This time the Charlotte Bobcats couldnt even sneak up on somebody.
The Cleveland Cavaliers were 1-5 at home this season against teams with sub-.500 records. Coach Byron Scott wouldnt let up on that, telling his players losing to the Bobcats would invalidate a recent victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
So the Cavs treated the Bobcats like a college homecoming opponent, leading by as many as 28 points in the first half of a 122-95 blowout at Quicken Loans Arena.
Weve got to have that fear of losing for 48 minutes, Scott reminded in his pre-game media availability.
Mission accomplished. The Cavs shot a remarkable 62 percent in the first half, scoring 30 points in the paint. Either it was guards Kyrie Irving (22 points) and Dion Waiters (19) driving or power forward Tristan Thompson (17) posting up.
Irving dramatically outplayed Bobcats point guard Kemba Walker, who shot 2-of-11 for five points.
Thompson made seven of his eight shots, getting to the rim as consistently as league most valuable player LeBron James did against the Bobcats Monday.
The Cavaliers led by as many as 33 and only a late run on Clevelands scrubs avoided what would have been the Bobcats 10th loss by 30 or more since the start of last season.
Bobcats coach Mike Dunlap has tried this season not to publicly rip individual players. Wednesday he ripped them collectively.
The physical effort was unacceptable our front door and our back door is effort, Dunlap said, adding the problem was a lack of focus.
This was the end of a five-game, 12-night road trip, yet there really was no excuse for the 11-37 Bobcats to look so flat. They had at least one day off between each game and the Cavs, at 15-34, are hardly overwhelming.
But Thompson (nine rebounds) is better than any Bobcats big man and Irving is an All-Star. This one reinforced theres no player on Charlottes roster going to an All-Star game without a ticket.
The Bobcats again played without rookie small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, recovering from a concussion suffered Saturday in Houston. The Cavs exploited the Bobcats reliance on small-ball, and Dunlap went with a more conventional lineup in the second half.
Dunlap started power forward Tyrus Thomas in the second half. Thomas, whos owed about $18 million over the next two seasons, had played just 13 minutes his previous four games, sitting out two altogether. He made two of his three first-half shots, but had no rebounds in seven minutes.
Thomas finished with 10 points, a block and two rebounds in 25 minutes. That was enough to draw praise on a night so many were so bad.
Tyrus Thomas stood out, Dunlap said, and played hard.