Despite having seven players score in double figures, the Cleveland Cavaliers were outgunned from start to finish in the second half on their Texas two-step. Their game against the Dallas Mavericks was eerily similar to their brutal 14-point loss to the Houston Rockets, as there were times where the Cavaliers looked like they could complete and times were they looked like they didn’t even belong in the same league as the Mavericks. In the end, and much like the Rockets game, the home team dominated the second half and consistently repelled any Cleveland comeback attempts. And at the final horn, the Cavaliers fell by a final score of 124-107. The loss was their fifth straight defeat.
Key Play to the Game
Late in the third quarter, Cavaliers power forward Tristan Thompson received a pass just outside the restricted area. Thompson then drop stepped and went up for baby hook but was denied at the rim. The Mavericks immediately triggered a fast break that was capped off by a Devin Harris layup. Cavaliers coach Mike Brown immediately called a timeout, while Mavericks head honcho came out to the floor clapping, clearly energized by his the play of his squad. The bucket was part of Dallas’ gradual build up of their lead, which was double digits at the end of the third. This bucket, which came off on one many inept Cavaliers offensive moves, was the sign that the game was out of grasp for the Cavaliers. They fought hard, but just weren’t a good enough team to keep it competitive. The back breaking play may have happened before this or maybe after, but it definitely did happen.
Wine & Gold MVP
It’s hard to give MVP awards of any kind when a team loses by 17 points, so tonight I’ll give it to the Cavalier who played the hardest. Tonight, that was Kyrie Irving, who finished with 27 points on 8-18 shooting, eight assists and only three turnovers in 40 minutes. It wasn’t Irving’s best game and he definitely cooled off after a scoring start, but he was one of two players (along with Luol Deng) to consistently attack and try and make things happen. Pretty much everyone who played tonight had a good moment or two (even Anthony Bennett) but Irving had the most. Yay?
Dirk Nowitzki just made a post-up basket with 3 #Cavs guarding him. Tristan Thompson just smiled and shook his head afterward.
— M.S. Boyer/J. Valade (@PDcavsinsider) February 4, 2014
Dirk as a trailer is so unfair — Carter Rodriguez (@Carter_Shade) February 4, 2014
It’s time to be honest with ourselves, who do you like in the top 5? Dreaming of young stars made the other seasons better. — Ryan Mourton (@Ryan_Mourton) February 4, 2014
— Sam Amico (@SamAmicoFSO) February 4, 2014
The Cavaliers will have a day off to travel back the wintry shores of Lake Erie to take on the Los Angeles Lakers. In their previous matchup, Nick Young (aka Swaggy P) dropped 28 points on the Cavaliers in a 120-118 shootout. The game occurred during the Cavaliers mostly dreadful west coast road trip and Luol Deng had to drop 27 points – 15 of which came from behind the arc – to give the Cavaliers some consistent offense. The Lakers also might be more dysfunctional than Cleveland and that is saying something. If the Cavaliers are actually going to win a game this week, this is the one. Tipoff is at 7:00 p.m. from Quicken Loans Arena.