There are games throughout an 82-game NBA season where things go your way and you still end up on the losing end when it is all said and done. That was exactly what happened to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Christmas Day against the Golden State Warriors. Then there are days where absolutely nothing goes your way and you are run out of the gym. That’s what took place at the Moda Center in Portland against the Trail Blazers on the night after Christmas.
The Cavaliers couldn’t make a shot in the first quarter and the Blazers couldn’t miss. Portland built a 34-12 lead at the end of the opening 12 minutes of basketball and rolled all over the wine and gold 105-76. The 12-point first quarter was the fewest points Cleveland has scored in a quarter this season. Portland took advantage of the schedule and caught a very tired Cavaliers team one day after an exhausting battle against Golden State.
The Trail Blazers were lead by Allen Crabbe, who was originally selected by the Cavaliers back in 2013. Crabbe outscored Cleveland 13-12 by himself in the first quarter and scored 21 of his career best 26 points in the first half. Crabbe set a new career best in scoring in the first half. Crabbe and C.J.McCollum, the native of Canton, Ohio and record holder for most points scored in a game in Stark County, Ohio history, were too much for the Cavaliers to deal with in the first half. The guards stepped up for the injured Damian Lillard and lead the Blazers to a 29-point halftime lead, the biggest lead against a LeBron James team in his career. McCollum finished the night with 16 points.
James was held to just 12 points, but sat for the majority of the fourth quarter with the game out of reach. Kevin Love, in his only return to his home state of Oregon this season, lead the Cavaliers with 13 points. Matthew Dellavedova added ten points in a starting role for Kyrie Irving who was held out of the game after playing Friday against the Warriors as he continues to recover from his knee injury. Richard Jefferson was the only other Cavalier to finish in double figures. Jefferson had ten points off the bench.
It was just an all around bad night for Cleveland Cavaliers basketball. Cleveland was called for two technical fouls in the second half on James Jones and Iman Shumpert. Both technicals were likely out of frustration for trailing by as much as 34 points in the game. Even the Cleveland television broadcast of the game had technical issues and parts of the game was missed by television viewers. With how bad the play was on the court, it might have been better if the broadcast technical difficulties were not resolved because it was just a bad game to watch for Cavaliers fans.
Cleveland is now 0-2 on their four game west coast trip. The Cavaliers travel to Phoenix to take on the Suns on Monday night.