Cavs Winning Streak Snapped Because of Poor Free Throw Shooting
It snapped the Cavs' 13-game winning streak and their 11-game home winning streak. It was also their second loss to the Nuggets (36-18) by two points after they out-executed the Cavs (43-12) in the stretch run of a game in Denver on Jan. 8 as well.
But while all of that is germane and interesting, it wasn't exactly why the Cavs were hanging their heads. Back to that little weakness -- an age-old issue called free-throw shooting. That's a stat that often doesn't matter in high-possession NBA games. But it mattered in this one, and it has mattered quite a few times to the Cavs this season.
The Cavs missed 17 free throws, going 23-of-40 in the loss. It was clearly the root of the defeat, even if it wasn't as dramatic as Anthony's dagger. They have lost three of their past 19 games by a total of five points, two to the Nuggets. In those defeats, they have averaged 12.7 free-throw misses.