That was awesome. The game. The Dunk. The crowd going crazy. Did I mention the Dunk? Everything about the Cavaliers win last night was pure entertainment.
Photo Credit: Amy Sanchetta / AP
The Cavaliers obviously had a point to prove early that they were not nearly as bad as they performed in LA vs the Lakers. They came out strong and showed everyone that they weren’t going to lay down. They held a double digit lead in the 1st quarter. The Lakers seemed surprised the Cavaliers were giving effort, and Kobe was in foul trouble. So it was just a matter of time before they turned it on and started to blitz the Cavaliers.
That blitz started to happen as the Cavaliers’ 8-point 1st quarter lead was erased, although a funny thing happened then. The Cavaliers started to trade punch for punch. An Anthony Parker three pointer at the buzzer, combined with some great defense by Christian Skyenga, gave the Cavaliers a 5-point halftime lead.
The Cavaliers would stay the course and keep fighting, and they actually won! A huge part of this victory goes to our man Skyenga. He had an absolute monster dunk over Pau Gasol, who according to Skyenga is “tall”, and he played great defense on the unstoppable Kobe Bryant.
All said and done, Skyenga played 27 minutes, scoring 10 points on 5-7 shooting (a career high 71.4%), grabbed 2 rebounds and had 3 steals. He also posted a career high +6 +/- rating for the game. The 10 points moved him a up a few more notches on the Cavalier All-Time Scoring List:
He made the team and played 40 games before being cut midway through the 1978-79 season. In those 40 games, he scored 4.1 points in 10 minutes per game. The following season, the Spurs gave Davis a 10 day contract. He appeared in 4 games over those 10 days, but did not do enough to convince the Spurs to sign him full time. He never appeared in the NBA again after that.
Kevin Williams was a 2nd round pick of the Spurs in 1982 out of St. Johns. He is not the Kevin Williams (who changed his name to Miles Dabord) who was the brother, and possible killer, of the late Bison Dele. He played in 19 games for the Spurs as a rookie before being cut. He was singed a year later by the Cavaliers, and played in 46 games for Cleveland. He scored 163 points in those 46 games, averaging 3.5 points per game. The Cavaliers were not impressed by Williams and waived him before the start of the following season. He was able to hang on in the League for three more years after that, mostly with Seattle.
Lee Nailon was a 2nd round pick in the 1999 draft of the Hornets out of TCU. Nailon was a gunner. In his two years at TCU, he scored 1,503 points in 63 career games (23.9 ppg). He was a surprise solid addition to the Cavaliers in the 2003-04 season. As a free agent, he was signed to a 10 day contract twice by Cleveland, and then signed for the remainder of the season. He scored 7.7 points in 18.0 minutes per game. He played 22 games for the Cavaliers, starting 4, and scored 170 points. The Hornets signed him after the season, and he responded with a career high average of 14.2 points. The following year, while with the 76ers, he was traded to the Cavaliers (along with a 2nd round pick that would become Boobie Gibson). The Cavaliers did not keep Nailon though, waiving him two days later. He would not play in the NBA again after that. Currently he is playing professionally in Israel.
The Cavaliers now have a week off for the All-Star Break. Lets hope they can use the momentum from the win to carry them into the 2nd half of the season.
Stay tuned, as I fully expect our guy Christian Skyenga (@christeyenga8) to keep his momentum as he will continue to impress and soar his way up the Cavalier Scoring List!