Kings keep Cavaliers struggling in 2017

The New Year continues to be unkind to the defending champions Cleveland Cavaliers.

After winning three of their first four games, LeBron James and company have now lost six of their last eight games, their latest being a 116-112 defeat in overtime to the Sacramento Kings.

Shortly after LeBron James expressed his desire for improvements to the team’s roster, “The King” was proven right again, as his squad fell short anew.

The visiting Kings ran out to a 10-0 start before the Cavaliers woke up and got into action.

In the fourth quarter, Kevin Love scored a layup, then James hit two free throws to give the home team a 103-100 lead, 1:57 to go. However, they would miss their next two attempts, a James layup and a Kyle Korver triple, while Kyrie Irving could only manage a split at the line. That allowed DeMarcus Cousins to knot things at 104-all, and then the mercurial big man stole the ball away from James to force OT.

Cleveland began the extra period by getting out to a five-point cushion, 111-106. Once again though, Sacramento rallied, scoring six straight to go up by one. The end of the game followed a similar script though. Love split charities, to tie things anew at 112-all, only to be countered by an Arron Afflalo triple. Cleveland missed two attempts, then turned the ball over with six seconds left, leading to a Cousins charity to seal the deal.

True, the Cavaliers are still on top of the standings, with a three-game cushion between them and second place, but they should be thankful the #2 team, the Toronto Raptors, are also skidding, having lost five straight.

Cousins led all scorers in this one with 28 points on 30 shots, plus 11 rebounds and nine assists. James paced the Cavaliers with a triple-double of 24 markers, 13 boards, and 11 dimes.

Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images