LeBron takes over early, rests in fourth quarter of Cavs blowout win
CLEVELAND -- At this early stage of the season, there were some concerns about LeBron James averaging 40.4 minutes per game. But in the Cavs 127-94 over the Hawks on Saturday, James got to enjoy the fourth quarter from the bench.
James scored 32 points in 28 minutes, 54 seconds, which was his lowest playing time of the season. He scored 42 points the night before as the Cavs rallied in the fourth quarter on the road in Boston.
"Once you suit up and go out on the court it doesn't matter how many minutes you play. You still have to do the same routine and same treatment after every game," James said. "Last night took a lot of energy and was very emotional but we had a lot more in the tank tonight."
James was the catalyst in the Cavs fast start. He scored 11 of the Cavs' first 14 points, including a dunk off a Kyrie Irving steal and assist. By the end of the first quarter, in which the Cavs led 41-25, James scored 11 points and was 3 for 3 on 3-pointers. The Cavs set an NBA record in the first by hitting all nine of their 3-point attempts.
"Coming off a back to back I didn't want a slow start. Wanted to be aggressive and see where it takes us," James said. "Everyone was moving the ball and was in tune."
James has three games where has scored 32 points or more. Over the past five games, he is averaging 31.6 points, 7.6 assists and 6.2 rebounds. In the second game of a back-to-back set and with four games in six nights, the extra rest could come in handy down the line.
Before the game, Cavs head coach David Blatt said that James has told him that he is feeling good and that they would assess minutes if needed to down the line.
"This is the time to allow him to get comfortable and in his rhythm. He's been playing good basketball and he looks excellent," Blatt said. "For the foreseeable future we're going to ride that. We'd like to get him a couple minutes of rest a game but that depends on how we're doing from game to game. If it's a necessity we'll weigh it and do what is best for the player and the team."