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Cleveland Cavaliers

Final thoughts: Bulls 114, Cavs 75

By Jason Lloyd Published: January 21, 2012

It didn't take long after the Cavs suffered their worst home loss in team history until people started questioning Cavs coach Byron Scott's rotation patterns. Specifically, why he took Kyrie Irving out of the game in the first quarter when Irving clearly had the hot hand.

Really?

The Cavs lost by 39 points. Irving, while clearly the best player on offense Friday, wasn't going to prevent the Cavs from losing this game against the team with the league's best record.

Scott has been strict with his substitution patterns. He always brings Irving out around the 4-minute mark of the first quarter -- and with good reason. Cavs will play 66 games within four months' time, Irving is only 19 and coming off a fairly serious toe injury.

The Cavs are going to limit his minutes, particularly early in the season and particularly on the first night of a back-to-back. It's a big reason why Irving didn't play the fourth quarter on Friday.

Scott has made moves that deserve second-guessing during his time here, but this wasn't one of them. And the Cavs didn't lose this game because Irving fell out of rhythm early.

It's inexcusable for the Cavs to lose at home to the Bulls by 39 on a night the Bulls were without their best player (Derrick Rose). The fact it was a weekend, the Bulls were in town and the Cavs had been playing halfway decent culminated in a crowd of nearly 18,000 at Quicken Loans Arena. But after that type of showing, I wonder how many of those fans will be back anytime soon.

Key stat
The Cavs scored just 31 points in the second half and 49 total after the first quarter.

Turning point
The Bulls scored the final nine points of the first quarter, the final 10 of the second and enjoyed a 13-0 run late in the third quarter to put the game away for good.

Quotable
"The more they hit, the more we took steps back. We didn’t react to their physical play whatsoever, besides the whining." -- coach Byron Scott

Up next
The Cavs (6-8) play at Atlanta (11-5) tonight at 7.

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