Oklahoma City’s defense isn’t supposed to be this good, but it has given the Cavaliers problems in their two match ups this season. The Cavaliers came away with fewer than 80 points in each game, both of which, ironically, came on a Sunday afternoon. The CAv’s 33.8% of shooting one of their season’s worst, as they shot better from three land than from mid range; and NBA rarity. Rather than the usual suspects of Kevin Durant, or Russell Westbrook, it was Serge Ibaka who gave the Cav’s headaches. OKC blocked 11 Cavalier shot attempts, 7 of those came from Ibaka, who also piled up 14 boards. Those 7 rejections were one shy of his season’s best.
One would also assume that if the Cav’s could limit the NBA’s most lethal weapon, Kevin Durant, to just 19 points, that there might be a glimmer of hope for a Cleveland upset. Plus the fact that they, for once, out-rebounded their opponent 54-44. But the Thunder’s points off of turnover margin at 22-7 was the achilies heal of the Cavaliers, who now drop to 12-53, with their fourth straight loss. Oklahoma City improves to 42-23, and look to get better once trade deadline acquisition Kendrick Perkins joins the team on the floor.
The Cav’s got a 13 and 10 point performance from Daniel Gibson, and Samardo Samuels respectively. They were the only Cav’s in double digits for the afternoon. Ramon Sessions went a lowly 1-of-7 from the field and turned the ball over 4 times. J.J. Hickson shot just 4-of-10 as the starting center. They scored 20 plus points in only one of the four quarters, which was the second.
The Cav’s do catch a break from the Western Conference contenders when they travel to Sacramento on Wednesday for a battle with the Kings, who stand at 15-49. Tip off is at 10 p.m.