For the first time in his career, LeBron James has lost consecutive games by 25-plus points.
The Cavaliers were thumped by the Timberwolves by 28 on Monday and got crushed by the Raptors on Thursday despite Toronto playing without two of its better players in Kyle Lowry (tailbone) or Serge Ibaka (suspension).
James recorded a career-worst minus-39 rating Monday and was minus-22 Thursday with just one assist as Cleveland’s defense was non-existent in the first half of the 133-99 defeat to cap the season’s midpoint.
The Raptors, who had seven players in double-figures, jumped out to a 65-40 halftime lead and never looked back. Even the Raptors’ reserves were taking it to the Cavs as Fred VanVleet scored a team-high 22 points in 24 minutes.
It’s easy to understand why James was livid as the Cavs lost for the seventh time in their last 10 games. He was caught by TNT’s cameras lashing out at teammates and assistant coach Phil Handy after Pascal Siakam drove the lane and dunked with little resistance.
“We’ve all got to be accountable for actions, accountable for how we play, how hard we play, what we’re doing for one another,” James told reporters after the game. “So, just trying to hold everybody accountable and move on, which we did.”
James is going to be angrier when he finds out Kyrie Irving likes seeing him upset.
— Jared Weiss (@JaredWeissNBA) January 12, 2018
Irving’s replacement, Isaiah Thomas didn’t help James’ fury as the recovering point guard (hip) knocked down just 2 of 15 shots. He finished with four points and registered a minus-20.
Stud of the night
Clippers guard Lou Williams picked up where he left off Thursday with 30 points in a 121-115 win over the Kings. Williams dropped 50 on the Warriors Wednesday.
Duds of the night
The 76ers: Philadelphia led the Celtics by as many as 22 points in the second quarter, but still managed to choke in the second half to lose in London by double-digits. Sixers forward Robert Covington had the worst night of all, knocking down just two field goals while registering a minus-25 with four turnovers.
Jordan Clarkson’s spinning, no-look pass was the highlight of an otherwise lackluster first 16 minutes for the Lakers against the Spurs. The Lakers did come back for a 93-81 win.
Clarkson finds Lonzo with the crafty outlet pass!#LakeShow pic.twitter.com/5hU8Au056U
— NBA (@NBA) January 12, 2018