Joe G's Running Game Blog

February 1, 2014

FINAL - HOU 106, CLE 92 ... After trailing by 19 points, the Cavaliers fought back to take a two-point lead early in the third, but the Rockets used a late third-quarter run to pull away to hand Cleveland its fourth straight loss, 106-92. Luol Deng led the Wine and Gold with 24 points and Dion Waiters came off the bench to add 19 in the loss.

4:49, 4Q - HOU 96, CLE 84 ... Cavs trying to stay within striking distance, still struggling to contain Howard; HOU winning points in paint, 54-28; Howard 9-10 FG, 22 pts; Cavs missing Andy tonight.

First half highlights ...

End 3Q - HOU 84, CLE 73 ... Cavs close it to 11 at the break, will need to figure out Howard in 4Q to have a shot; Deng leads CLE w/22 pts, Waiters, 19 off bench, 8-12 FG; Kyrie, 17 pts, 5 asst; Cavs have 14 TO so far; Kyrie, Zeller, 4 PFs each; Harden leads HOU w/22 pts.

1:51, 3Q - HOU 82, CLE 68 ... Rockets bounce back after Cavs tied the game, on a 19-5 run; Kyrie and Zeller both picked up their 4th foul; Deng, 22 pts, 9-16 FG; Kyrie, Dion, 17 pts apiece; Howard has taken over in 3Q, now 9-10 FG, 21 pts (but only 4 reb).

First half highlight - Dion Waiters goes baseline for the score ...

10:41, 3Q - HOU 61, CLE 57 ... Cavs have methodically climbed back into this one, have been moving the ball well from start of 2Q on, cut 19-pt HOU lead to four; Deng, Kyrie -- both with 16 pts; Dion leads everyone w/17 pts, 7-10 FG, 2-2 3pt FG; Cavs w/16 asst on 24 makes, now shooting 51 pct FG

End 1H - HOU 61, CLE 52 ... Cavaliers cut HOU's lead to nine at half after trailing by 19; Waiters, 7-10 FG, 2-2 3pt FG, 15 pts in 2Q, now leads everyone w/17; Kyrie, 6-12 FG, 14 pts; Deng, 13 pts; Cavs now shooting 49 pct, HOU, 59 pct; Rockets, 34 points in the paint.

4:06, 2Q - HOU 51, CLE 40 ... Cavs moving the ball around, turning up the perimeter D, have cut into HOU's lead with 10-4 run; Waiters, 5 quick points, now with 10 pt; Deng, also 10 pts, 4-7 FG.

6:51, 2Q - HOU 47, CLE 30 ... Houston starts 2Q on a 16-7 run: Kyrie (12 pts) leads CLE; Terrance Jones, 12 for HOU; Cavs shooting 42 pct FG, HOU, 56 pct; Lin, Casspi: 14 combined pts off HOU bench; Waiters, 2-5 FG, 5 pts off CLE bench.

End 1Q - HOU 31, CLE 23 ... Shaping up to be a shootout in Houston, both teams shooting well -- HOU, 57 pct FG, CLE, 50 pct; Kyrie leads everyone w/12 pts, 5-8 FG, 2-3 3pt FG; Deng, 5 pts, 2 reb, 2 asst -- has been assertive on the floor; HOU already with 20 points in the paint.

1:23, 1Q - HOU 29, CLE 20 ...Cavs came to play tonight, but Rockets have been tough on the interior -- Terrance Jones and Howard shooting a combined 9-11 FG -- 19 of HOU's 29 pts; Kyrie, hot as well, 4-6 FG, 9 pts, Tristan, 3 reb.

7:35, 1Q - HOU 11, CLE 8 ... Rockets setting the pace so far, working on Cavs interior -- Howard, 5 pts, Jones, 4; Kyrie, 2-2 FG, leads CLE w/4 pts; Jack allowing Kyrie to play off ball.

Pregame - Cavs in Houston tonight looking to snap a three-game skid. Early word is that Tristan Thompson will go tonight but Anderson Varejao -- who injured his left knee in the fourth quarter against Phoenix last Sunday -- will be OUT. Mike Brown also hinted in his pregame media session that we could see some lineup changes tonight, most likely Jarrett Jack starting in place of CJ Miles (and possibly moving Kyrie off the ball; something the Cavs toyed with with some success in the preseason).

Despite the Cavs' recent struggles, some individuals are putting up really good numbers, including Dion Waiters, who toppped the 20-point plateau in each of the last two games, shooting .607 from the floor, including .625 from beyond the arc. He still leads all Eastern Conference reserves with a 14.8 ppg average. Tristan Thompson comes into Saturday's contest with the second-most double-doubles in the East (22) and has doubled-up in nine of the last 13 games. Luol Deng, coming off a double-double (13 pts, 11 reb) vs. New York, is two three-pointers shy of 400 for his career.

With Andy on the shelf, Tyler Zeller will get his third straight start and this one -- no pun intended -- will be a tall order, taking on Houston's Dwight Howard.

Starting lineup: G Irving, G Jack, F Deng, F Thompson, C Zeller