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

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Game 47: Cavs at Rockets

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

WHAT HAPPENED?: No one was quite sure what to expect from the Cavs on Saturday. If nothing else, the Cavs competed against the Rockets. They didn't play particularly well, especially on defense, but they went out and made it a game.

I don't know if I've seen a guy impact the game more and not score a point than Rockets guard Patrick Beverley, who had zero points, 10 rebounds, eight assists, five steals and a block..He really gave Kyrie Irving fits on the defensive end.

Irving ended with 21 points and seven assists. But he shot 8 of 19 from the field and committed six turnovers.

Rockets guard Jeremy Lin recorded his first career triple-double with 15 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists off the bench.

Shooting guard James Harden had a game-high 28 points. Those three guards combined for 43 points, 24 rebounds and 22 assists. Wow.

Couple in center Dwight Howard, who added 26 points, six rebounds and three blocks, and you now know why the Cavs lost.

The Rockets shot 51.3 percent from the field. They won the game by scoring 61 points in the first half.

I've got to tell you, I loved the minutes backup center Henry Sims gave the Cavs. He needs to play. He had seven points, six rebounds and two blocks in 21 minutes. He's physical, tough and doesn't get pushed around like Tyler Zeller does underneath. Zeller has more skills. Sims has more toughness and guile, a rarity on this roster made up of Boy Scouts.

Play him. This teams needs tough guys.

Forward Luol Deng had one of his best games since coming to the Cavs with 24 points, four rebounds and two steals. He was 10 of 19 from the field. He should be getting that volume of shots every game. He's an efficient and productive player. Take advantage of that.

Center Anderson Varejao (hyperextended left knee) missed his third consecutive game. The Cavs will continue to call him day-to-day.

Also, it was a battle of Bickerstaffs, as there was one representing both coaching staffs: The Cavs have Bernie, and the Rockets have J.B., his son. That should make for some bragging rights in the Bickerstaff household.

The Cavs have lost four in a row overall, as well as six of their last seven. They've also lost seven in a row in Houston. Their last win in Houston came on March 26, 2006.

They are 5-19 on the road this season.

The Rockets have won three in a row and are hanging onto the fifth seed in West.

UP NEXT: The Cavs travel to Dallas at 8:30 p.m. Monday at American Airlines Center.

SF Luol Deng (6-9, 220) vs. Chandler Parsons (6-9, 227)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-9, 236) vs. Terrence Ross (6-9, 252)
C Tyler Zeller (7-0, 250) vs. Dwight Howard (6-11, 265)
SG Jarrett Jack (6-3, 200) vs. James Harden (6-5, 200)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 193) vs. Patrick Beverley (6-1, 185)
Cavs - G/F Sergey Karasev, G Carrick Felix
Rockets - C Omer Asik, G/F Francisco Garcia
John Goble, Derrick Collins, Haywoode Workman


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