The last time the Cleveland Cavaliers won three games in a row was Nov. 9, 2010.
With that disheartening news, the Cavaliers (13-18) lost to the New Orleans Hornets 89-84 on Wednesday night at Quicken Loans Arena.
The Cavaliers could have taken a three-game winning streak into the All-Star break, but instead got outhustled in the first quarter against the Hornets (8-25) and could never quite catch back up. Cavs coach Byron Scott couldn’t muster enough fourth-quarter Kyrie to pull ahead in the final 12 minutes versus his ex-team.
And not to mention that the lineup of the last Hornets players that Scott coached versus the lineup he faced tonight includes zero players on the Nov. 11, 2009 roster and Wednesday’s roster.
It might have been my fault that the Cavs couldn’t muster out their first three-win streak of the season because I commented at the end of the half when Jamison was going to score well beyond 22 points. He ended the first half with 11 points and totaled 22 on the night. Sorry Cleveland faithful.
It wasn’t all me though. Maybe it was the excitement behind Tristan Thompson and Kyrie Irving hopping on a plane tomorrow for All-Star weekend in Orlando. Irving shot 2-13 from the field and totaled six points, arguably his worst performance yet. Thompson came off the bench with a lot of energy and found his shot in the paint early and often. Thompson scored 10 and also grabbed 10 rebounds.
Irving wasn’t the only one who struggled though. The Cavaliers as a team shot a combined 27-85 (31.8 percent) from the field. The three guards who played tonight, Daniel Gibson started and Ramon Sessions came off the bench, shot a dismal 6/27. With newly signed Manny Harris having excellent showings with the Canton Charge, it was strange that he didn’t see any time off the bench with guard play struggling.
It also didn’t help that Cleveland was 24-37 (64.9 percent from the line). Free throws may have been the difference in the game.
There was just no one who could stop Chris Kaman in the paint. The loss of Anderson Varejao for four to six weeks has exposed the depth weakness Cleveland has with strong big men. Kaman scored a team-high 21 points and collected 13 rebounds. It’s going to be a long month.
But let’s give credit when credit is due. Alonzo Gee, who I believe should get a chance to start after the All-Star break, had 13 points that came mostly from riveting dunks that left Austin Carr dead in his tracks. Scott likes having Gee come off the bench, so it’s very unlikely that he will get a shot in the near future.
Just to throw a comparison out there:
The Cavs will be off until Tuesday, Feb. 28 when the Boston Celtics (15-17) come into town. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.