Mar 22, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers center Spencer Hawes (32) and Houston Rockets forward Terrence Jones (6) fight for a rebound during the third quarter at Quicken Loans Arena. Houston won 118-111. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Cavaliers fall to Rockets 118-111

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Final Outcome: 

The Cavs finished up a string of games against tough opponents with a loss to the Rockets. Despite a late game push, the Cavs fell 118 – 111. James Harden scored 37 points and had 11 assists in just 29 minutes, while Tyler Zeller scored a season-high 23 points. Despite being down 22 at the start of the fourth quarter, the makeshift Cavs lineup put together an impressive comeback coming up just short at the end.

Key Play of the Game: 

With 1:11 left in the game, Alonzo Gee stole the ball from Isaiah Canaan, but overthrew the pass downcourt and turned the ball over, effectively squashing any remaining hope that the Cavs could complete a comeback after being down big. Although a comeback was unlikely, this play basically sealed the L for the Cavs.

Wine & Gold MVP

I’m going to go with Tyler Zeller for Wine and Gold MVP. He was aggressive on the boards and while looking for his shot, en route to a season-high 23 points. In addition, he chipped in six rebounds and played tough against a good Houston interior.

Up Next:

The Cavs will look to end their 4-game losing streak as they travel to New York to face the Knicks, who are still fighting for the eighth playoff spot in the East. With the injuries piling up, the Cavs continue  to look for young talent to develop as they look to get on track against the Knicks.

Five Thoughts:

– The Cavs looked awful for most of the game, but the Cavs had a moment at the end of the game which really made me happy; down about 8 with about :30 seconds left, the Cavs stopped the Rockets on a breakaway, and pushed the ball back downcourt, and got a good shot out of the corner. Although it was a miss, and although the Cavs didn’t come back and win, the fact that this makeshift lineup the Cavs have still competed until the game finished is a really good sign to me; so many teams in the Cavs’ position would have stopped competing, but seeing the extra effort was really good to see.

– Seth Curry made his Cavs debut tonight, and he really didn’t look half bad. I would actually like to see him get a bit more play time rather than Jack / Waiters / Dellavedova all playing 35+ minutes.

– Matthew Dellavedova probably shouldn’t be starting for any NBA team, even the Bucks, but I’ve been really impressed with the effort the Aussie gives night-in and night-out. The guy isn’t an athletic specimen, and is a goofy shooter, but he still finds a way to contribute across the board. It’s interesting that the Cavs’ most effective rookie was the undrafted one.

– Speaking of Cavs’ draft picks, I really hope Sergey Karasev can get healthy and get a bit of extended play time at the end of the season. With the Cavs down to about 9 healthy players and Jarrett Jack playing 35 minutes a night, there’s definitely play time in the backcourt up for grabs, it’s the perfect time to give the Russian sharpshooter some extended regular season gameplay, which is essential for the development of any young NBA player.

– Although he had a double-double tonight, Tristan Thompson has been really underwhelming as a whole in March, and has seen his play time cut as well. I really don’t know why this is happening, as Thompson has been one of the most consistent producers for the Cavs this whole year. Just when it looks like Thompson is on the verge of breaking out into a very good player, he seems to take a step back. Especially due to the Cavs health issues, you’d expect this to be the time when Thompson really steps up, but just the opposite has happened.

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Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers Tyler Zeller

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