Korver useful in first win for Cavs

SACRAMENTO (California) • Kyle Korver is not ready to pass any test on the basics and intricacies of his new National Basketball Association (NBA) team's offence. In the meantime, he will find a way to make do.

"I still didn't know what was going on half the time," he said after he and the Cleveland Cavaliers tasted victory for the first time together in a 120-108 win over the Sacramento Kings on Friday at the Golden 1 Centre.

"But I knew what was going on half the time. So that was really helpful."

Kyrie Irving scored 26 points, Korver added 18 and lights-out shooting, and the Cavaliers held off three comeback runs by the Kings to end a mini two-game slide.

Cleveland had not won since acquiring Korver, the long-range bomber in his 14th season who came to the Cavaliers the previous Saturday in a trade with the Atlanta Hawks.

Cavaliers forward LeBron James added 16 points and 15 assists for Cleveland (29-10) in his annual visit to the city where he made his debut in 2003. His teams have won on nine of their 12 trips to Sacramento, and he has averaged 28 points, 6.3 assists and 6.8 rebounds in those games.

DeMarcus Cousins had 26 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds for the Kings (16-23), but Sacramento never got closer than six points after falling behind 11-30 in the first quarter.

"I'm happy about how we battled," coach Dave Joerger said.

Korver has proved to be one of the best long-range shooters in the league's history, and he was shooting 44 per cent in 32 games with the Hawks. But he missed all five three-pointers he took with Cleveland in his first two games with them and missed eight of 10 shots overall.

But, after a long shoot-around in which he worked extensively with Cleveland's second unit on set plays with options, Korver looked like his normal self against Sacramento. He went seven of 10 overall and four of six shots from beyond the three-point arc.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 15, 2017, with the headline 'Korver useful in first win for Cavs'. Print Edition | Subscribe