The Cleveland Cavaliers are locking their first place standing as they finished their match with the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday, Nov. 23 with a new team record set by Kevin Love. The Cavs' power forward took the court by storm early, making 34 points in the first quarter.
The Cavs' victory over the Trail Blazers on Wednesday night has been sweet as they finished with 8 points over the latter with a final score of 137-125. Yet it has been sweeter as two All-Star players from the franchise set a record. Love locked 11 out of 14 field goal attempts with eight three-point shots, three two-point shots, and made four free throws, making a total of 34 points on the start of the game. LeBron James, on the other hand, recorded his 44th triple double for the current season.
Love's 34 shoot-points is an NBA record for the first quarter game. This sets the second highest score made in any quarter with the Golden State Warriors' sharp three-point shooter, Klay Thompson, recording the highest. The GSW shooting guard recorded 37 points during the third quarter on Jan. 23, 2015. Love could have tied Thompson's record when he had an open look to drop another three point shot, but unfortunately rimmed out. Love's eight three-pointers is also only a step short of Thompson's record of nine three's.
The Cavs had the last possession in the quarter, but Kyrie Irving himself made the final shot. Love finished the game with 40 points, which is 11 points short his career high of 51 points. He made his most points with the Minnesota Timberwolves on March 23, 2012.
Love had an open look at a three with about a minute left that could have tied both records, but it rimmed out. On the last possession in the quarter, Kyrie Irving looked off Love and took the final shot himself.
"I'm not trying to be nonchalant about it, but sometimes when you're in it, you don't necessarily feel it," Love said in an interview after the game. The All-Star player stayed humble as he said, "It was nothing out of the ordinary, as far as our playcalling and flow of the game...I didn't know that was the record. I wasn't really aware of it."
After the first quarter though, Love missed his only attempt on the basket ending scoreless in the second quarter. He then redeemed himself during the third quarter making six points, and again went scoreless in the fourth quarter. Overall, he made 12 shots out of 20 attempts, including eight successful three-pointers out of 12 attempts.
Cavs superstar James had held the franchise record before Love took it. James made 24 shots in a quarter which he made three times. His career high only recorded 25 in a quarter.
"It's great," James said in reference to his teammate's new record. "I mean, I've always loved seeing my teammates catch one of those moments right there and just try to keep him in that zone as much as possible. I went over and told him just whatever you're doing, wherever you're at right now, just stay right there. Stay even keel. Whatever you're thinking about right there, just stay there, because we're going to keep coming to you," he continued.
The 31-year-old small forward even recognized Love's contribution to the team, saying, "Obviously, we had a huge hot hand...We had a guy that was lightning."