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Rockets Rally Past Feisty Cavs


WRAP-UP

The Cavaliers couldn’t quite pull off the upset on Wednesday night, but they did do something that they haven’t in the past two-and-a-half weeks: Have fun playing the game of basketball.

Despite James Harden’s mammoth 55-point performance, the Wine & Gold went toe-to-toe with the Western Conference heavyweights – clawing their way back from a two-touchdown deficit late in the third quarter and turning that into an 11-point advantage in the fourth before collapsing in the closing minutes.

When the smoke cleared, the Rockets had handed Cleveland its eighth straight defeat – a 116-110 nail-biter in a brief stopover at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse – but Harden, Russell Westbrook and Co. knew they were in a fight.

Cavs rookie Kevin Porter Jr. spoke at morning shootaround about his excitement to face Harden, his hoops idol. And in the fourth quarter, the fellow lefty was every bit as good.

In that final period, Harden notched 20 of his 55 points, going 7-of-8 from the floor, including 4-of-4 from long-distance. Porter tallied 16 of his career-high 24 points in the fourth – going 6-of-8 from the field and drilling four triples of his own.

On the night, the rookie from USC was 9-of-15 overall, including 6-of-9 from deep, adding three assists, three steals and a pair of rebounds.

But unlike Harden, Porter is still taking his NBA lumps – and as good as he was through the first 11 minutes of the fourth quarter, his two turnovers in the final 35 seconds put a slight damper on his career night.

Kevin Love had a nice bounce-back effort on Wednesday – doubling-up with 17 points and a team-high 11 boards, going 8-of-14 from the floor to go with two assists, a steal and a block.

After having his double-digit scoring streak snapped on Monday in Beantown, Collin Sexton got right back to work – finishing with 18 points on 8-for-14 shooting.

Jordan Clarkson had his second strong outing off the bench – following up his 19-point effort in Boston with 17 points on Wednesday, adding four boards and four assists in 29 minutes of work.

Darius Garland and Tristan Thompson pitched in with 11 points apiece, while Cedi Osman paced the Wine & Gold with seven assists in the loss.

Only three Rockets notched double-figures – Clint Capela, who doubled-up with 10 points and a game-high 13 boards, Russell Westbrook, who added 24 points, seven boards, six assists and four steals, and Harden, who not only went 20-of-34 from the floor, including 10-of-18 from deep, he also led both squads with eight assists.


HIGHLIGHT

This sequence of the Cavaliers had everything from steals, great passes, and three pointers!


TURNING POINT

When the Rockets took a 13-point edge with 1:38 to play in the third, it looked like they might cruise to the finish line in the fourth. Jordan Clarkson and the Cavaliers had other ideas.

In just over a minute of action, Clarkson proceeded to score the last seven points of the third period, and when John Henson scored his second bucket early in the fourth, the Cavaliers had taken back the lead, 89-88.

From there, Kevin Porter Jr. took over – scoring five quick points after a pair of steals and capping Cleveland’s 24-0 run with a fast break floater that sent the crowd into a frenzy.

But Houston chipped away at the lead from there, Harden stayed hot and the Cavaliers would commit four crucial turnovers in the game’s final 2:47 that essentially sealed the deal.


BY THE NUMBERS

9 … double-doubles that Kevin Love has tallied this season. Love has now scored in double-figures 15 times this season and led the squad in rebounding for the 10th time.

Over his last 21 games against Houston, Love has 14 double-doubles, averaging 21.5 ppg and 11.8 rpg over that stretch.


QUOTABLE

Coach John Beilein, on Kevin Porter Jr.’s progress this year …

"We’re putting him on some of the best players in the NBA to guard as well and what I like is he plays with some passion and it really means a lot to him that he plays well defensively. It’s just really tremendous to see how he has evolved since he reported here in September. He’s really become a guy that has embraced coaching at a high-level right now and it is paying off."


CALLS OF THE GAME

Enjoy the best broadcast calls of the night from Cavaliers Radio Network's Tim Alcorn and 87.7 La Mega's Rafa Hernandez-Brito.


