Errant Shooting Ends Cavs' Home Winning StreakPowered by Troy Hudson's 11 fourth quarter points, the Minnesota Timberwolves dealt the Cleveland Cavaliers their first home loss of the 2005-06 season in front of a sellout crowd of 20,562 in Quicken Loans Arena. Hudson finished with 18 points in the 89-85 victory. Kevin Garnett led Minnesota with a season-high 26 points, shooting 10-14 from the field while grabbing 11 rebounds and dishing four assists. Garnett hit a 21 foot jump shot just before the shot clock expired with 56.9 seconds left in regulation to give Minnesota an 84-82 lead. The Timberwolves would not trail again en route to their first road win in five tries. LeBron James paced the Cavaliers with a season-high 38 points, including a sensational one-hand driving dunk over Eddie Griffin near the end of the third quarter and a three pointer with 5.9 seconds left that cut Minnesota's lead to 87-85; Hudson calmly nailed two free throws to close out the scoring. James shot only 7-18 from the field in the second half after going 6-11 in the first half. The rest of the Cavs shot 8-35 from the field in the first half and 7-24 from the field in the second half. Zydrunas Ilgauskas shot 2-10, Larry Hughes 3-16, Damon Jones 0-6 and Donyell Marshall 0-9.
Cavs' Coach Mike Brown offered these comments in his postgame standup: "It's going to be tough to win a ball game shooting 32%. I thought that we had good looks, the drive and kick stuff, but the ball just didn't go down. Like I told our guys, there are going to be nights when that does happen, when you get some good looks but the looks don't go down. When that happens, we have to get stops, and tonight we did not get enough stops." Brown was impressed by Hudson's performance: "Troy Hudson was terrific. He hit some tough shots. I thought that he hit a couple of them with a hand in his face...they hit tough shots and we didn't. Some of our shots that we missed were wide open. Again, it goes back to when that does happen we have to find a way to defend better for a longer stretch of the game."
Prior to the game I interviewed Cavs' assistant coach Hank Egan, who was a member of Gregg Popovich's staff during the San Antonio Spurs' 1999 championship season. Egan coached Popovich at the Air Force Academy and Popovich later joined his coaching staff there as an assistant coach. Egan has been a first hand witness to the evolution of defensive concepts on the collegiate and professional levels and I look forward to posting the complete transcript of his remarks soon.
posted by David Friedman @ 1:15 AM