One day after the Cavaliers traded away six players — including Isaiah Thomas, Dwyane Wade, and Derrick Rose — and acquired four players, they beat the Atlanta Hawks 123-107.
While the Hawks (an NBA-worst 17-39) are a dumpster fire, the Cavs were depleted themselves as the four newcomers aren’t ready to play yet.
But LeBron James still managed to put up a triple-double, and even set a career-high in assists with 19(!). LeBron was originally credited with 17 assists, but was given two more in postgame video review.
After video review, the NBA has given LeBron 19 assists on the night, a new career high.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 10, 2018
Now, assists also require teammates to make shots, and the Cavs certainly did that off LeBron’s passes (these numbers are also before he was credited with two more assists):
LeBron James accounted for 46 points off his assists tonight, which is his most in his career in a single game.
The Cavaliers shot 17-of-24 (70.8) directly off his passes tonight. pic.twitter.com/HIlBmxCJlj
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 10, 2018
Kyle Korver (30) and Jeff Green (24) combined to score 54 points for Cleveland off the bench, and both veterans shot an efficient 9-of-16 from the field (they combined to go 7-of-17 on threes).
We already knew that LeBron approved of the Cavs’ trades (after all, he’s basically the GM), and he probably feels that way even more after setting a career-high in assists in the first game following the moves. LeBron said after the win that it felt like the team “played together”:
“It felt like we played together,” said James, who had 22 points, 12 rebounds and a career-high 19 assists in 41 minutes.
“Offensively and defensively the communication was really high. The ball was moving around. The ball was popping and everybody felt like they were in a good rhythm.”
Cleveland appears to be the clear winners of the NBA trade deadline, and their new players — George Hill, Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr., and Rodney Hood — are expected to make their debuts in an Eastern Conference showdown against the Boston Celtics on Sunday.