UP NEXT

The Wine & Gold get right back on the open road – traveling to San Antonio on Thursday night for a battle with the Spurs to tip off a three-game trip.

The roadie then sees the Wine & Gold make their second stop to Milwaukee this season, taking on the Greek Freak and Co. on Saturday before wrapping up against the World Champs north of the border on Monday.

Cleveland returns home for three straight following the trip – welcoming Charlotte, Memphis and Atlanta to town heading into the Christmas holidays.

Cavs vs. Rockets Postgame: Coach Beilein

Cavaliers Head Coach John Beilein spoke with the media following Wednesday’s loss to the Houston Rockets at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

Cavaliers vs. Rockets – December 11, 2019

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Cavs vs. Rockets Postgame: Coach Beilein

Cavaliers Head Coach John Beilein spoke with the media following Wednesday’s loss to the Houston Rockets at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
Dec 11, 2019  |  07:08

Cavs vs. Rockets Postgame: Kevin Porter Jr.

Cavaliers guard Kevin Porter Jr. spoke with the media following Wednesday’s loss to the Houston Rockets at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
Dec 11, 2019  |  03:37

Cavs vs. Rockets Postgame: Collin Sexton

Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton spoke with the media following Wednesday’s loss to the Houston Rockets at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
Dec 11, 2019  |  02:15

Kevin Porter Jr. with 16 Points in the 4th Quarter vs. Houston Rockets

Kevin Porter, Jr. scores 16 of his 24 in the fourth quarter
Dec 11, 2019  |  00:01

GAME RECAP: Rockets 116, Cavaliers 110

James Harden scores 55 points as the Rockets beat the Cavaliers 116-110.
Dec 11, 2019  |  00:01

KPJ Adds to Career High with Corner Three

Kevin Porter, Jr. hits his sixth three-pointer of the game to keep the Cavs alive against Houston.
Dec 11, 2019  |  00:12

Cavs use 8-0 Run to take Fourth Quarter Lead

Kevin Porter, Jr. scores five points and Larry Nance, Jr. adds a triple of his own as the Cavs go on an 8-0 run in the fourth quarter to take the lead against Houston.
Dec 11, 2019  |  00:33

JC Scores Back-to-Back Lay-Ups to Cut Into Houston Lead

Jordan Clarkson scores on a running lay-up, then, on the very next possession, scores on an ally-oop from Matthew Dellavedova.
Dec 11, 2019  |  00:18

Cavs Get Out in Transition, End with a Three

Kevin Porter, Jr. runs out in transition after a Houston miss and finds Darius Garland on the wing for a wide open three pointer.
Dec 11, 2019  |  00:10

KPJ Scores After Nifty Move

Kevin Porter, Jr. displays his dribbling moves on the way to the hoop, as he lays it in for two points against the Rockets.
Dec 11, 2019  |  00:08

JC Beats Shot Clock with Deep Three

Jordan Clarkson grabs the loose ball after a jump-ball and fires and hits a long three as the shot clock is expiring midway through the second quarter.
Dec 11, 2019  |  00:09

KPJ Shakes and Bakes, Finds Henson for Dunk

Kevin Porter, Jr. beats Russell Westbrook off the dribble with a nice move and makes a pass just as nice to John Henson who dunks it home.
Dec 11, 2019  |  00:15

Delly Converts Tough Shot, Gets And-One

Matthew Dellavedova grabs the rebound, gets to his spot in the lane, and puts up the shot while getting fouled to earn a trip to the line. He finished the three-point play with the free throw.
Dec 11, 2019  |  00:13

Sexton Goes Up and Under to Score

Collin Sexton gets inside and goes up and under his defender to score in the first quarter against the Rockets.
Dec 11, 2019  |  00:10

Featured Highlight: What a Sequence!

This sequence of the Cavaliers had everything from steals, great passes, and three pointers!
Dec 11, 2019  |  00:20

Cavs vs. Rockets Shootaround: Kevin Porter Jr.

Cavaliers guard Kevin Porter Jr. spoke with the media following Wednesday’s shootaround in Independence as the Wine & Gold prep for the Houston Rockets.
Dec 11, 2019  |  05:23
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