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Cleveland Cavaliers

Final thoughts: Jazz 109, Cavs 100

By Jason Lloyd Published: March 5, 2012

Byron Scott thought about it for a second, then said no. I disagree.

This is where the season begins to run off the rails for the Cavaliers.

Scott wants someone other than himself to get angry over the team's six-game losing streak. Guys are only trying hard in stretches, and then only once they're behind by double figures and the game is out of reach. Sound familiar? He had many of the same complaints last season when the Cavs stumbled through a miserable 19-63 season and lost 26 games in a row.

But Scott doesn't believe it's headed toward where they went last year. "Not yet," he said. If not now, it's getting there awfully fast.

The Cavs have road games this week at Denver and Oklahoma City. The Cavs never seem to play well in Denver and the game against the Thunder looks almost unwinnable at this point. That takes the losing streak to eight games with a home game Sunday against the Houston Rockets, who sit sixth in the Western Conference and have plenty at stake.

It's easy to see how this losing skid could spiral out of control rather quickly, how a five-game skid can quickly become 10. And then what?

This team is more talented than last season just by the simple addition of Kyrie Irving. The youngsters who were around for all those beatings last season seemed determined not to let it happen again. At least, that's how it felt during the first half of this season. Antawn Jamison said officials and players from other teams would come up to him after games and compliment him for how hard the Cavs were playing.

They haven't played very hard since the All-Star break. Not surprisingly, they haven't won since then, either. Looking at the schedule, they may not get another one anytime soon.

Stats
Cavs

Kyrie Irving 22 points, 4 assists
Antawn Jamison 22 points, 6 assists
Alonzo Gee 15 points, 3 assists
Jazz
Al Jefferson 25 points, 13 rebounds
Gordon Hayward 23 points*, 5 assists
Paul Millsap 13 points, 9 rebounds
* - season high

Key stat
Jamison had six assists, while the Cavs' regular two point guards (Kyrie Irving and Ramon Sessions) combined for five.

Turning point
Jamaal Tinsley's 3-pointer with 5:32 left gave the Jazz a 100-83 lead and negated a futile, late comeback for the Cavs.

Quotable
"You’re hoping sooner or later, someone in the locker room starts getting (ticked) off besides me. Somebody has to start looking at this and taking it more seriously and understanding we can’t keep playing this way.” -- Byron Scott

Quotable II
“Definitely not the team that we saw in the first half as far as competing at a high level and really going after teams. Referees used to come up to me, other players from teams would say ‘You guys really compete.’ Now we’ve gotten away from that.” -- Antawn Jamison

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