Saturday, March 5, 2016

Cavs give Wizards beatdown, honor beloved '76 Miracle of Richfield team

CLEVELAND -- There's nothing quite like your team playing a complete game, much less giving a complete beatdown in a rematch-revenge game.

The scoreboard at the Q says it all.
That's exactly what the Cleveland Cavaliers did at a home hame Friday, dishing out a 25-point trashing of the Washington Wizards, 108-83, Friday at Quicken Loans Arena.

The Cavs simply got hot from three-point range (44 percent to Washington's 15) and while the Wizards' John Wall got his points, otherwise his team had a tough time putting the ball in the basket.

The Wine and Gold played great defense and Kryie Irving once again put on a dribbling clinic (although he always looks on the verge of losing control of his own body!).

To top it all off, LeBron James and center Timofey Mozgov threw down some massive dunks -- all which electrified the crowd before a nationally televised game, which aired on ESPN. Twelve of Mozgov's 14 points came on dunks or alley oops! (For ESPN's coverage and box score, go here.)

Kevin Love -- the final member of the Cavs' Big Three -- got some rest. The Cavs were so far ahead by the start of the fourth quarter, LeBron didn't play the entire period.

Pregame selfie at the Q!
In fact, the entire Cleveland roster (aside from Love) played in Friday's game.

LeBron started off slow offensively, focusing on dishing out some breath-taking behind-the-back passes on his way to a quiet double-double (19 points and 13 rebounds to go with 7 assists).

But when the big guy got going -- with two two steals early in the first quarter -- it pumped the already jazzed crowd at the Q.

And LeBron's two steals? They resulted in two runaway dunks -- both in the basket on our side of the arena. And they. Were. Awesome!

I was with a gang of 20 super nice folks from The Foundation Church in Norwalk. And thanks to the goofy dancing Pastor Jeff Watson and I did  -- OK, general wackiness -- we got on the Jumpbotron on the Q's massive scoreboard.

And boy did we get loaded with free stuff!

First off, everybody at the Q had a special Miracle of Richfield T-shirt waiting for them at their seats.

In the second half, the Q staff passed out Bam Bams -- you known, those inflatable tubes fans beat together in an attempt to distract their opponents' focus at the free-throw line! (The other side of the arena didn't get any, since the Wizards were shooting from the charity stripe toward us. ...)

Yup, we were in the nose-bleed seats (three rows from the top in fact!), but the truth is there isn't a bad seat
at the Q. They just get better the closer you get to the court.
Every fan also got a free Quarter Pounder from McDonald's.

Not sure why. There was a message on the scoreboard I happened to see at the right time. I'm sure the freebie coincided with someone on the Cavs accomplishing something at the correct time -- but what that was, I don't know. I'll take it though!

Another pregame selfie -- even sillier!
(Last season -- also the last time I saw the Cavs play, LeBron hooked up the crowd with a free soft taco from Taco Bell. He dunked in the closing seconds of the third quarter last year -- another breakaway steal-turned dunk -- when the Cavs spanked the soon-to-be world champs Golden State Warriors, 112-94 on Jan. 8, 2015. That proved the Cavs' Big Three -- or even part of them -- could have beaten the Warriors in the NBA Finals down the stretch if Love and Irving weren't injured. <Siiiighs.>)

But I'm not done! Or rather the Cavs' generosity wasn't!

The guy who hooked Pastor Jeff up with the tickets threw in a free ticket (!) to see the Cleveland Gladiators arena football team. Sweeeet!

Finally, the same ticket sales guy made a trip up to the nose-bleed section and delivered penants for everyone in our group. Complete with an old-school Cavaliers logo!

Friday also was a historic night for the Cleveland Cavaliers as they honored the much beloved 1975-'76 Miracle of Richfield team at halftime. This was the first Cavs team to win a division title. Fittingly, their tribute night came when the current team was playing the Washing Wizards, the squad once known as the Washington Bullets that the Cavs stunned in a gutsy playoff win at the Richfield Coliseum.

Thanks to the Cavs, Jeff and The Foundation Church for a super fun and memorable night!

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