The Cavs were six inches away from their first winning streak since early November -- and just their second winning streak of the season. Instead, Dante Cunningham got a finger on Anthony Parker's shot at the buzzer and the Bobcats escaped with a much-needed victory to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Cavs fans are probably happy with the loss. After all, the Minnesota Timberwolves' futility is breathing down the Cavs' necks for the league's worst record. Minnesota has dropped seven straight and doesn't look like a team very interested right now.
The Timberwolves' closing schedule is brutal, with games against Chicago, Miami, Memphis, Denver and Houston still to come -- all teams either in the playoffs or on the cusp. With their most winnable game remaining next Tuesday at New Jersey (the Wolves are 5-32 on the road), it's not inconceivable that the Timberwolves don't win another game all season.
For the Cavs to endure a winless January AND a 26-game losing streak and STILL not claim the league's worst record ... well, something is seriously wrong in Minnesota, that much is obvious.
But give credit to Byron Scott and these players for not quitting early. Scott got his point across two weeks ago when he publicly chewed out his players four times in about a week for showing signs of punching out early. As evidenced by the last two nights, the Cavs have clocked back in.
Baron Davis is a big reason why. He takes command of huddles during timeouts while the coaches are conferring on the court. He's in guys' ears in practice, getting in their face when they aren't doing what they should be doing.
Antawn Jamison held that role early in the season, but only because no one else would do it. Anthony Parker and Mo Williams aren't those kind of veterans. That's not a knock on them, it's just not in their personality. It is in Davis' and he's made quite a big impression in a very short amount of time.
The Cavs' motive in making the trade for Davis was the unprotected first-round pick from the Clippers. If they wind up with a plugged in, motivated veteran who can lead this team the right way? That might be just as surprising as that win over LeBron on Tuesday.
Ramon Sessions 24 points, 10 of 10 free throws
J.J. Hickson 20 points, 16 in second half
Anthony Parker 14 points, 6 of 9 shooting
Baron Davis 11 points, six assists
Boris Diaw 26 points*, 11 assists*
Kwame Brown 16 points*
D.J. Augustin 12 assists**
** -- ties career high; * -- ties season high
The Cavs went scoreless over the final two minutes, while Charlotte's Boris Diaw scored the final four points and eight of the last 10 on Cavs' bigs who were in foul trouble.
The Bobcats shot 56 percent and scored 54 points in the paint.
They said it
"We stayed in it the whole game and gave ourselves a chance. Coming off a high like last night and playing against a team hungry for a playoff spot and the level of intensity they were playing at, they’re starving for a victory just to stay in the playoff picture. We really battled tooth and nail until the end. We gave ourselves a great shot." -- Baron Davis
The Cavs (15-59) travel to the Washington Wizards (18-56) at 7 p.m. on Friday.