We at MTAC have been bashers of Larry Hughes from day one. But we have to give the man his due today. Not that we were watching (college hoops takes precidence), but Hughes went nuts for an out of nowhere 40 points including 4-5 from three point land and 12-13 from the line in the Cavs big win in Orlando last night. Not bad for the guy who usually can't hit water if he fell out of a boat. He even scored 23 in the third quarter alone! Huge win for the Cavs who again were without Daniel Gibson, Sasha Pavlovic, and Anderson Varajao.
Larry Hughes on last night's breakout:
"I felt comfortable," Hughes said. "I was able to get to the free-throw line also. Anytime you get free throws and layups, it makes jump shots easier. I was able to get some nice looks, catch a good rhythm, step into the shot. My teammates were looking for me, and I was able to knock down the shot.
"Putting me on the free-throw line makes the game easier. Anytime we do get to the free-throw line, that's going to benefit our team more so than settling for jump shots or not making good plays."
"Bron slid over and played a lot of point in that third quarter, and that allowed me to get on the wing, allowed me to cut and allowed me to slash," Hughes said with a smile. "So, he had a big part in that. Obviously, we got to him 95 percent of the time, but he was able to see that I caught a rhythm, and he stepped up and got me the ball."
''Sometimes when you have a little adversity it can be fun,'' Hughes said. ''It is all in the way you look at it and I saw it as a challenge.''
Lebron On Hughes:
"Every play was called for him in the second half, every single play," said James, who finished with 29 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds. "Every play I wanted Larry to touch the ball first. He was in that rhythm, and he had it going."
Coach Mike Brown on Hughes:
"Larry really stepped up and had a tremendous game," Brown said. "I knew he was scoring a lot of points, but I didn't know he had 23 in the third. His production, obviously, was huge for us tonight. When you have a guy who steps up like that, it takes a lot of pressure off the rest of our team to score."
Our friends at Hey Larry Hughes Please Stop Taking So Many Bad Shots.com wrote an open letter to Nets GM Rod Thorn with Hughes' stat line from last night at the top, begging him to take Hughes in a trade for PG Jason Kidd. Pretty funny stuff.