Rockets lose to the Cavs
Houston loses a game to the Cavs in Cleveland. Don’t focus on the final score and assume it that the Cavs controlled the game from start to finish. The Rockets led early, was able to take a brief lead in the 3rd quarter. Tied it at 92 early in the 4th, and late in the game had closed it to within 3 before the Cavs clutch shooting took over.
I’m fine with losses like these. The Cavs are a good team and when fully healthy and focused they are a bad matchup roster-wise, which I’ll get to in a second. First, let’s talk about the negative things that happened in this game.
-Irving and Kevin Love destroyed us. Love scored 24 on 9-16 shooting. Irving scored 32 on 10-19 shooting. This was almost expected though. Irving is exactly the type of point guard that would be able to murder us for not having a “real” PG capable of defending him. He’s fast, has range all the way out to the 3 point line. Fortunately Beverly won’t be injured the entire season so this isn’t something that we have to address. And similarly Love is just a really good matchup against Ryan Anderson.
-The defense in general was mediocre (Cavs shot 52% from the field, 50% from 3). And the offensive rebounding by the Cavs didn’t help (12 OREBs for the game) either.
-So lets get the big one out of the way. James Harden, 41 points and 15 assists (and 1 turnover). The past two games (both against the Mavs) he was held to single digit assists, but right now that is seeming like the exception that proves the rule as he had another 15+ assist night. And on top of that he added another efficient 41 point game. That is almost becoming the norm for him at times.
-7 turnovers. And it was only 3 turnovers heading into the 4th quarter. Last year we struggled at taking care of the ball, and this year it might just be as simple as having a guy like Eric Gordon on the roster that can create his own shot (and sometimes for others) so that the defense can’t just key in on Harden defensively.
-The offense in general wasn’t amazing. We shot 48% from the field, and 39% from 3. Not a crazy game on the offensive side of the ball. But after watching us look very mediocre against Dallas two nights ago, it’s nice to see us get back on track there. And the Cavs had supposedly played really great defense the first 4 games of the season (blah blah blah small sample size blah).
-We were ahead after the 1st quarter. Now this was amazing for two reasons, firstly it was the first time the Cavs have been behind after the end of a quarter this season. Secondly, it continues the trend this season of the Rockets starting strong. We did not do as well last year in the 1st quarters of games. And you might remember that we actually led the league in games won after being down 10 points. We played from behind a lot last year, this year so far we have yet to fall behind by 12+ points in any of the games.