USA Today Sports

Rockets take off on Cavs

The Cavs finished their three-game road trip in Houston with a 117-112 loss to the Rockets

The Cavaliers seemed to run out of fuel and the Rockets used what they had in their tank to outlast the Cavs in Houston, 117-112. Cleveland led by nine points at halftime, and extended their lead to 12 points in the third quarter. However, the Rockets launched in the third quarter by finishing on a 21-5 to take a 90-86 lead after three quarters. The Cavs had an early 7-0 run to take a brief lead in the final quarter, but Houston took over late in the game as James Harden led all scorers with a triple-double on 38 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds.

The Rockets improved their record to 46-21, third-best in the NBA, while the Cavs drop to 43-22, just two games ahead of the Wizards (41-24) and the Celtics (42-25) in the Eastern Conference standings. 

LeBron James had 30 points for the Cavs, followed by Kyrie Irving with 28 and Richard Jefferson with 16.

Tip Ins

RJ's Spark: Richard Jefferson made all six of his shots from the field, including 4-of-4 from three-point range for 16 points.

Helping Out: The Cavs had 24 assists with 15 turnovers. Irving had eight assists for the Cavs.

Kyrie's Streak: Kyrie Irving has scored at least 20 points in 15-straight games, finishing with 28 points. 

3-Ball Fest: The two teams were raining three balls as they combined for 33 three-point shots made on 88 attempts. Cleveland was 39.5 percent on 17-of-43, while Houston was 35 percent on 16-of-45. Richard Jefferson was 4-of-4 for the Cavs, while LeBron James was 4-of-11.

No O-Rebounds:The Cavs were out hustled throughout the game by the Rockets and had many second-chance points because of it. Missing the presence of Kevin Love the Rockets exploited the Cavs all game. Houston had 20 offensive rebounds to the Cavs' 4.

J.R. Off: J.R. Smith is still struggling to find the range from three-point range as he was 0-of-4 and 1-of-6 overall from the field and finished with two points. 

Not Many FT: The Cavs had only shot 9 free throws until the 3:14 mark of the fourth quarter and finished the game just 11-of-13 for 84.6 percent. Meanwhile, Houston was 19-of-28. The Cavs season low was 10 free throw attempts against the Bulls earlier in the season.

Frye Guy: Channing Frye has made last 16-of-28 attempts from behind the arc, including 2-of-3 against Houston. He scored eight points, on 3-of-4 from the field. 

Korver Out: Kyle Korver (knee soreness) missed all three games on the road trip and it's unsure if he'll play when the Cavs return home Tuesday night.

Next Up:The Cavs return home to host the Pistons Tuesday night at 7 pm.

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