On Sunday, Larry Hughes was simply a star.
Hughes scored 27 points and used his intimate knowledge of Washington's offense to help Cleveland stay one step ahead of the Wizards in the Cavaliers' 97-82 win in the opener of their first-round playoff series.
It was a breakout game for Hughes, whose first two seasons with the Cavs haven't gone as well as he - or anyone else - expected.
Last year, his first with Cleveland, Hughes, who has had a history of injury problems, missed 45 regular-season games with a broken right finger on his shooting hand that required two surgeries and still isn't completely healed.
And then, Hughes missed four games of the playoffs following the death of his younger brother, Justin, who died during Cleveland's second-round series against Detroit.
But now healed, Hughes is playing with confidence and focus.
“Looking back to last season, I didn't play in many games with a dominant hand injury so it wasn't a great time for me,” he said. “I just wanted to be out there for my teammates and do everything I could to support them and help the team win.
“This year, I feel like I have a hand in what we do and how far we go. I'm just happy to be healthy right now.”