Dahntay Jones. Remember that name, next time you’re playing trivia at your neighborhood bar.
On a humid and rainy night in Northeastern Ohio, the hot-shooting Cleveland Cavaliers rained an all-time three-point barrage on the shell-shocked Atlanta Hawks in a 123-98 rout.
If the Cavs wanted to send a message to the sans Steh Curry-less defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors that they are not the only ones who can shoot the three, consider it message received, at the expense of a team that Cleveland has owned worse than a bad Bank of America mortgage, to the tune of a 10-0 all-time post-season mark.
Cleveland set an all-time NBA record for most three-pointers made in a game, regular or post-season, with 18 in a half—also an NBA record—and 25 for an entire game. The Cavs rode the three-point first-half tsunami to a 36-point halftime lead, 74-38, the largest since 1987.
For the game, Cleveland shot 25-of-45 from three-point range, a blistering 55.6 percent.
According to ESPN, thru six games in the postseason, Cleveland leads all teams in three-pointers made in averaging 16.2 a game and in three-point shooting percentage at 45.2 percent. If tonight’s long range exhibition was any indication of how far the Cavaliers can go, then both the aforementioned Warriors and San Antonio Spurs had better take notice.
Guess who’s three-point record the Cavs broke? You guessed it, Golden State’s previous mark of 21.
The Cavs three-point clinic got so bad that Cleveland rested their starters the entire fourth quarter after scoring 100-plus points…at the end of the third quarter.
J.R. Smith—the best three-point assassin that no one outside of the Bristol-based Steph Curry Sports Network talks about—continued his hot shooting from downtown in leading Cleveland’s three-point assault with seven made three-pointers on 13 attempts, and would finish with 23 points.
Irving and James had four each. Lost amidst the pre-Labor Day Cleveland Air Show inside the Q was James surpassing Tim Duncan for fifth on the all-time post-season scoring list, but that’s okay!
The rest of Cleveland’s Bomb Squad in the form of Channing Frye, Matthew Dellavedova, Kevin Love, Mo Williams, Richard Jefferson, Iman Shumpert and the aforementioned Jones, helped Cleveland treat Atlanta’s bad impression of an NBA team like a glorified three-point shooting contest during All-Star weekend.
That being said, what I saw last night was a motivated and focused Cavaliers team, that when in sync, can beat either Golden State and San Antonio. If there is one issue that Cleveland needs to clean up is their frequent tendency to get lax and take their proverbial foot of the pedal whenever they get a big lead.
If Cleveland can learn to play with a lead and maintain it, while passing the ball and making their shots from the outside on a consistent basis, no one will beat them.
Not to say that the Cavs can already beginning making plans for what will be a personal and heated East Finals with LBJ’s former team, the much-hated Miami Heat, but the way that the embarrassed Hawks scuttled of Quicken Loans Arena and out of Cleveland with their tail feathers between their legs, it’s almost a foregone conclusion.
One game does not make a post-season, nor a difference, but somewhere you know that the Warriors were watching Cleveland’s three-point demolition.
Your move, Dubs.