Korver’s 30-point outburst leads Cavs
off to good start
With six players traded away and four newcomers not yet cleared for duty, the Cleveland Cavaliers were left with a lean, tight rotation.
Fewer substitutions? That worked just fine for LeBron James and Kyle Korver.
James had a triple-double and Korver scored a season-high 30 points, including four straight 3-pointers to close the third period, as the crisp Cavaliers beat the Atlanta Hawks 123-107 on Friday night for a successful start to their reboot.
“It felt like we played together,” said James, who had 22 points, 17 assists and 12 rebounds in 41 minutes.
“Offensively and defensively the communication was really high. The ball was moving around. The ball was popping and everybody felt like they were in a good rhythm.”
One day after unloading six players, including guards Isaiah Thomas and Dwyane Wade, in three trades, the Cavaliers were in a state of transition. They used 10 players, including two who were on the floor for about one minute. Korver, 36, more than made up for a short bench. The former Hawks fan favorite made 7 of 13 from 3-point range and finished two points from matching his career high of 32.
“Man, the ball was moving tonight,” Korver said. “I don’t know the last time I shot that many shots in a game.”
Korver played in Atlanta from 2012-17.
“I think it’s always fun for him to come back and play,” James said. “He spent a lot of seasons here. ... I know it was a good feeling for him to do what he did tonight.”
Jeff Green had 24 points off the bench.
Newcomers George Hill, Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr. and Rodney Hood joined the Cavs, but remained in the locker room during the game. They are expected to make their debuts with Cleveland on Sunday in Boston.
The team sent medical staff to Atlanta to complete physicals with the four players as quickly as possible.
Dennis Schroder led Atlanta with 25 points. Taurean Prince had 15 points.