CLEVELAND, February 1 – LeBron James scored half of Cleveland's 46 points in a monster first quarter Sunday and the Cavaliers went on to rout the Los Angeles Clippers 114-89 in an NBA contest.The Cavs matched an NBA record with 11 three-pointers in the first period, and the 46 points equalled a franchise mark for most in a quarter.
Their 16 total three-pointers were one short of the team record for a game.
James keyed the fast start as he connected on his first seven shots, including four three-pointers.
It was the second time in a week James had at least 20 points in a quarter. He scored 20 in the second quarter against Miami on January 25.
"There’s no description of a player getting into the zone like that. It just happens," James said. "And when it happens, everything you put up, you feel like it’s going in."
Cleveland, who notched their eighth straight victory, made three-pointers on seven consecutive possessions during the burst.
In addition to James’s four, Daniel Gibson added two and Anthony Parker started the streak with one.
Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy was stunned by the display.
"I’ve got money that I’ll put them in the gym naked, nobody else on them, and they probably can’t make 11 out of 13 again from the same spots," Dunleavy said. "They hit some shots in that first quarter that I know in 30 years of being in the NBA that I’ve (never) seen a team make."
The long-range barrage stretched the lead from 9-7 to 30-11 in barely more than three minutes. The Cavaliers took a 46-20 lead into the second period.
Shaquille O’Neal had 16 points and 12 rebounds for Cleveland. Gibson had 14 points and Jawad Williams chipped in 12.
Baron Davis had 30 points for the Clippers, who have lost four straight and are 1-5 on their eight-game road trip.
Cleveland coach Mike Brown was delighted with the red-hot first quarter, but he was even more pleased with James’ leadership during timeouts in the second half. When the momentum began to shift, he said, James and his teammates recognized it and responded without much direction from their coach.
"We let the game slip away a little bit, and once we realized it, I didn’t have to say much," Brown said. "The win is great, but for me, that was the most exciting part – listening to my players in the huddle. That gets the little hairs on my head standing straight up."