Sometimes it's difficult to find even the slightest sign of progress during the Cavaliers' season. This is one of those nights.
-- Byron Scott wanted the Cavs to drive the Rockets off the 3-point line. Instead, they sank 9 of 14 3-pointers in the first half. The players either aren't understanding what Scott wants done or they aren't executing it. Scott wants the players running at the shooters to push them off the line. They aren't doing it, and for those who are, it's happening too late.
-- This was the type of night the Cavs should've dominated the boards, as the Milwaukee Bucks did the night before in beating the Rockets. Without Yao Ming to contend with, Bucks center Andrew Bogut grabbed 22 rebounds, leading to plenty of second-chance points. Anderson Varejao managed just eight rebounds and the Cavs had just eight second-chance points.
-- The Cavs surrendered a 30-point quarter for the 23rd time in 23 games. They have such a slim margin for error, they don't have the ability to come back on a team once they get down by 8, 10 or 12 points. Often, as was the case tonight, the deficit simply grows to 15 or 20.
The longer this losing streak trudges on, the more it's becoming clear that this roster is simply a collection of role players. There are plenty of players who would be great reserves on a playoff team, but most of them are starting for the Cavs.
Twenty three games into the season, the same storyline is already growing old: One bad quarter, perhaps one bad three minute stretch, dooms any chance at winning. Wednesday against the Bulls, it was the game's final three minutes. Tonight against the Rockets, it was the final three minutes of the third quarter.
Another night, another loss. On to the next city, where Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder are anxiously awaiting the limping Cavaliers' arrival.
The Cavs cut the deficit to 82-75 on a dunk by Leon Powe with 3:39 left in the third, but went scoreless the rest of the quarter as the Rockets went on a 10-0 run to pull away.
He said it
"It seemed like deja vu all over again when we played Minnesota and they hit shot after shot." -- Antawn Jamison, referring to the Cavs' 34-point loss to the woeful Timberwolves last week.
The Rockets made 6 of 8 3-pointers in the first quarter en route to 37 points. The Cavs trailed the rest of the way.
* The Cavs have lost seven straight for the first time in seven seasons, when they had seven and eight-game losing streaks during LeBron James' rookie year.
* Antawn Jamison's 24 points were a season high. He has scored at least 20 points in three of his last four games.
* The Cavs had nine turnovers, one more than their season low of eight (set on Nov. 16 against Philadelphia).