Cavaliers forward Kevin Love set an NBA record for points in a first quarter by scoring 34 on Wednesday night against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Love fell three points shy of the league record for points in any quarter, set by Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson, who scored 37 in the third on Jan. 23, 2015.
“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 40 points in Cleveland’s 137-125 win. “It was nothing out of the ordinary, as far as our play-calling and flow of the game.”
Love grew up near Thompson in Lake Oswego, Oregon, but didn’t realize how close he came to eclipsing his childhood friend’s record.
“I didn’t know that was the record,” he said.”I wasn’t really aware of it.”
Love, who established a Cleveland team record for points in any period, made 11 of 14 field goal attempts, including a career-high eight 3-pointers on 10 attempts in the period. He outscored the Trail Blazers 34-31 during the Cavs’ 46-point first quarter.
Kevin Love's 34 points in the 1st quarter today are the 2nd-most points in any quarter in NBA history.
He's outscoring the Blazers, 34-31. pic.twitter.com/hkWB6cDY0o
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 24, 2016
“He beat them by himself,” Love’s teammate J.R. Smith told Fox Sports Ohio at halftime. “To hit shots like that in the first quarter — never seen it.”
The Cavs’ LeBron James previously held the franchise record for points scored in any quarter with 24, which he did three times. James’ career high is 25 in a quarter.
“It’s great,” said James. “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.”
Love’s career high for a game is 51 points, which came while playing for the Timberwolves on March 23, 2012. Love’s previous high this season was 27 points.