The struggling Cleveland Cavaliers suffered their most lopsided defeat of the season Thursday night, a 34-point drubbing at the hands of the Toronto Raptors that led head coach Ty Lue to express concern over possible “agendas” within the team.
The Cavaliers fell 133-99 and have dropped six of eight dating to a Christmas Day defeat at defending champion Golden State. Thursday’s loss followed a 127-99 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday and marked the third straight game that Cleveland has allowed at least 127 points.
“We gotta be better,” Lue said. “Until we play better defensively and offensively, until we share the basketball. And if guys have agendas, we’ve got to get rid of those agendas and play the right way.”
The Cavs (26-15) fell into a 25-point hole in the second quarter, during which a fired-up LeBron James huddled his teammates together and went off on them after a defensive lapse. The huddle included an animated exchange with Lue.
“That was just us trying to figure it out,” James said. “It’s not for everybody. We came here and talked about it, and that’s what happens at times. Family is not always about a bed of roses.”
Asked about Lue’s concerns about the Cavs having “agendas,” James said, “I would hope not. I mean, come on. At this point? Three and a half, four years into this thing? I would hope not. I don’t have them. I just want to win.”
James, who scored 26 points in Thursday’s loss, acknowledged not knowing “where it kind of went wrong or what happened” with the Cavs in their latest loss. He called for greater accountability from himself and his teammates.
“We all got to be accountable for our actions, accountable for how well we play, how we play, how hard we play, and what we do for one another,” he said. “And there were just some plays that you should come up with, that you should make, and when you’re losing, you tend to not wanna make those plays, or tend to let some plays get away from you. And we can’t afford that right now the way we’re playing ball. So just trying to hold everybody accountable and move on, which we did.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.