Sunday, February 13, 2011

The streak finally ends

Gee, aren't you glad that's over? And I'm not talking about Alonzo.

Danielle snapped this picture the moment the clock hit 0.0. 

It lasted 26 games, 55 days, broke the record for the longest losing streak in NBA history and tied the record for the longest losing streak in professional sports history.

But it's over. Finally.

The Cavaliers' thrilling 126-119 overtime victory over the L.A. Clippers on Friday night put to rest the thoughts of them not winning another game this season. I wouldn't have been surprised.

Last week, TNT's Kenny Smith made two jokes about nobody wanting Cavs tickets and nobody showing up to the games. Apparently he hasn't seen any Cavs home games since he and his posse (Ernie Johnson and Charles Barkley) were in town on Dec. 2 for LeReturn. The crowd was electric Friday night. The announced attendance was a sellout of 20,562 and the Cavs, obviously, don't fill up Quicken Loans Arena anymore. But there is no way the actual attendance was less than 18,000. Cleveland packed The Q on Friday. I think everyone knew there was a really good chance it could be "the night."

Or maybe it was because Blake Griffin was in town. The kid is a dynamo.

It was a fantastic atmosphere. Winning streaks, 66-win seasons, NBA Finals appearances, playoff showdowns against Boston or Detroit, even 26-game losing streaks with all hope lost, Cavs fans know how to bring it. I was so proud of Cleveland Friday night for bringing a playoff-like energy to the game and pushing their team to a much-needed (understatement of the century) win.

Fellow Copy Editor Danielle Capriato and I attended the win that ended the historic streak on Friday night. We actually attended the Cavs' previous win on Dec. 18 against the Knicks. Another overtime winner. (They haven't won a regulation game since Nov. 27) Time for the Cavs to give us tickets to every game? I would gladly accept. I'll take a guess she would, too. If only we could have those nights off work. (Danielle says: YES, I WILL GLADLY ACCEPT. Especially if we're sitting in the fifth row only a few seats behind Travis Hafner again.)

Cleveland loves its sports teams. The Cavs, even at 9-46, are not an exception. Mo Williams returned from a hip injury to a standing ovation Friday night. Cavs fans blow up Twitter trying to encourage Mo, Boobie Gibson and J.J. Hickson to keep their heads up and that Cavs fans still love them. I don't care what their record is or how many games out of first place they are. How can you not want to be a Cavs fan? It's so obvious how much these guys care about each other and want each other to be successful. They make games fun to watch because it's so clear that they care, and it makes me, as a fan, care about them and root for their success. That's something LeQuitter didn't take away from this team, and never will.

(Danielle says: Worth noting that night was the excitement evident from the players, too. They were jumping up and down on the sidelines, and at one point I think Dom saw Mo taunting a Clipper about his beard. Those guys just have fun, like Dom said, and their attitude change Friday night was palpable. Particularly compared to other games I've attended this season, where it seemed like the guys lost a little bit of that spark as soon as they missed a couple shots.)

So congrats to the Cavs on getting the proverbial monkey off their backs and getting back in the win column. I just hope they don't wait until Danielle and I make it down to The Q together to do it again. (Danielle: Especially after tonight's loss to the Wizards.)
 

Here's a video Dom shot at the end of game:

video


--Dominic Anselmo
DAnselmo@News-Herald.com
(And kind of Danielle, too!)

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