Former Liberty County High School basketball player Jordan McRae got his first start for the Cleveland Cavaliers Wednesday and made the most of his opportunity. The Cavaliers had already locked in the top seed for the playoffs and sat out many of their starter for the game giving McRae and others the starting nod.
According to the press release on the Cavaliers’ web-site McRae scored a career-high 36 points in 47 minutes of play. He also made the three-point shot which sent the game into overtime. The Pistons would eventually win 112-110 but McRae’s 36 points were the second most by a Cavalier player this season with LeBron James holding the top spot with 37 points in three separate games this year.
McRae also had seven assists, four rebounds, was 14-for-29 at the line and 3-for-5 from behind the paint.
McRae said it was a surreal experience watching LeBron James, Kevin Love, J.R. Smith and Kyrie Irving cheering him on from the bench. McRae said he and Irving are close friends and he listened for his voice from the bench in offering tips throughout the game.
“We are the same age and that is somebody I hang out with a lot on and off the court,” McRae said about Irving. “He has been in the league now for five years, whereas I have only been in the league for five minutes. I was just trying to soak up as much information as I can from him, especially when I was playing the point.”
The Cavaliers will play the Pistons again but this time it will be in the first round of the NBA playoffs. The Piston will play at the Cavaliers for the first two games. The schedule has yet to be announced.