Kevin Love Drops a Record 34 Points in the First Quarter

Bryan Brandom
(Photo: Getty Images)

Kevin Love ate and ate and ate. Then he took a much-needed and well-deserved break in a seated position.

And I'm not talking about the Cleveland Cavaliers big man's Thanksgiving.

Instead, the night before Americans collectively dare themselves to stuff their faces with food before they pass out, Love broke an NBA record with 34 points in the first quarter of a 137-125 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.

The nine-year veteran went 11-of-14 from the field in the period, a 8-of-10 from three. Then he sat for the next six minutes and played just 20 the rest of the way.

"I'm not trying to be nonchalant about it, but sometimes when you're in it, you don't necessarily feel it," said Love, who finished with a 40-point night. "It was nothing out of the ordinary, as far as our play-calling and flow of the game."

Head coach Tyronn Lue said going to Love early has been a point of emphasis for the Cavaliers this season.

"Every game that we start out, the first play of the game's for Kevin," Lue said. "You know, he made the little step-back jump shot, and then he made his first couple threes and then we just started looking for him."

Cleveland led 46-31 after the initial period.

"He beat them by himself. To hit shots like that in the first quarter—never seen it," J.R. Smith said at halftime.

LeBron James finished with a triple-double: 31 points, 10 rebounds, 13 assists, and three steals.

"It's great," James said. "I mean, I've always loved seeing my teammates catch one of those moments right there and just try to keep him in that zone as much as possible. I went over and told him just whatever you're doing, wherever you're at right now, just stay right there. Stay even keel. Whatever you're thinking about right there, just stay there, because we're going to keep coming to you."

The record for points in any period belongs to Love's childhood friend, Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson, who scored 37 in a second quarter on January 23, 2015. Love might have tried to get there if he knew how close he was.

"I didn't know that was the record,'' Love said. "I wasn't really aware of it."