the new look, but Arron Afflalo was scoreless (with 9 REB and 5 AST) in 38 minutes as the new SF. Brandon Knight (18 PTS, 5 AST, 4 REB, 3 STL) led the Pistons, Will Bynum (15 PTS, 6 AST, 4 REB) stayed hot and Rodney Stuckey added 14 before tweaking his ankle.