On November 27, 2010 the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Memphis Grizzlies 92-86, improving to 7-9 on the season. Fans were cautiously optimistic that the Cavaliers would handle the departure of LeBron James better than anyone had thought. The showdown with James and the Miami Heat was a week away. Things looked OK.
Then the wheels fell off and the rest of the car fell apart. The Cavaliers have won just one game - an overtime win over the New York Knicks - since. They are 1-32 and have lost 22 straight games. Lose tonight in their rematch to the Grizzlies, and the Cavaliers will tie a NBA-record for consecutive single-season losses. Needless to say, both teams have a bit of motivation tonight.
Cleveland lost its 22nd consecutive game Wednesday night against Indiana, leading late in the fourth quarter before falling 117-112.
"It hurts," Scott said. "When you lose games it hurts, especially when you give yourself an opportunity to win, it hurts that much more. We had an opportunity."
A loss to Memphis (26-24) would tie the Cavaliers with the 1995-96 expansion Vancouver Grizzlies and 1997-98 Denver Nuggets for the longest single-season rut in NBA history.
Coach Lionel Hollins' club will hardly be seeing the same Cleveland team it lost to in November. Williams hasn't played since Jan. 15 because of a hip injury, Daniel Gibson has missed 10 games with various injuries and Varejao is out for the season with a torn ankle tendon.
"We have got to get a win," said guard Anthony Parker, one of just three players currently in the rotation who was with the Cavs last season. "In February, the schedule kind of turns in our favor to some degree. We have a lot of home games and we have got to find a way to get it done."
The Cavaliers will play 9 of their next 10 games over at The Q, so if there a run to be made, now is the time to make it.