The Cleveland Cavaliers have been on the receiving end of some ugly blowout losses so far this season, and on Saturday night, the team was able to add another game to that unfortunate list. Cleveland played host to Houston in a nationally televised game, and by the time the clock hit zero, all of the questions about this Cavaliers squad reared their ugly head.
The Rockets, sans Eric Gordon or Trevor Ariza, walked out of Quicken Loans Arena with a 120-88 win. That is obviously terrible, and the numbers illustrated how bad things were for Cleveland. The team’s much-maligned defense got carved up, allowing the Rockets to hit 47.3 percent of their attempts from the field and 19 of their 51 three-pointers.
James Harden didn’t have his best night (16 points on 5-for-16 shooting in 31 minutes), but Chris Paul and Ryan Anderson got the job done, going for 22 and 21 points respectively. Even more stunning was how good the Rockets were with those two on the floor: Paul ended the night with a +/- of +47, while Anderson was +39. While the story from this game is that Cleveland laid an egg, Houston deserves credit for throttling the three-time defending Eastern Conference champs.