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

Friday, March 22, 2013

Game 68: Cavs at Rockets

Toyota Center
Radio/TV: WTAM (1100 AM), WFUN (970 AM)/Fox Sports Ohio

WHAT HAPPENED: The less said about this game, the better.

The Cavs never showed up in this one. The Rockets did whatever they wanted. They shot 57.1 percent from the field. They outrebounded the Cavs, 54-32. The Cavs also dished out just 14 assists.

The Rockets have one of the most potent backcourts in the NBA. That would have been the focus of the Cavs' defense. But it was Houston's frontcourt that wreaked havoc.

The Rockets are starting two 7-footers: Donatas Motiejunas at power forward and Omer Asik at center. Asik was very good when he played for the Bulls, but he's almost like a new player now. He's bulked up a bit and really hits the boards. He had 13 points and 11 rebounds against the Cavs.

Montiejunas, from Zydrunas Ilgauskas' hometown of Kaunas, Lithuania, is a lot better than I thought he'd be. He had 10 points, four rebounds and two assists. I'd certainly take that out of Tyler Zeller, who was non-existent once again.

I can't believe how badly the Rockets mauled the Cavs on the boards.

Cavs coach Byron Scott said his bigs "weren't there." He's right. They didn't compete, as evidenced by the Rockets' 56-24 edge in points in the paint.

Tristan Thompson had a team-high eight rebounds to go along with his eight points. None of the other bigs are worth mentioning.

The Cavs had just three players in double figures, led by Shaun Livingston with 14 points and Wayne Ellington with 13. Between them, though, they had just three assists. In all, they had five players with two assists.

Maybe the Cavs' devastating loss to Miami on Wednesday have a negative effect on the team after all. They coughed up a 27-point lead in that game. The Cavs' 38-point loss on Friday was their worst of the season. Hopefully, they don't play like this for the rest of the season.

If so, it could cost some people their job, namely Scott. I've been told that he's safe for the rest of the year and the start of the 2013-14 season. But if they keep playing like this, that might not be the case.

Rockets guard James Harden had a game-high 20 points. However, he was just 5 of 9 from the field. He's a very efficient player, who lives at the foul line. He was 7 of 9 vs. the Cavs and made 3 of 5 from behind the arc.

LAST GAME: The Cavs lost to Miami on Wednesday, 98-95.

UP NEXT: The Cavs host Boston at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Quicken Loans Arena.

SF Alonzo Gee (6-6, 219) vs. Chandler Parsons (6-9, 227)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-9, 227) vs. Donatas Motiejunas (7-0, 222)
C Tyler Zeller (7-0, 250) vs. Omer Asik (7-0, 255)
SG Wayne Ellington (6-4, 200) vs. James Harden (6-5, 220)
PG Shaun Livingston (6-7, 175) vs. Jeremy Lin (6-3, 200)
Cavs - C Anderson Varejao, G Kyrie Irving
Rockets - F Terrence Jones, F Royce White
Scott Foster, Matt Boland, Derrick Collins


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