SACRAMENTO, Calif. — One shootaround was all it took for Kyle Korver to find his shooting groove with his new team.
Korver scored 18 points and delivered a needed spark to the second unit in his most productive game since joining Cleveland, and the Cavaliers tuned up for a NBA Finals rematch by beating the Sacramento Kings 120-108 on Friday night.
"Personally it was good to have a game when you got some good looks just to feel good about going forward," said Korver, who was just 2 for 10 in his first two games since being acquired from Atlanta. "Not that I didn't before. You just knew it was going to take some time. I'm excited."
Kyrie Irving scored 26 points and Cleveland snapped a two-game losing streak before taking on Golden State on Monday in its first game at Oracle Arena since winning the NBA title there last June. LeBron James had 16 points and 15 assists, while Kevin Love added 15 points and 18 rebounds
DeMarcus Cousins had 26 points and a season-high 11 assists and Rudy Gay scored 23 points for the Kings, who fell to 1-4 on their seven-game homestand. Sacramento was done in by 21 turnovers.
"When you play a team this calibre, you can't spot them points the way we did tonight," Cousins said. "We have to be disciplined and fundamental as we can be. We kind of made it hard on ourselves."
The Cavs sent forward Mike Dunleavy, guard Mo Williams, cash and a protected future first-round draft pick to the Hawks last for Korver, a 14-year veteran whose ability to come off screens and deep range challenge defences.
Korver struggled his first two games as he had no practice time. But after a lengthy morning shootaround he felt more comfortable in the offence. That proved to be key this game, especially after Sacramento had cut a 24-point lead to eight when Arron Afflalo scored on the opening possession of the fourth quarter.
Korver responded with a 3-pointer and answered again a few minutes later after Cleveland's lead was cut to six with his fourth 3 of the game. He shot 7 for 10 for the game, making 4 of 6 3-pointers.
"This morning was the first time he got an opportunity to see what we wanted to execute and how he could be a part of that," James said. "It was great to see him making those shots and we want him to keep firing."
The Cavs started fast behind 11 first-quarter points from Love and led by 17 points after one. The lead grew to 21 early in the second before the Kings rallied to cut it to 10.
That's when Korver stepped up for the first time, scoring seven points during an 11-0 run that put Cleveland back in control. The Cavs scored nine points in a 59-second span to quickly turn the tide in their favour.
Cavaliers: G Iman Shumpert replaced DeAndre Liggins in the starting lineup and hit three 3-pointers in the first quarter. ... James got a technical in the first quarter when he argued a non-call against Gay on a blocked shot.
Kings: Cousins got called for a second foul midway through the first quarter on an illegal screen. ... Sacramento has lost four straight to Cleveland.
Shumpert wore James' retro shoes that will be available to buy again later this month. James said it was no surprise Shumpert found his shooting stroke, matching a season high with 16 points and hitting four 3-pointers.
"He wore my retros in the game," James said. "It must be the shoes."
Cavaliers: Visit Golden State on Monday, looking to sweep the series after their victory on Christmas.
Kings: Continue seven-game homestand Sunday against Oklahoma City.