Box Score: Kings 97, Cavaliers 94

This game brought some big changes for the Cavaliers. First of all, Tristan Thompson was playing without his mask. This game also saw Shaun Livingston make his Wine and Gold debut. But the big change was Coach Scott’s decision to start CJ Miles and bring Dion Waiters off the bench. In the first half, the move paid off as CJ Miles had a big first quarter and then Dion Waiters followed with a 14 point 2nd quarter to lead the Cavaliers to a halftime lead.

In the 3rd quarter, though, the Cavaliers’ offense went missing and a slew of bad fouls early in the quarter allowed the Kings to use the free throw line to build a 10 point lead.

The Kings were playing their 2nd road game in two nights, and generally when that happens teams struggle to hang on to leads and keep up the intensity for a full game. It looked that might be happening as the Cavaliers went on a run toward the end of the 3rd quarter and regained the lead early in the 4th.

Unfortunately for the Cavaliers, though, the Kings weren’t going to just roll over and hand the game to Cleveland. The Cavaliers seemed to be lacking energy for much of this game despite having 2 days off, and it was Cleveland who made bad plays and unfortunate turnovers down the stretch.

Tristan Thompson fell 1 point short of yet another double double, and he struggled with foul trouble, forcing him to sit for much of the game. This opened the door for big minutes for Luke Walton, who, to his credit, made some really nice defensive plays including a big blocked shot and a couple charges drawn. Kyrie Irving lead the Cavaliers with 22 points and Dion Waiters had 20.

Without Anderson Varejao, though, the Kings’ frontcourt was just too much as DeMarcus Cousins had 18 points and 16 rebounds while Jason Thompson had 19 points and 10 rebounds. While there were some things to like from Cleveland in this one, particularly some nice scoring distribution, it was not a great start to the New Year for the Cavaliers, as things looked pretty 2012 in this game.




J. SalmonsG31:583-61-40-0+10133310057
I. ThomasG19:293-80-22-3+4014110018
D. CousinsC34:227-170-04-4+1371661210318
J. ThompsonF36:238-160-03-4+431021032319
F. GarciaF33:356-132-60-0+111620220214
Percentages.432.188.783Team Rebounds: 5
A. Brooks28:346-100-21-2+11230101113
C. Hayes16:481-50-00-0-9122010102
J. Johnson16:082-60-04-5-9140100038
J. Fredette14:541-50-24-5-7000200016
T. Robinson7:491-20-00-0-3020100002
T. HoneycuttDNP – Coach’s Decision
T. OutlawDNP – Coach’s Decision
M. ThorntonDNP – Coach’s Decision


K. IrvingG35:038-181-45-6-72563001222
C.J. MilesG28:444-131-73-3-50202001212
T. ZellerC35:553-70-02-2-5380302228
A. GeeF38:335-101-35-6-321061001216
T. ThompsonF35:224-120-01-2+45130200149
Percentages.391.238.875Team Rebounds: 10
D. Waiters29:218-191-43-3+11230100520
L. Walton17:582-71-30-0-7173211035
S. Livingston12:570-10-02-2+4121001002
K. Jones6:070-00-00-0+3010000000
O. CasspiDNP – Coach’s Decision
J. LeuerDNP – Coach’s Decision
J. PargoDNP – Coach’s Decision
S. SamuelsDNP – Coach’s Decision


  • I know some people won’t like this, but in theory isn’t this season going the best way it could for the Cavs going forward – short of them being surprise contenders this season. We are clearly better, putting ourselves in positions to win games, giving young people a chance for experience, whilst earning ourselves a top lottery pick – the highest amount of efficiency between growth/wins and lottery pick.

  • JNeids

    Gee’s effort to stop the ball from going out of bounds in the last couple minutes when Kyrie slipped was pathetic and frustrating. Byron should have pulled him out of the game right then, but that would mean Byron cared.

  • suck for shabazz?

    It seems like more and more Cavs fans have realized we don’t want to be a fringe contender. The difference between the Shabazz Mohammads of the world and a late lottery pick is the what separates teams that are fighting to get into the playoffs and teams that are contenders. This isn’t football or baseball. 2 Elite players and a few solid role players puts you in contention for championships. Kyrie is one but we still need at least 1 person from the group of Tristan, Waiters, Zeller, our 1st rounder this year, or whatever we get for Varejao to turn into a top #5 player at their position if this rebuilds to succeed. As you can tell, I don’t think Varejao is part of the rebuild. If we can get Lamb and Toronto’s pick or something of that nature they need to pull the trigger, You can get a solid veteran presence. Our chances to get an elite young talent are running out.

  • Yeah, there were multiple other times where there were loose balls and 3 Cavs stood there looking at each other while Sacramento (the tired team) hustled and got the ball. It was frustrating.

  • SDA

    I said this before I would not be surprised if Gibson and AV were told or nudged to let there respective injuries linger. Being this close so many times and even more the fact that Kyrie seems to play a little “off” in the fourth leads me to think “tank!”

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I don’t think players generally think that way… Kyrie is way too competitive to just lay down in the 4th quarter. He’s trying to win, but he’s just not playing up to his usual standard right now, either because of injury recovery or maybe just a slump (a slump for him is still pretty good though). However, I think you’re absolutely correct about holding out Gibson and AV… I do think this happens. Coaches (whose bosses are GMs) get extra careful about letting players heal when they know they’re better off losing games and getting high draft picks… especially when they aren’t sitting on the hot seat.