From Isaiah Thomas to Dwyane Wade and Derrick Rose, the Cleveland Cavaliers loaded up on big names last summer. The Cavs face the Celtics with their new lineup on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET at TD Garden in Boston. Hill chipped in 12 while getting the start at point guard, while Nance added just five points but snagged four rebounds.
The Cavaliers entered the blockbuster clash 6 1/2 games behind the high-flying Celtics in the Eastern Conference.
Pierce watched the game from a baseline seat, under the basket where the Celtics scored 42 points in the fourth quarter of Game 6 of the finals to clinch their 17th National Basketball Association championship. Irving chipped in with 18 points (7-14 FG), three rebounds and five assists.
Without naming names, Altman said the players he acquired fit his vision for the type of individuals he wanted on his team more so than the players he shipped out, citing an old coach he worked for, Kyle Smith, who used to say, "We want fountains, not drains".
More moves: In another three-team deal, the Nuggets, looking to improve at point guard, sent point guard Emmanuel Mudiay to the Knicks and got point guard Devin Harris from Dallas. The Cavs essentially gave up on Thomas after he played only 15 games following a 7?-month layoff because of a torn labrum in his right hip.
In Jordan and Nance, whose father played for Cleveland, the Cavs added two young players.
James had a triple-double and Korver hit four straight three-pointers to close the third period en route to scoring 30 points as the crisp Cavaliers beat the Atlanta Hawks 123-107 on Friday night for a successful start to their reboot. Defensively, the Cavaliers are yielding 110.1 points per game. Their weakest areas are offensive rebounds per game (#28), blocks per game (#27) and steals per game (#24).
Doc Rivers was back in town for the retirement ceremony and made sure it was known he was there for Pierce, and not the Celtics.
Irving scored a team-high 28 points in Thursday's win.
Clippers 108, Pistons 95: Lou Williams scored 26 points, and Los Angeles handed former teammate Blake Griffin his first loss in six games with Detroit. Al Horford, who has been an All-NBA level performer all season, was neutralized.
All are capable on the offensive end, with 3 out of the 4 being average to above-average 3-point threats. Celtics coach Brad Stevens was asked about the new-look Cavs and said that he'd wait until the weekend to turn his attention to the defending East champs.
The Cavaliers needed to do something rash while in a prolonged slump and with All-Star forward Kevin Love out with a broken left hand. He's averaged 17.9 PTS, 9.4 REB, 1.6 AST, 0.7 STL, 0.4 BLK and 1.5 TO on the season.
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