Cleveland Cavaliers Break Historic Losing Streak
Cleveland Cavaliers fans finally have something to smile about, sort of. The history-making 26-game losing streak that has all but defined their entire season is now over and the Cavaliers are happy to put it behind them.
Earlier this weekend, the Cavaliers snapped the streak—which tied them with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the NFL for the longest losing streak in major sports history—when they faced the L.A. Clippers at home, forcing the game into overtime and giving it all they had to finally put one in the win column.
Since LeBron James left town, I (among others) have given the fans of Cleveland a lot of flak for refusing to let it go and move on, and for holding a citywide grudge against the man they once “were all witnesses” to.
However, the fans seemed to turn the corner on this night. They were energetic, loud, supportive, and came out in high numbers to cheer on their team. This kind of support goes a long way in any type of performance. In this game, it made all the difference in the world. The crowd’s support caused the Cavs to do something they haven’t done in a very long time: Play with passion.
It was clear to everyone who saw the game that the Cavs weren’t going down without a fight. Mo Williams took the team on his back at the end of the fourth quarter to hit the shot that would force overtime. When the Clippers brought it down the court and attempted to dash the home team’s hopes of winning, young center J.J. Hickson stepped up and emphatically rejected the shot, setting the stage for an epic five-minute battle that could’ve gone either way.
A last-ditch three-pointer by the Clippers bounced in the rim and came back out after Antawn Jamison hit a heroic three of his own late in the period. From there, the game was decided before the buzzer sounded. Here’s what Jamison had to say after his 35-point performance.
“It’s a great feeling and great for the morale of this team, this city and these fans. It’s finally good to get it. We’ve been working so hard for this. We finally got it.”
However, it did seem the Cavaliers had some help from the refs in order to get their win. That aforementioned block by J.J. Hickson looked very much like a goaltend, and a missed layup by Mo Williams made for a contested rebound where a Clippers player ended up on the ground. No foul was called. Instead, the call was “out of bounds” on the fallen player, which set up the three-pointer from Jamison on the inbounds play with 22 seconds left.
After the game, Blake Griffin spoke about the questionable calls made down the stretch.
“I can’t say what I think about all those things. That was unbelievable. Throughout the whole game, it was just unbelievable. That was the worst home-court advantage I’ve ever seen. There’s such a thing as home-court advantage, but that was unbelievable.”
It was still a good win for Cleveland, but nobody wants to be the team to lose to the team with the longest losing streak in the league. Maybe the Cavs turn the corner from here and at least put a respectable twist on what’s left of their season.