What’s a bad way for the Cleveland Cavaliers to follow up a 2-5 lull and a very public callout of the front office?
Yeah, dropping an overtime decision to the Sacramento Kings at home won’t do much for rising tension levels in Cleveland. LeBron James logged 45 minute and a triple-double tonight, but the Cavs were sloppy all night. Kevin Love had three turnovers before the Cavs even scored a point, and they only shot 17-for-34 from the free-throw line. Love and Kyrie Irving chipped in 21 and 20 points respectively, but new addition Kyle Korver was -17 in 34 minutes and Iman Shumpert was the only non-Big Three player who appeared to give a damn. After the game, LeBron was not happy.
As for the Kings, Boogie Cousins finished one assist shy of a triple-double of his own, and he ably negotiated the Cavaliers defense all night even as they pressured him into a bad shooting night. Right after tying the game up with a few seconds left, Cousins stole it away from Kevin Love at the end of regulation and would have won the game if there was more time on the clock. Rookie guard Malachi Richardson had the best game of his NBA career tonight and proved Dave Joerger’s decision to bench Ben McLemore right.
Even champions have rough patches, but this current 2-6 rut is LeBron James’s worst eight-game stretch since 2011. The Cavs are, of course, a better team than the Kings, but it’s impossible to ignore the fact that their losing streak coincides with the Warriors clicking better than they have all year.