T-Wolves Top Wine and Gold
Wrap-Up – On Friday night, the song remained the same for the shorthanded Cavaliers: They fell behind early and – once again without the firepower of their injured starting backcourt – struggled to put the ball in the basket down the stretch. Cleveland trailed by just nine headed into the final period, but the Timberwolves outscored the Cavs, 25-16, in the fourth to hand Cleveland the 91-73 loss.
Only three Cavaliers notched double-figures – led by Alonzo Gee’s 16 points. The others came off the Cavs bench. C.J. Miles added 13 points and Donald Sloan finished with 10. Although he led the Wine and Gold with 14 boards, Anderson Varejao’s stretch of double-doubles ended at 10 as he scored just four points.
Cleveland’s second unit outscored its starters – 37-36.
Turning Point – The T-Wolves led right from the outset, scoring the game’s first eight points. But the Cavaliers kept it close and C.J. Miles’ jumper with just under eight to play in the fourth quarter cut the score to 72-65. But the Cavs made just three more shots the rest of the way as the T-Wolves put the affair on ice.
Game Ball – Alonzo Gee – Gee didn’t have a great floor game on Friday night in Minnesota, netting just a single rebound and assist, but he did lead a team struggling to score with 16 points. He was 7-of-12 from the floor; the rest of the starting lineup was 9-for-33.
By the Numbers – 5 …straight back-to-backs the Cavaliers will play starting with Friday’s game in Minnesota. Three other NBA teams will also be playing five straight sets – Atlanta, Washington and Houston. The last time the Cavs had a stretch like this was in 2003-04.
Quotable – Coach Byron Scott, on Anderson Varejao’s first human performance in over two weeks …
“I think Andy was kinda running on fumes a little bit tonight; he just didn’t look like his old self. He might just be getting a little tired, but we don’t have much time to be saddened by it. We have another (game) tomorrow night.”
Up Next – The Cavaliers play the second half of the back-to-back when they welcome the Pistons to The Q on Saturday night. After that, it’s the only time the Wine and Gold play two straight home games – and it’s a big one – as Kobe Bryant and the new-look Lakers come to town.