Joe G's Running Game Blog
FINAL - HOU 118, CLE 111 ... The Cavaliers fell into a deep hole early and spent the rest of the night trying to climb out of it. They would eventually cut Houston's 29-point lead to just seven in the closing moments, but it was too little, too late as Cleveland dropped its fourth straight, 118-111, on Saturday night at The Q. Dion Waiters led six Cavaliers in double-figures with 26 points, with Tyler Zeller adding a career-high 23 off the bench.
2:01, 4Q - HOU 111, CLE 102 ... Houston extended their lead to as much as 29, but Cavs have cut it to 9 with Canaan going to the stripe; Waiters, 24 pts, 11-17 FG; Zeller, 8-14 FG, 19 pts off bench; Cavs still without a FB point on the night; Delly, 13 pts, 9 asst, 5 reb.
Watch Highlight: Gee to the Rack
End 3Q - HOU 101, CLE 79 ... James Harden scores 17 pts in 3Q and Cavs find themselves down 20-plus for the second time in two games; HOU killing CLE on the break, 18-0; five Cavs in double-figs -- Waiters, 14 pts, Zeller, 13; Varejao, 12 pts, 9 reb; Jack 11 pts, he and Waiters both with 5 asst; Delly, 10 pts, 7 asst; HOU shooting 56 pct, CLE, 48 pct FG.
Watch Highlights: First Half
End 1H - HOU 67, CLE 55 ... Cavs trying to stick with HOU, which shot 60 pct FG and scored 67 in the 1H; Cavs, three players in double-figures -- Zeller (11 pt), Delly (10), Waiters (10); CLE getting beat on the break, 13-0.
Watch Highlight: Waiters to Zeller
3:28, 2Q - HOU 53, CLE 43 ... Cavs keeping it close, still getting most of their production off bench -- Zeller (11 pts), Delly (10) and Varejao (6); Waiters leads starters with 8 pts; Cavs getting beat on the break -- 10-0 FB points; CLE, 45 pct FG, HOU, 56 pct; Parsons (13 pts), Beverley (11) lead Rockets.
End 1Q - HOU 39, CLE 31 ... Similar to the West Coast trip, opponent runs out to early lead, second unit settles squad down, Cavs within striking distance after 1Q; Cavs bench, combined 20 pts -- Zeller, 9 pts, 4-7 FG; Waiters, 3-6 FG, 7 pts, 3 asst; Parsons leads everyone with 11 pts; HOU shooting 64 pct FG, CLE, 52 pct; Seth Curry makes his debut in Cavs uniform.
2:56, 1Q - HOU 31, CLE 20 ... Cavs second unit gives team nice lift, has outscored HOU's bench, 12-0. Zeller, 3-3 FG, 7 pts; Delly, 2-2 FG, 5 pts; Parsons leads everyone w/11 pts.
8:22, 1Q - HOU 17, CLE 4 ... Cavs off to another rough start, shooting 20 pct FG to HOU's 88 pct; Parsons, 7 pts, 3-3 FG; 2 pts each, Tristan and Waiters.
PREGAME ... Cavs looking to snap a three-game slide, but it won't be easy, despite Dwight Howard not in the starting lineup. Cavs will be without Kyrie Irving (biceps), Luol Deng (ankle) and CJ Miles (ankle). Rookies Carrick Felix (knee) and Anthony Bennett (knee) are also on the shelf. With only nine guys, newcomer Seth Curry might even see some action on Saturday.
In his two recent starts, Dion Waiters is averaging 23.5 points and 7.5 assists per game. The top-scoring reserve in the Eastern Conference is coming off a 30-point effort against OKC. Cleveland coming off two late, great defensive efforts -- holding the Heat to 26 pct FG in the fourth quarter on Tuesday and the Thunder to 25 percent in the fourth. Spencer Hawes comes into tonight's game on one the best rolls of his career, having now scored in double-figures in 13 straight contests.
Here's Mike Brown's pregame presser, talking about Seth Curry's arrival and how he might need to step in with the Cavs on the mend.
Tonight's starters: G Jack, G Waiters, F Gee, F Thompson, C Hawes