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story.lead_photo.caption Kyle Korver (26) of the Cleveland Cavaliers loses control of the ball against Gerald Green (14) of the Houston Rockets in the first half Saturday in Cleveland. The Cavaliers were routed 120-88 in another nationally televised game in which they struggled.

Saturday night, the Cleveland Cavaliers were routed by the Houston Rockets on a nationally televised game by 32 points.

Two weeks before that, in another nationally televised game, Cleveland gave up 148 and lost by 24 to Oklahoma City. Cleveland now has lost its last eight nationally televised games by an average of 18 points.

LeBron James said after the latest loss he doesn't know why they struggle so much in these games, but he knows one solution -- get the Cavaliers off of national TV.

"I'm lost for words, actually," James said, referring to the Cavs' struggles on national TV. "They should take us off every nationally televised game for the rest of the season. We haven't played good ball and we get our butts kicked every time we play on national television, so I'm at a loss for words."

LeBron probably was joking -- but with him, who knows -- but just to be clear, it's not happening. The Cavaliers are a train wreck, but train wrecks draw eyeballs. So long as LeBron is in Cleveland they will be on national TV.

One reason the Cavaliers are struggling is because of defense, which ranks 28th in the NBA this season. Typically, bad defensive teams lose games. And their offense isn't good enough anymore to make up for lackadaisical defense.

And finally, because these nationally televised games are almost always against other elite teams in the NBA, and those teams are light years ahead of the Cavs right now.

Bloody mess

It screamed mismatch. It turned into a bloodbath.

And UFC President Dana White isn't happy.

No. 1 ranked bantamweight Valentina Shevchenko on Saturday moved down to flyweight to face unranked UFC newcomer Priscila Cachoeira. At best, you could accuse the UFC of throwing a prospect to the wolves. At worst, they were booking a squash match.

After the opening bell, it was clear a squash was underway. Cachoeira had no answer for Shevchenko's counters and was stunned from the first of more than 200 largely unanswered strikes.

What unfolded over the next 9½ minutes was a bloody and uncomfortable one-sided beating that wouldn't have sat well with the squeamish.

Shevchenko never quite managed the intensity needed to stop the fight, so she switched to a submission and choked her opponent out.

White was quick to call out referee Mario Yamasaki for letting the fight go on too long.

"Priscilla Cachoeira, you showed so much heart and toughness in that fight," he wrote on Instagram. "I'm honored to have you fight in the UFC. Unfortunately the ref is there to protect you and Mario DID NOT do that.

"This isn't his first disgusting performance in the octagon. Another unfortunate thing is that I can't do anything about I️t only the Brazilian commission can and i am hoping after this scary, incompetent showing he hopefully will never set foot in that Octagon again. Strikes landed was 230-3."

Maybe Yamasaki doesn't have any business being in the cage after his performance, but Cachoeira had no business being in the cage with Shevchenko. That's on the UFC.

Crisco substitute

Crisco has been replaced by hydraulic fluid this time around to prevent fans in Philadelphia from climbing street poles and signs around the city after Sunday's Super Bowl.

Philadelphia police were on the streets Sunday afternoon preparing for the crowds later in the evening by applying what they said was hydraulic fluid to street poles and signs. They used Crisco during the NFC Championship Game victory over the Minnesota Vikings, but it wasn't completely effective.


What's the most victories in a single season LeBron James has achieved as a Cleveland Cavalier?


66 in the 2008-2009 season

Sports on 02/05/2018

Print Headline: Does TV put a hex on Cavs?

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