CLEVELAND — The Cavaliers’ media notes for a Sunday night home game with the Atlanta Hawks proudly pointed out that Cleveland averaged 113.5 points over its first two games.
Left unsaid was that the Cavs gave up an average of 123.5 in losing to Toronto and Minnesota.
“We’ve just got to do a better job limiting transition points,” Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue said prior to his team’s home opener against the Hawks at Quicken Loans Arena.
The Cavs want to play fast offensively, which has helped their scoring average in today’s NBA world of inflated point totals, but they entered Sunday shooting .444 from the field compared to .497 for their opponents.
Cleveland’s scoring average ranked 14th in the league through Saturday and its field-goal percentage was 18th, but its defensive averages in those categories both ranked 25th in the 30-team league.
“The best defensive night is the best offensive night with the way this league is now,” Lue said.
Asked what defensive challenges were created by his team’s fast offensive pace, Lue said, “None. Just get back. We want to play fast. We want to play free.”
- Cavs forward Kevin Love posted his NBA-record 27th career game with at least 25 points, 15 rebounds and three 3-pointers Friday in Minnesota. The next-closest players are Dirk Nowitzki and DeMarcus Cousins with nine apiece.
- The quick technical foul Love received Wednesday in Toronto was rescinded by the league, saving him $2,000.
- Love entered Sunday needing one block for 300 in his career.
- Cavs swingman Kyle Korver entered Sunday needing 30 points to reach 11,000 for his career.
- J.R. Smith (573) was six 3-pointers shy of moving past Daniel Gibson for fifth in franchise history.
- Cavs big man Larry Nance, held out of the first two games due to a sprained right ankle, was in uniform against the Hawks. Tristan Thompson started his third straight game at center, however, because Nance was under a minutes restriction.
- Lue used an unusually high 11 players in his rotation over the first two games. He planned to cut that back to 10 vs. Atlanta.
- The Cavs entered Sunday 9-4 in their last 13 home openers and had won three straight.
- Hawks rookie guard Trae Young (Oklahoma) entered Sunday averaging 17.0 points on .375 shooting (12-for-32) and 7.0 assists in two games.