LeBron James could not contain his delight after the Cleveland Cavaliers' new quartet helped inspire a big victory over the Boston Celtics.
Struggling for form and consistency in the NBA this season, the Cavs made a splash on trade deadline day, bringing in George Hill, Jordan Clarkson, Rodney Hood and Larry Nance Jr as the likes of Isaiah Thomas and Dwyane Wade made way on Thursday.
Hill, Clarkson, Hood and Nance played for the first time on Sunday and guided the Cavs to an impressive 121-99 win over the Celtics in Boston.
"It was a good start," three-time NBA champion James said. "It's almost like the new guys have been here."
The new guys showed out tonight on #NBAonABC!@JordanClarksons: 17 pts, 3 reb, 3-4 3PM, 2 stl@rodneyhood: 15 pts, 3 reb, 3-6 3PM, 1 blk + 1 stl@George_Hill3: 12 pts, 3 reb, 2-4 3PM@Larrydn22: 5 pts, 3 ast, 4 reb, 1 stl— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) February 11, 2018
Game 1 as a Cavalier: #AllForOne pic.twitter.com/qQizuSJ4Bc
James fell just shy of a triple-double, posting 24 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds, while Hill (12), Clarkson (17), Hood (15) and Nance (5) combined for 49 points.
"It started with George and his on-the-ball pressure and him just running the team," James added.
"And then the three guys came off the bench. Jordan was - he's ready to score at any time but his composure was great.
"Rodney plays with so much poise and Larry was just controlling the perimeter, setting great pick-and-rolls. Got him a lob, got him a dunk, so it was a good start for the new guys, a good start for all of us with our revamped team so far."
The Cavaliers entered the blockbuster clash six-and-a-half games behind the high-flying Celtics in the Eastern Conference.
"I think they [Celtics] are playing better basketball than we are, especially for the majority of the season," James said. "We've got some work to still do. We're just coming together; guys don't quite know what we want to do. ... So, we've got some catching up to do.
"Not only Boston but Toronto and Philadelphia and a lot of other teams in the Eastern Conference and the rest of league. To try to get on a page where we feel like we're confident enough to win a playoff game."
Before the game, Hill said his and the rest of the team's goal was to fill in around James' playing scheme following the departure of star guard Thomas.
"We have one of the best players in the history of the game, I'm sure he's going to dictate the tempo and things like that," Hill said. "We just got to do our job, be the best role players we can possibly be. He's the Batman, and we got to be all Robins. We got to figure it out."
22 de mayo 2018
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|Yates stays on course for Giro title, Dennis wins time trial|
|Brighton sign Nigeria international Balogun|
|Ronaldo again pips LeBron and Messi as sport´s most famous star|
|Marcelo fears backlash if Madrid lose Champions League final|
|Messi joins Argentina´s World Cup training camp|
|FIFA finds no doping cases in Russia´s World Cup squad|
|Liverpool´s strikeforce reminds Ronaldo of Real Madrid|
|Hysaj staying at Napoli ´regardless of Sarri´s future´|
|Amir fully fit for Lord´s Test|
|A fast start to life - The Golden Knights and the expansion teams who excelled early|
|Molina gets two-year anti-doping ban for positive test after Joshua bout|
|Ramos: We´re a vintage Real Madrid team|
|Klopp key to controlling Liverpool emotions, says Alonso|
|Bjorn names Westwood, Harrington, Donald and McDowell as Europe vice-captains|
|Scarlets players left wounded by ´shocking´ Scotstoun pitch|
|Arsenal fined £20,000 for Leicester penalty protest|
|Storm offer Bellamy ´significant´ deal amid reported Broncos interest|
|Rashford writes moving tribute on anniversary of Manchester Arena attack|
|Heaton backs Kane´s captaincy credentials|
|Salah deserves Ballon d´Or if Liverpool win Champions League – Owen|
|Wasps flanker Willis out for up to a year|
|Real Madrid v Liverpool: Is the Champions League enough to save Zidane?|
|I was left out on reputation - Nainggolan angered by World Cup snub|
|Pellegrini targets Europe with West Ham|
|Lopetegui extends Spain contract|
|Edinburgh-bound Barclay´s Scarlets career over following Achilles surgery|
|Saints swoop for NRL star Naiqama|
|Zidane: Be careful when you criticise Ronaldo|
|It doesn´t get better - Stevens relishing best-of-three shootout for Celtics|
|Favre named new Dortmund boss|
|LeBron and Lue hail evergreen Kyle Korver|
|Kane named England captain for World Cup|
|Wright slams Arsenal over Emery: It´s like a sushi shop!|
|Pellegrini named new West Ham manager|
|Late drama and sustained Ronaldo magic - Real Madrid´s road to the Champions League final|
|Yankees´ home runs fuel win over Rangers|
|LeBron scores 44 points as Cavs level series against Celtics|
|Kaufusi re-signs with Melbourne Storm|
|LeBron James sets record for postseason field goals|
|Monchi: Alisson will only leave Roma if I come out of retirement!|
|No offers from Chelsea or Zenit, says Sarri´s agent|
|No Champions League pressure as PSG´s Tuchel calls for patience|
|Nationals´ Juan Soto hits homer in second career at-bat|
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|Eli Apple embarrassed by 2017 antics, ready to move forward|
|Bills release Richie Incognito from reserve/retired list|
|Gentry and Pelicans want Cousins back in New Orleans|
|MLB extends Blue Jays closer Osuna´s administrative leave|
|Lloris, Jedinak and Kjaer ask FIFA to allow Guerrero to play at World Cup|
|Wolfsburg preserve Bundesliga status after play-off win over Kiel|
|Zidane was my idol and always will be - Wijnaldum|
|Liverpool ready to fly out of the blocks in Kiev - Henderson|
|Montreal Impact 0 LA Galaxy 1: Ibrahimovic sent off for slapping opponent|
21 de mayo 2018
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|Messi physically and mentally ready for the World Cup, Sampaoli proclaims|
|Murray expected to return at Rosmalen Grass Court Championships|
|More to Madrid than just Ronaldo - Robertson|
|Wolff: Red Bull and Ferrari favourites in Monaco|
|Iniesta hailed by Xavi as ´the most talented player in the history of Spain´|