The Cleveland Cavaliers hit rock bottom by losing an NBA-record 25th straight game in a 99-96 defeat to the Dallas Mavericks on Monday, topping the previous mark they set over two seasons in 1982.
The Cavaliers, who set the record for consecutive losses in one season at 24 when they fell to the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday, had a chance to tie the game against Dallas in the final seconds, but Anthony Parker missed a three-pointer.
“When it hit the front of the rim, I still thought it was going to hit the backboard and trickle in,” Parker told reporters. “It is disappointing to come up short again. We just have to keep at it.”
Cleveland (8-44), whose last win came on Dec. 18 over the New York Knicks, play their next eight games at home, where they have recorded five of their wins this season.
J.J. Hickson put up 26 points and 12 rebounds, while Ramon Sessions added 19 points and 13 assists to help Cleveland put up a good fight against Dallas.
The Cavaliers fell behind by 15 points during the second quarter, but clawed back to tie things early in the fourth quarter and take the game down to the wire.
Dallas reserve Jason Terry finished with 23 points to rally the Mavericks (36-15).
The Cavaliers posted the NBA’s best record last season, but things took a downturn when two-times reigning NBA MVP LeBron James signed with the Miami Heat during the offseason, sending the franchise into a freefall.
LAKERS 93, GRIZZLIES 84
In Memphis, Tennessee, the Los Angeles Lakers withstood a Memphis fourth-quarter fightback to beat the Grizzlies.
Kobe Bryant scored 19 points, while Lamar Odom had 15 points and 11 rebounds for Los Angeles.
Memphis got within two points in the fourth quarter, but the Lakers took advantage of five Grizzlies turnovers to go on an 11-0 run and take an 89-76 lead.
Sam Young led the Grizzlies with 22 points, matching his career high.
ROCKETS 108, NUGGETS 103
In Denver, Colorado, the Rockets took advantage of Nene’s absence and Chauncey Billups’ early exit to beat Denver despite Carmelo Anthony’s 50-point effort that tied his career high.
Kevin Martin, who had just eight points in his previous trip to Denver, scored 18 in the decisive third quarter, half of them during a 13-0 run the Rockets used to grab control at 71-56. He finished with 37 points.
Luis Scola chipped in 25 points for the Rockets.
Anthony scored nine points in the final minute of a furious, but futile comeback attempt. His three-pointer made it 105-101 with 20 seconds remaining, but Kyle Lowry sank two foul shots at the other end to seal it.
The Nuggets started the game without Nene (flu) and Billups left after straining his left knee in the first quarter.
TRAIL BLAZERS 109, BULLS 103
In Portland, Oregon, LaMarcus Aldridge had a career-high 42 points to lead Portland over Chicago.
Aldridge’s jumper with 1 minute, 11 seconds left made it 100-93 and appeared to seal it for the Blazers, but Derrick Rose answered with a three-pointer with just more than a minute to go.
Aldridge hit a turnaround jumper and Andre Miller made a pair of free throws with 30 seconds left to make it 104-96. Luol Deng had a reverse layup on the other end, but the Bulls could not catch up.
Rose had 36 points for the Bulls, who have lost 11 of their past 13 at the Rose Garden.
BOBCATS 94, CELTICS 89
In Charlotte, North Carolina, the hosts overcame the ejection of top scorer Stephen Jackson to beat Boston.