NBA

Wed, Feb 2, 2011 - 7:00 PM ET
Game Recap
 

Cavs on verge of NBA futility record

Byron Scott
Beleaguered Cavs coach Byron Scott has a tough time watching their 22nd straight loss.
Share This Story

   
 

CLEVELAND (AP)

So close. So tantalizingly close.

That's about as good as the Cleveland Cavaliers can hope for these days.

Their long losing streak is almost history.

Cleveland's slide reached 22 straight — one shy of the NBA's single-season record — as Danny Granger scored 23 points and Darren Collison added 22 to lead the Indiana Pacers to a 117-112 win over the Cavs, who are still winless in 2011 and losers of 32 of 33.

''We're disappointed. It's frustrating,'' forward Anthony Parker said. ''We had opportunities to win and we came up short. We've got to find a way to get it done.''

Unless they can prevail on Friday in Memphis, the Cavs (8-41) will match the league's all-time mark for consecutive futility, a record shared by the 1995-96 expansion Vancouver Grizzlies and 1997-98 Denver Nuggets, who each dropped 23 in a row.

Cavs coach Byron Scott played on that dreadful Vancouver team. He's now coaching one that could soon be equally as pathetic.

''It hurts,'' Scott said. ''When you lose games it hurts, especially when you give yourself an opportunity to win, it hurts that much more. We had an opportunity.''

Actually, several of them.

The Cavs had chances to pull out their first win since beating the New York Knicks in overtime on Dec. 18, but Parker missed a runner in the lane with 18.8 seconds left, J.J. Hickson fumbled away a pass underneath and Granger iced it by making four free throws in the final 17 seconds.

Ramon Sessions scored 25 points and Antawn Jamison had 21 for Cleveland, falling further than it ever imagined in its first season without superstar LeBron James.

The Cavs fought until the end, something they rarely did while going 0-for-January. This was better, much better, but still not good enough for a team missing several key players because of injuries.

Just like comic Bill Murray's character in the movie ''Groundhog Day,'' it was more of the same on Groundhog Day for the Cavs.

''That one took a lot out of us,'' said Sessions, who added nine assists and went 13 of 14 from the line. ''We felt like we played well. We weren't able to close them out.''

Power rankings

Who's first? Who's worst? Check out our final NBA power rankings.

With the score tied 110-all, Collison drained a key three-pointer from the left side with 1:08 to play, forcing the Cavs to call a timeout. Christian Eyenga then hit a tough jumper to pull Cleveland within one, and when Parker grabbed a miss by Granger, the Cavs seemed to be in business.

But Parker's short shot — he thought there was contact — in the lane rimmed out, and Granger was fouled. He made both free throws to give the Pacers a 115-112 lead. On Cleveland's next possession, Sessions drove in the paint and drew two defenders before dumping the ball underneath to Hickson, who fumbled it and the Cavs' chance slipped away with it.

''Tough pass,'' Hickson said. ''Should've caught it.''

When the horn sounded, Scott dropped his head and a small, but boisterous, Cleveland crowd headed toward the exits and another cold ride home.

The Pacers improved to 4-0 this season over the Cavs and won its second straight under interim coach Frank Vogel, who replaced the fired Jim O'Brien last week.

Before the game, Vogel joked about not being well known outside the Pacers' locker room. He went to lunch on Wednesday with center Roy Hibbert and wasn't recognized.

''People don't know who I am,'' Vogel cracked. ''I'm not surprised. A number of folks came up and asked for Roy's autograph. I may as well have been the ballboy. That's fine with me.''

Vogel complimented the Cavs for hanging tough despite missing starters Anderson Varejao, Mo Williams and Daniel Gibson.

''Give all the credit in the world to that team,'' Vogel said. ''They're in a tough situation with everything, with LeBron and what they're going through. You feel for their guys. They deserve to get back on the winning track. I'm very glad it wasn't tonight.''

Cleveland's been beyond bad of late. Before taking the lead in the third quarter on Sessions' three-point play with 1:15 left, the Cavs had gone more than 217 playing minutes without holding a lead.

The Cavs' struggles, and the remnants of the powerful Midwest blizzard, combined to keep people away from Quicken Loans Arena in droves.

Midseason awards

The NBA doesn't hand out any honors at the halfway point of the season. That doesn't stop us.

The 20,000-seat building was only about one-third filled, and it didn't take long for those in attendance to lose interest. The Cavs missed their first 10 shots and fell behind 14-2 before finally making their first field goal. But even when Cleveland does something right these days, it seems to backfire.

Cavs swingman Alonzo Gee delivered a powerful, two-handed dunk that nearly sent some of his teammates on Cleveland's bench onto the floor. But Gee was slapped with a technical for hanging on the rim, and the Pacers responded by going on a 15-3 run to open a 17-point lead.

The Cavs didn't cave, though.

Manny Harris made a three-pointer with 3.9 seconds left in the quarter to cap an 18-6 run that pulled Cleveland within 59-54 at halftime. They were within two to start the fourth, and for a while it seemed as if it would finally be the Cavaliers' night.

They're still waiting for it.

NOTES: With heavy snow in the forecast, the Pacers flew directly to Cleveland from Toronto after their game Monday night. ... A die-hard Pittsburgh Steelers fan since he was a kid, Scott hasn't decided whether he'll attend the Super Bowl on Sunday in Dallas. The Cavs play the Mavericks on Monday, but Scott isn't sure he wants to deal with the large crowd or being recognized by some Celtics fan. ''I just don't like being around one hundred and some thousand people,'' he said. ... Cavs G Mo Williams has begun on-court activities as he rehabs from a hip injury that's sidelined him for two weeks.

Tagged: Cavaliers, Pacers, Mo Williams, Danny Granger, Anthony Parker, Ramon Sessions, J.J. Hickson

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by


NBA Videos

NBA Western Conference playoff preview Posted: Apr 18, 2014
Bill Reiter and Jim Jackson give their take on the Western Conference playoffs.

Francesa: Knicks coaching situation is comical Posted: Apr 18, 2014
Mike Francesa discusses the Knicks coaching situation. Find out if he thinks Mik...

NBA Eastern Conference playoff preview Posted: Apr 17, 2014
Bill Reiter and Jim Jackson look ahead to the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Clippers/browse/featuredproduct/491845/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_491000/ff_491845_xl.jpg&w=100 59.95 adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red
    adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/498609/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_498000/ff_498609_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black
    adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Knicks/browse/featuredproduct/620470/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_620000/ff_620470_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey..
    Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Antonio_Spurs/browse/featuredproduct/692239/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_692000/ff_692239_xl.jpg&w=100 25.95 Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat
    Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Lakers/browse/featuredproduct/851828/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851828_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black
    Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/851842/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851842_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White
    adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/890174/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890174_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Wh..
    adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room Flex Hat - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/890384/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890384_xl.jpg&w=100 19.99 adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room F..