The next great chance for the Cleveland Cavaliers to break their NBA-record 25-game losing streak comes tonight at Quicken Loans Arena against the Detroit Pistons. There's a sense that the streak could get broken tonight, and for more reason than just a beatable opponent coming into The Q.
Byron Scott has said he feels the streak will come to an end soon because of the effort and determination of his players. Scott is right about the last part - the Cavaliers have played hard against everybody for the last week or so, proven by the way the forced the Dallas MAvericks to play 49 minutes to get the win on Monday night.
The Cavs will play in front of the home crowd eight straight times and are also slated to host the Clippers, Wizards, Lakers, Rockets, Knicks, Sixers and Spurs at the Q, where they have lost 10 straight and sport a 5-17 mark. Cleveland suffered its 26th consecutive road loss with Monday's 99-96 setback in Dallas and couldn't get a good shot off in the waning moments. Anthony Parker threw up an errant three-point attempt and Jamario Moon tried getting the ball to Antawn Jamison for a jumper, but time had already expired.
"I thought we probably could've gotten a little bit of a better shot," Cleveland head coach Byron Scott said of Parker's try. "But other than that, for 48 minutes I thought we played really hard."
J.J. Hickson had 26 points and 12 rebounds, Ramon Sessions continued to improve with 19 points and 13 assists and Jamison finished the night with 18 points and 11 boards in the record-setting loss for the Cavs. The team extended its own NBA single-season losing streak and surpassed the 24-game slide spanning both the 1981-82 and 1982-83 seasons. Cleveland has just one win in its last 36 games and hasn't tasted victory since beating New York in overtime on Dec. 18. That was the last time they won in the Forest City.
The Cavaliers are counting on Jamison and Hickson tonight, as the two have been the team's best scoring options lately. Jamison is averaging 24.3 points and 6.7 boards in his last seven home games, while Hickson owns eight double- doubles in the last 16 contests overall, posting 14.6 points and 11.3 rebounds over that span. Sessions has been coming on strong too with 16.0 points and 9.3 assists since Jan. 28 (7 games).
"We've just got to keep playing like that and it's going to happen," Scott said. "It's going to happen real soon."
Cleveland looks to stop a 12-game skid against teams from the East.
Meanwhile, the Pistons had a modest two-game winning streak stopped with Tuesday's 100-89 setback versus the NBA-best San Antonio Spurs from The Palace of Auburn Hills.
The Pistons have dropped five of seven games and got a team-high 21 points off the bench from Will Bynum. Rookie Greg Monroe turned in a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds for Detroit, which made 43.4 percent of its shots and only 3-of-11 from beyond the arc. The Spurs had a better night from downtown, making 10-of-18 three-point attempts.
"They made several big three-pointers and we needed to shrink the floor, but at the same time, you've got to give them credit -- they were knocking down those shots," said Pistons coach John Kuester.
Detroit, which is 6-21 as the guest, will kick off a five-game homestand after Wednesday's game and will welcome Miami, Portland, Atlanta, Indiana and Houston to The Palace. Pistons guard Richard Hamilton missed last night's game with a sore right groin and is questionable for tonight. Hamilton has played sparingly this season because of rumored bouts with management.
The Pistons downed the Cavs, 102-92, back on Dec. 5 this season in Auburn Hills, but have lost eight of the past 12 meetings between the teams.
Cleveland has won four in a row as the host against its Central foes.