Rockets vs. Cavaliers
Jan 7, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Houston Rockets forward Josh Smith (5) drives on Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith (5) during the fourth quarter at Quicken Loans Arena. The Rockets won 105-93. Reuters

The Cleveland Cavaliers have been busy of the court getting involved in trades the past few days. But without franchise player LeBron James, they continued to struggle inside the court losing to the visiting Houston Rockets, 105-93 at home on Wednesday. Houston big man Dwight Howard led the way with a double-double of 17 points and 19 rebounds while James Harden added 21 points and 9 assists.

Without James, the Cavaliers looked to the other stars of the team in Kyrie Irving, who ended up with a season-high 38 points and Kevin Love, who had 16 points and 17 rebounds, but both failed to lead the team to a win despite playing 41 and 39 minutes, respectively. Except for Tristan Thompson’s 11 points, Cleveland also failed to get support from the other teammates. New Cavalier J.R. Smith, who was acquired via a three-team trade, missed all of his five shots from the field and finished with 0 points. For the Rockets, they had enough bench help with Josh Smith finishing with 16 points and Corey Brewer with a dozen for both reserves.

Cleveland actually led 74-73 entering the fourth and final quarter before Howard dominated. Behind the big man, the Rockets outscored the Cavaliers, 32-19 in the fourth to run away with the blowout victory. The Rockets lost 114-105 to the Chicago Bulls in their last game and returned to the win column after the win over the Cavaliers. Houston also improved to 3-4 in their last seven games while Cleveland has now lost three in a row and six of the last seven games.

The Cavaliers dropped to 19-17 for the season, stil good for fifth overall in the Eastern Conference. The team is expecting to get LeBron James back soon and according to reports, he’d be healthy from a strained back and a knee injury and ready to play by next Friday, Jan. 16. The Cavaliers fell to 1-6 win-loss record without LeBron James in the line-up.

Upcoming Schedule (Next 3 Games):
Houston Rockets: at New York Knicks, vs. Utah Jazz, at Brooklyn Nets
Cleveland Cavaliers: at Golden State Warriors, at Sacramento Kings, at Phoenix Suns

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