Cavaliers lose ninth straight, dismantled by Pelicans 133-98
BY STONE LEXINGTON
CAVALIERS BEAT WRITER
(CLEVELAND, OH) - The Cleveland Cavaliers entered Saturday night’s contest with the New Orleans Pelicans in the midst of their worst stretch of the season. The Cavs had lost a season-high nine straight games entering the meeting with the Pels, which extended Cleveland’s losing skid with a 133-98 blowout of the Cavs in Quicken Loans Arena.

“I’m not even thinking about the losing streak to be perfectly honest,” Cavs head coach Larry Drew said. “My biggest concern is just trying to get this team in some type of rhythm, some type of organization to make sure that we have something that we can build off of. If nothing else, if we would have came out tonight and played three solid quarters and lost the fourth quarter, that would have been a step in the right direction.”

The Cavs hung in with the Pelicans for nearly two quarters, as Cleveland trailed 53-50 when Tristan Thompson sank a hook shot over New Orleans star Anthony Davis with 3:03 remaining until halftime. However, the Pels began to make their run from that point forward. New Orleans closed the second quarter with an 8-2 run to take a 61-52 lead into halftime.

The Pelicans opened the second half with a demoralizing 15-0 run that put Cleveland down 24 points. The run wasn’t stopped until Cavs two-way player Jalen Jones made a floater in the lane. By then, however, the Cavs were well out of the game.

“It was kind of a familiar story,” Drew said. “Even going into halftime down by nine, I thought we were still in a great position…once again, I thought the start of the third quarter we were just flat, no energy. We looked slow, we just didn’t come out with a sense of urgency.”

Jordan Clarkson led the Cavs with 23 points, four rebounds and three assists, while Jones finished with 13 points and five rebounds. Cavs rookie point guard Collin Sexton finished with 15 points on 5-of-11 shooting, but tallied just one assist.

“This is a tough league and for young players, it just doesn’t happen overnight,” Drew said. “It takes them a little time to get familiar with certain things, certain situations.”

New Orleans point guard Jrue Holiday led the team with 22 points. Davis watched the fourth quarter of the blowout from the bench, finishing with 20 points and 10 rebounds.

“He is a special player without a doubt,” Drew said. “We don’t play against a guy with those type of numbers every night. First of all, you’re not going to totally stop him…he can do it from the outside, he can do it inside.

“He’s just one of those guys that has a unique talent.”

With a tough schedule ahead, it’s difficult to find upcoming wins for the Cavs. They trailed by as many as 39 points to New Orleans, so there’s certainly room for improvement. They’ll look to snap their 10-game losing streak against the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday.
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​POSTED 01/05/2019 23:17
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