Most Memorable Games from the Cleveland Cavaliers' 2012-13 Season
As Cavalier fans enter into an offseason trying desperately to erase painful memories from the 2012-13 season, some games this year were worth remembering.
Whether it be due to an upset win, gaudy individual stats or just an all-around good game to watch, the Cavaliers did provide a nice dose of positive entertainment from time to time.
Looking back over the season, here are the five games that stand out the most due to all of these different reasons.
While more positive memories will hopefully be made in the upcoming years, here's what most of us should remember from an otherwise dismal season.
October 30, 2012 vs. Washington Wizards
Cavs open season with win over Wizards; Anderson Varejao collects career-best 23 rebounds
The first game of the season is always memorable, and there's no better way to start than with a win over a rival team.
Kyrie Irving scored a game-high 29 points while rookie Dion Waiters opened his career up with a smooth 17. As good as both youngsters played, the real hero was Varejao who fell one point and one assist shy of a triple-double. He collected 23 rebounds, a number that would lay the foundation for his 14.4 boards per game for the season. His 12 offensive rebounds in that game would turn out to be a franchise record.
Yes, it was a great night for the Cavaliers, as they began the season 1-0 with hopes high and dreams not yet crushed.
One of the more memorable wins for the Cavs introduced us to Waiters and Tyler Zeller, while reminding us just how good players like Irving and Varejao truly are.
February 2, 2013 vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
Kyrie Irving, Marreese Speights power Cavs in win over Thunder
Quite possibly the most entertaining game of the year for the Cavs came off what was almost certainly the most disappointing.
Following a loss against the Detroit Pistons where Irving mentally checked out, the Cavs responded big time with a win over the reigning Western Conference champs.
Irving scored 13 points in the final three minutes alone, finishing with 35 for the game. Marreese Speights, fresh off a trade from the Memphis Grizzlies, had a man's game with 21 points and 10 rebounds off the bench.
It was a game that showed the Cavaliers may not be too far off the rebuilding pace laid out by the Thunder years ago, and that there is quite a bit of potential in this young group.
December 15, 2012 vs. New York Knicks
Kyrie "Dark Knight" Irving scores career-high 41 points at Madison Square Garden
A tough game early in the season for Cleveland, the Cavs nearly came on top against the red-hot New York Knicks.
At the time, the Knicks had the best record in the Eastern Conference, and the Cavs were once again well on their way to a top-five draft pick.
Cleveland made it a game, however, thanks to Kyrie Irving and his career-high 41 points. He accomplished this while wearing a face mask, courtesy of a fractured jaw bone suffered against the Milwaukee Bucks.
It didn't seem to bother Irving much though, as he finished the night shooting 15-of-25 from the field, including 5-of-8 on three-pointers.
At the venue deemed the mecca of professional basketball, Irving was the best player to step foot on the court.
November 5, 2012 vs. Los Angeles Clippers
Cavs get big win on road; Dion Waiters breaks out with 28 points
In a rare road win for the Cavaliers, Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters showed just how good they can be.
Irving scored 24 points to go along with his 10 assists while Waiters opened a lot of eyes with his 28 point performance. Waiters also knocked down seven three-pointers, showing many why he was the fourth overall pick in the draft just a few months before.
The Cavaliers, led by Waiters, had it going from deep all night. They converted 14-of-29 three-pointers, good for a 48.3 percent clip. Anderson Varejao and Tristan Thompson were strong on the glass, combining for 23 rebounds.
This early season win was a nice ray of sunshine in an otherwise gloomy season. The play of Varejao (15 points, 15 rebounds) really did make a difference early on and makes one wonder where the Cavs would have ended up in the standings had he stayed healthy.
March 20, 2013 vs. Miami Heat
Cavaliers blow franchise-record 27-point lead against Heat
This game had all the drama of a Nicholas Sparks novel on ecstasy.
First there was the leaky scoreboard that delayed the game 35 minutes. Then the Cavs building a monumentous 27-point lead. Then the basketball gods started to pay attention again.
After holding Miami to just 34 first-half points, Cleveland imploded in the second half, allowing a whopping 64 third- and fourth-quarter points.
Any way you slice it, this was the most memorable game for the Cavaliers this season. Best Buy stocks soared the following day, due to the amount of homes in Northeast Ohio who were forced to go out and replace their broken TV following the Cavs' meltdown of a loss.