Cleveland had played well in its previous four games, losing by a combined 21 points and actually came into the matchup favored to beat Detroit, which was playing its second straight after hosting the league-leading San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday.
But the Cavs fell into a 12-point hole at half, and although they pulled within three in the third, they fell apart early in the fourth. Only some late buckets in garbage time made the score respectable.
When the final horn sounded, Cleveland’s fans didn’t bother booing as the Cavs dropped their heads and walked dejectedly to the locker room.
“Well, one of these days,” one fan climbing the stairs mumbled as he left.
Scott, who has remained publicly stoic during the streak, didn’t mince words afterward. He confronted his players about their poor showing.
“We got all professional basketball players in there and at some point in time you have to have some pride in what you’re doing. Tonight, we didn’t come out with that pride. We came out just going thought the motions like we were going to win the game no matter what they did. They played last night and I thought it looked like we played last night.
“Everybody’s got to go home and take a good, hard look in the mirror.
“Don’t point fingers. Look at yourself first.”
There had been so many encouraging signs lately for the Cavs. They fell 99-96 on Monday in Dallas, when they failed to execute in the closing seconds and set a new league mark for consecutive losses over one and two seasons. Scott was heartened by his young team’s effort against the Mavericks, and with eight straight home games ahead, the time seemed right for Cleveland to get back in the win column.
The Pistons built an 11-point lead after three and never let Cleveland get going in the fourth.
Will Bynum scored 17 and Charlie Villanueva 13 for Detroit, which played without guard Rip Hamilton. He sat out with a strained right groin.
Antawn Jamison scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half for Cleveland. J.J. Hickson scored 18 with 15 rebounds, but the Cavs got just 17 points from their bench.
Scott maintains he has no regrets about taking the Cleveland job, which he accepted not knowing if James would re-sign. After hearing him asked about the decision so many times lately, Scott’s wife, Anita, asked her husband if he laments coming to Cleveland.
“No,” he told her.View Entire Story
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