NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) – The Cleveland Cavaliers haven’t won on the road since beating the New Jersey Nets in November. Their last victory in any game probably only seems like it was that long ago.
In their return to the Prudential Center, the Cavaliers try to end a 16-game slide and avoid matching the longest road losing streak in franchise history Monday night.
A pair of late 3-pointers from Antawn Jamison and Anthony Parker helped Cleveland prevail 93-91 at New Jersey on Nov. 9 for a season-best third straight win. The Cavaliers (8-35) are 4-32 since and have dropped 26 of 27, with their last win coming Dec. 18.
They’ve been particularly inept away from home, as they’re on the verge of matching the team mark of 21 consecutive road losses set from Jan. 13-April 14, 2003.
Cleveland shot 32.1 percent – its second-worst mark of the season – in a 92-79 defeat at Chicago on Saturday. The Cavs did manage to trim a 20-point third-quarter deficit to three with 6:29 remaining.
“If we continue to play this way, things could go our way,” Jamison said. “Unfortunately, down the stretch miscommunication on the defense end (hurt us) and not great quality shots on offense.”
Jamison had 31 points, but no other Cavaliers player scored more than 13. Cleveland was missing four players due to injury, including Parker, who aggravated a back injury in a 102-88 loss to Milwaukee on Friday.
Starting point guard Ramon Sessions left in the second quarter Saturday with a right abdominal strain.
“Our guys were really competing tonight,” coach Byron Scott said. “With all our guys that are banged up and out of the lineup, I thought this was one of the best games we’ve played (as far as) being competitive.”
Cleveland will face a last-place Nets club as it tries to avoid matching the dubious franchise record, but New Jersey (12-32) is 2-1 on a five-game homestand and has won five of eight at the Prudential Center.
The Nets nearly won their third in a row Saturday against Dallas, but Dirk Nowitzki hit a jumper in the lane with 6 seconds left to give his team an 87-86 victory.
“We hung in there and battled back,” coach Avery Johnson told the team’s website. “(I’m) just proud of our guys. This is three straight games where we’ve played some pretty good basketball.”
Brook Lopez had a team-best 24 points for New Jersey and is averaging 24.3 and 58.5 percent shooting over the past six games. Foul trouble contributed to Lopez scoring a season-low four points at Cleveland on Nov. 10, but Devin Harris scored a season-high 31 as the Nets snapped a nine-game slide to the Cavaliers with a 95-87 win.
Harris, averaging 21.2 points in his last six games against Cleveland, will now try to help his team end a five-game home skid in the series.
The Cavs haven’t lost 17 in a row since a 19-game skid to conclude the 1981-82 season.
Will the Nets hand Cleveland yet another loss? Make your prediction in the comments below…
© 2011 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.