Let's be clear: J.J. Hickson apparently hasn't returned yet from the All-Star break. Hickson gave a performance reminiscent of early in the season when he mentally checked out -- or better yet, never actually checked in.
Scott benched Hickson again for the entire fourth quarter to send him a message, since it was the one motivating factor that worked with him early in the season. Scott grabbed Hickson's attention the fastest when he didn't play him in the fourth quarter, and chances are it worked again on Wednesday.
But let's not make too much of this -- yet. Everyone is entitled to a lousy performance every once in a while, the spotlight just seems to shine brighter on Hickson given his history of sketchy performances.
Scott grew irritated -- a rarity for him -- when questions about Hickson persisted. FS Ohio's microphones picked him up scolding Hickson, to which Scott replied "that's between me and J.J." Scott would only add that he wasn't getting what he wanted out of Hickson, so he went in another direction. When asked about Hickson's mental focus again, Scott's eyes sharpened and he repeated himself.
Scott knows the progress Hickson has made this season and wasn't going to unload on him because of one slip. But if it happens again Wednesday ...
Antawn Jamison 26 points, 3 rebounds
Ramon Sessions 20 points, 12 assists
Manny Harris 21 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists
Anthony Parker 19 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists
Kevin Martin 30 points
Chase Budinger 30 points, 14 in fourth quarter
Courtney Lee 16 points
The Rockets scored 19 of the first 23 points to start the third quarter to take command of the game. They rarely trailed the rest of the way.
The Rockets outrebounded the Cavs 57-37, including 22 offensive rebounds.
They said it
"If you look at the stat sheet offensively, we probably should've won the game. But you give a team like that 22 offensive rebounds, you make it very tough on yourselves." -- Cavs coach Byron Scott
Mo Williams (ankle) and Daniel Gibson (personal) both missed tonight's game.
The Cavs (10-47) host the New York Knicks (29-26) at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.