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Find out the scoop on the CAVS from award-winning sports writer Bob Finnan.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Game 35: Rockets at Cavs

Quicken Loans Arena
Radio/TV: WTAM (1100 AM), WFUN (970 AM)/Fox Sports Ohio

WHAT HAPPENED: The Cavs fell apart in the fourth quarter. That was just about the time Rockets shooting guard James Harden picked up his play.

He had 16 of his team-high 29 points. Harden is so talented offensively. He had seven steals, two rebounds, three assists and one block.

Cavs point guard Kyie Irving is a budding superstar. There's no question about that. He closed out the game in Charlotte on Friday with 16 points in the fourth.

On Saturday, he wasn't nearly as effective. He had a game-high 30 points, but committed eight turnovers. That matched his career high.

Until he gets a handle on those turnovers - 16 now in the last three games - he'll never be the player he can be.

I truly believe he was fatigued in the fourth. He played the entire quarter. Coach Byron Scott played him because of the ineffectiveness of his other guards.

That magic that Shaun Livingston had on Friday, he left it in North Carolina. C.J. Miles made just 4 of 14 shots. Dion Waiters, who sulked much of the night because of a couple non-calls by the refs, had 13 points and five rebounds.

But he shot just 4 of 13 from the field.

That forced Scott to play Irving a season-high 41 minutes.
There were some bright spots for the Cavs. Power forward Tristan Thompson was once again very good with his 12th double-double of the season. He had 14 points and a career-high 16 rebounds.

Power forward Kevin Jones was summoned from deep inside the Q (borrowing an Austin Carr phrase). He had a career-high six points and three rebounds in 12 minutes.

Why was he even playing? Luke Walton was horrible, almost as bad as he was the night before. Perhaps the luster has worn off on Walton.

Center Tyler Zeller has struggled over the last two weeks. He did finish with 12 points, five rebounds and a career-high five assists. He needs to hit the boards with a vengeance, much like Thompson is doing.

The Rockets have now won four in a row.

They boast one of the league's most talented and exciting backcourts in Harden and Jeremy Lin. They outscored their Cavs' counterparts, 49-39.

Rockets GM Daryl Morey, a graduate of Medina Highland High School, has put together a deep and talented roster. Coach Kevin McHale brings Patrick Patterson and Carlos Delfino, among others, off the bench.

The Cavs now have a 1-11 record on the second night of a back-to-back set this year. If it seems like the Cavs have had a ton of back-to-backs, it's because they have. Tonight's was their 11th this year.

They dropped to 3-12 at home, which is horrible.

DRAFT UPDATE: A quick look at Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix's.draft rundown

LAST GAME: The Cavs defeated Charlotte on Friday, 106-104.

UP NEXT: The Cavs travel to Chicago at 8 p.m. Monday at the United Center.

SF Alonzo Gee (6-6, 219) vs. Chandler Parsons (6-9, 227)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-9, 227) vs. Marcus Morris (6-9, 225)
C Tyler Zeller (7-0, 250) vs. Omer Asik (7-0, 255)
SG C.J. Miles (6-6, 222) vs. James Harden (6-5, 220)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 191) vs. Jeremy Lin (6-3, 200) 
Cavs – G Daniel Gibson, C Anderson Varejao, F Jon Leuer
Rockets - F Terrence Jones, F Royce White
Tony Brothers, James Williams, Sean Wright


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