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Dribbles: Cavs should get a pass on month

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Random dribbles following the Cavaliers' 107-91 win over the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday:

1. Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert said it best when he told ESPN, "It's January."

2. In the past week, LeBron James talked about the roster, general manager David Griffin talked about LeBron's roster comments, and a report surfaced that LeBron and Gilbert were at odds over ... well, LeBron's roster comments.

3. We won't be rehashing any of it here. What's the point? It's January.

4. Remember last year? Everyone said the Cavs were good, but not good enough to win a title. In fact, the Cavs fired the coach in January. But it was January. Not June. ... January.

5. Mostly, what really matters to the players, the owner, the GM and coach Tyronn Lue is the Cavs have won two straight. That may not sound like much when you're the defending champs and both of the opponents have been at home. But considering the week started with losses to the Anthony Davis-less New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings at The Q, the Cavs will take their recent success.

6. Their best game in weeks took place Sunday, as Kyrie Irving continued his hot streak and scored 29 points in totally outplaying Thunder star Russell Westbrook. Irving often saves his best games for the biggest names, and that was again the case in this one.

7. Credit must also go to Iman Shumpert (16 points), who helped haggle Westbrook into 7-of-26 from the floor.

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8. Westbrook is NBA MVP of the season's first half if you ask me, as he's putting together a historic season of triple-doubles. He did it again Sunday -- with 20 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. But he was the third-best player on the court, behind Irving and James (25 points, 14 rebounds).

9. Tristan Thompson was also especially effective, scoring 19 points, grabbing 12 rebounds and recording a plus-26 in perhaps his best game of the season.

10. This is all good, as the Cavs will need more production from their big men. In case you haven't heard, Kevin Love sat out the second half with more lower back soreness. This has been an ongoing thing, as back injuries often are. Love scored a point with eight rebounds in 12 minutes.

11. He will stay in Cleveland for Monday's game at Dallas and have the back evaluated further.

12. A team source told me Love is likely to miss at least the rest of the week, if for no other reason than to heal. But more will be known Monday after a visit to the Cleveland Clinic.

13. Still, the Cavs need to keep this going against a struggling Mavericks team. Yes, the Mavs upset the Spurs in San Antonio on Sunday -- but all that means is they should be extra exhausted to face LeBron and Kyrie and friends.

14. James has experienced his own back issues, including his first season back in Cleveland. "It's nothing to play with," he told reporters. "It's a terrible feeling when your back is hurt. It just limits you more than anything. I know it's very frustrating for (Love) because he puts in a lot of work."

15. The Cavs (32-14) return home Wednesday to face old friend Andrew Wiggins and the Minnesota Timberwolves. Love own a championship ring. Wiggins can't get to the playoffs. I think Wiggins will be dynamite for a long time, but the Cavs won that trade. Not even close.