|Cleveland’s Antawn Jamison loses the ball after a run-in with Detroit’s Ben Gordon. (Aaron Josefczyk/Reuters)|
The Cavaliers’ record-setting losing streak is intact.
Byron Scott finally snapped.
Cleveland’s first-year coach unloaded on his team during and after a listless 103-94 loss last night in Cleveland, extending the Cavs’ NBA-record skid to 26 and tying them with the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers — the longtime national punch line for failure — for the longest stretch of incompetence in major American pro sports.
“I’m mad as hell,’’ said Scott, who kept the postgame locker room closed for more than 30 minutes. “I can deal with losing, especially when our guys play as hard as they have in the last couple weeks, but I find it very hard to deal with when guys don’t come out ready to play.’’
The Pistons were supposedly a beatable opponent for the cellar-dwelling Cavs (8-45), still winless since Dec. 18 and now losers of a hard-to-imagine 36 of 37.
Instead, Cleveland’s season slipped further into shame.
“Everybody’s mad as hell,’’ guard Daniel Gibson said when told of his coach’s surly mood. “To lose like that and for it to get to this point and still sometimes not see a sense of urgency, I can see why it would push you to that point. What are you going to do? It’s either do it or don’t.
“The guys have to figure that out.’’
“Something has to give when they play the Wizards,’’ said two-time reigning NBA MVP LeBron James, whose departure from Cleveland for Miami has led to the Cavs’ stunning collapse in their first season without him, Tuesday night after the Heat beat Indiana at home. “I think that should be a nationally televised game, honestly.’’
Rodney Stuckey scored 22 to pace the Pistons, who didn’t want to be remembered as the team that let the Cavs get off the mat.
Clippers 116, Knicks 108 — Randy Foye scored 17 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter, Blake Griffin added 21, and Los Angeles snapped a seven-game road losing streak. Baron Davis had 16 points and a season-high 16 assists for the Clippers, who had dropped four straight overall, including the first three on their eight-game, 14-day trip.
Magic 99, 76ers 95 —Dwight Howard had 30 points and 17 rebounds and made 14 of 19 from the free throw line to lead Orlando to its fifth straight victory in Philadelphia. The All-Star center came in shooting 57.9 percent from the foul line.
“I will maintain until I’m put in my grave that he’s capable of being a 70 percent free throw shooter,’’ Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said.
In the team’s previous two meetings, Howard was 20 of 39 from the foul line.
Mavericks 102, Kings 100 — Jose Barea scored 20 points, including 15 in the fourth quarter, to power visiting Dallas to its 10th straight victory.
Spurs 111, Raptors 100 — DeJuan Blair matched a career high by scoring 14 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter and George Hill added 18 points to help visiting San Antonio hand Toronto its 15th loss in 16 games.
Nets 103, Hornets 101 — Brook Lopez hit two go-ahead free throws with 24.3 seconds to play in overtime as host New Jersey snapped a three-game losing streak. The Hornets had three chances to either tie or win the game in the closing seconds but committed a turnover and missed two jumpers.
Bulls 91, Jazz 87 — Derrick Rose scored 29 points and Carlos Boozer returned to Salt Lake City with 14 points and six rebounds to help Chicago trip Utah. Boozer, who played five seasons for the Jazz but signed as a free agent with Chicago after last season, was greeted by “Carlos Whozer?’’ signs and was booed every time he touched the ball.
Wizards 100, Bucks 85 — Nick Young scored 26 points, including an assortment of highlight dunks, as host Washington broke an eight-game losing streak. Rookie guard John Wall added 15 points, 6 assists, and 7 rebounds after a quick overnight trip to Lexington, Ky., to watch Kentucky, his old school, beat Tennessee.
Pacers 104, Bobcats 103 — Roy Hibbert scored 29 points and host Indiana held on to post its fifth victory in six games since Frank Vogel replaced Jim O’Brien as coach.
Warriors 116, Nuggets 114 — Monta Ellis scored 37 points and Dorell Wright added 23 points, 11 rebounds, and 8 assists to lift host Golden State.