Cool-Shooting Cavs Drop Second Straight

Road-Weary Wine and Gold Hit Rough Patch West of the Rockies
Cameron Browne/NBAE/Getty Images

Wrap-Up -- For almost any team in the East, a Western Conference road trip is going to take them to certain arenas where they’ve traditionally struggled. Unfortunately for the road-weary Wine and Gold, they wound up in two such gyms on successive nights.

Cleveland began the trip with wins over a pair of cellar-dwellers, but the sledding’s gotten tougher west of the Rockies – as the Blazers beat up a cool-shooting Cavaliers squad, 102-86, on Wednesday night at the Moda Center.

The consecutive losses are the first for Cleveland since dropping three straight in early December.

After falling on Tuesday night in Utah – where they had dropped six of their previous seven – the Cavaliers made a difficult trip to Portland – where they had lost five of their last six. Add the fact that it was their fourth game of the trip, the second game of a back-to-back and had arrived in Portland in the early hours of the morning after a winter storm hampered their flight in.

The Blazers faced similar travel snafus, so the Cavaliers didn’t have much of an excuse for Wednesday’s showing – as Cleveland shot just 34 percent from the floor and 30 percent from long-range (one night after posting similar numbers on Tuesday night in Salt Lake City).

The Cavaliers never quite found their footing on Wednesday night – trailing by a touchdown after one quarter, by eight at intermission and by as many as 24 in the fourth quarter. They’ve yet to win in either Portland or Utah during the second LeBron James Era in Cleveland.

LeBron led three Cavaliers in double-figures with 20 points and 11 boards, going 5-for-12 from the floor and adding four assists, a steal and blocked shot. With two games remaining on the road trip, James and three other starters sat the entire fourth quarter.

Kevin Love got off to a strong start in his return to the Pacific Northwest, netting all 17 of his points before intermission. But like most of the Cavaliers, the three-time All-Star struggled from the floor for the second straight night – going just 5-for-15.

Kyrie Irving was the only starter to play in the final period, but it didn’t help. Like Love, Irving struggled to find his range on Wednesday – going just 4-of-16 from the field for 11 points.

The Cavaliers were done in by one local kid and one player who’s proving to be a thorn in Cleveland’s side.

Kyrie Irving


LeBron James tallies his 16th double-double of the season as the Wine and Gold fall to 28-10

Name Points Rebounds Assists
LeBron James 20 11 4
Kevin Love 17 8 1
Kyrie Irving 11 3 1

Canton’s own C.J. McCollum led both squads with 27 points, going 11-for-20 from the floor, including 5-of-10 from beyond the arc. Allen Crabbe, who dropped 26 points on the Cavs in last year’s post-Christmas blowout in Portland, came off the bench to score 24 more on Wednesday – going 9-of-11 from the floor, 3-of-5 from long-distance.

Cleveland hasn’t tallied 20 assists in the past six games and that trend continued on Wednesday, with the Cavs dishing out only 14 helpers in the loss. Portland outscored the Cavs in the paint, 46-24, and forced 16 turnovers that led to 18 Blazers’ points.

Turning Point -- Wednesday’s contest began slipping away midway through the second quarter.

After a back-and-forth first quarter, Channing Frye’s triple got Cleveland to within four early in the second. But C.J. McCollum and Allen Crabbe began heating up just as the Cavs (aside from Kevin Love) began cooling down – using a 15-3 run to give Portland a 16-point edge with 5:39 to play in the period.

McCollum would hit a three-pointer to start the second-half scoring and the Wine and Gold would manage to get within single-digits the rest of the way.

By the Numbers7,098 … career assists for LeBron James, moving him ahead of Tim Hardaway for 15th in the NBA’s all-time list.

QuotableCoach Tyronn Lue, explaining his squad’s recent struggles on the road …

”Schedule, Injuries, sickness, a lot of stuff. But that’s no excuse. We know what we’re doing and what we’re supposed to do. You’re not going to have assists if you’re not making shots, and if you shoot 34 percent, how many assists can you really get..”

Up Next -- With four games of their six-game trip now in the rearview mirror after falling to the Blazers on Wednesday night, the Cavaliers head to California for the final leg of the roadie. On Friday night, it’s a date with DeMarcus Cousins and the Kings at their brand new gym – the Golden 1 Center. After a much-needed two-day break, the Wine and Gold wrap up the trip on MLK Day with their first visit to Oracle Arena since winning the 2016 NBA Championship in June.

Call of the Game

#CavsBlazers Postgame: Kyrie Irving - January 11, 2017

Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving spoke with the media following Wednesday's loss to the Portland Trail Blazers at the Moda Center.

Cleveland Cavaliers at Portland Trail Blazers - January 11, 2017

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#CavsBlazers Postgame: Kyrie Irving - January 11, 2017

Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving spoke with the media following Wednesday's loss to the Portland Trail Blazers at the Moda Center.
Jan 12, 2017  |  04:04

#CavsBlazers Postgame: Kevin Love - January 11, 2017

Cavaliers forward Kevin Love spoke with the media following Wednesday's loss to the Portland Trail Blazers at the Moda Center.
Jan 12, 2017  |  03:12

#CavsBlazers Postgame: LeBron James - January 11, 2017

Cavaliers forward LeBron James spoke with the media following Wednesday's loss to the Portland Trail Blazers at the Moda Center.
Jan 12, 2017  |  01:53

#CavsBlazers Postgame: Coach Lue - January 11, 2017

Cavaliers Head Coach Tyronn Lue spoke with the media following Wednesday's loss to the Portland Trail Blazers at the Moda Center.
Jan 12, 2017  |  04:06

GAME RECAP: Trail Blazers 102, Cavaliers 86

C.J. McCollum scores 27 points, Allen Crabbe adds 24 and the Trail Blazers defeat the Cavaliers 102-86.
Jan 12, 2017  |  02:14

Featured Highlight: RJ with the And-One Finger Roll

Richard Jefferson gets into the lane and scoops in the finger roll, plus the foul.
Jan 12, 2017  |  00:08

Kyrie Nets Deep Triple - January 11, 2017

Good hustle by Tristan Thompson results in a deep triple from Kyrie Irving.
Jan 12, 2017  |  00:09

Kyrie to the Cup - January 11, 2017

Kyrie Irving slices inside and makes the tough layup over the defender.
Jan 11, 2017  |  00:14

Liggins Rejects Lillard - January 11, 2017

Damian Lillard tries to get past the Cavs defense but DeAndre Liggins is there for the rejection.
Jan 11, 2017  |  00:10
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