Pest is prologue: Bed Bug problems in Oklahoma City over the weekend come back to bite Cavaliers in loss to Pistons

CLEVELAND — The bed bugs bit the Cavaliers again, only this time in a figurative sense.

Cleveland Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving, left, shoots around Detroit Pistons’ Aron Baynes, from Australia, in the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Feb. 22, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

February 23, 2016 | by Rick Noland | Chronicle Online

After a rough Saturday night in Oklahoma City, which resulted in point guard Kyrie Irving getting about three hours of sleep on the couch in his hotel room, the Cavs came home and lost 96-88 to the Detroit Pistons on Monday at Quicken Loans Arena.

Following his eventful Saturday night, Irving didn’t play the final three quarters in Cleveland’s impressive win over the Thunder on Sunday, the team saying he had flu-like symptoms.

“It was honestly from the bed bugs from the frickin’ Hilton we stayed at,” he said. “As you can see, I got bit at the top of my head.

“I didn’t get any sleep and we came into the game and I was, like, freaked out. Then I started feeling nauseous. So it was just a whole bunch of BS, honestly.”

Irving, who had 30 points against the Pistons, said his teammates didn’t have a joyous hotel stay, either, and it showed against Detroit.

LeBron James was lousy, J.R. Smith and Tristan Thompson were virtually invisible and coach Tyronn Lue went to a very curious lineup at the start of the fourth quarter as the Cavs’ five-game winning streak came to an end.

James tied his season low with 12 points, making just 5 of 18 shots and going 0-for-4 on 3-pointers. He had eight rebounds, five assists and three steals, but committed six turnovers and was largely responsible for two others. The small forward also had his streak of 20-point games end at 14, dating back to a 17-point outing in Brooklyn on Jan. 20.

Lue saw it coming, but didn’t follow his instincts when it came to the four-time MVP, who has appeared in all but one game this season.

“I should have went with my gut,” Lue said. “After (Sunday’s) game, I wanted to sit LeBron.”

James hinted he would have been OK with that, but only if he had been told to sit.

“If Coach Lue wanted to sit me, I follow his orders,” he said. “For me, I’m available every night unless I’m injured. I’ve been hurt all year, but there’s a difference between being hurt and being injured.”

Thompson had no points and six rebounds in 21 minutes while matched against the much bigger Andre Drummond (16 points, 15 rebounds), while Smith had seven points and got torched for 19 by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

But nothing compared to what Irving experienced Saturday.

“Just imagine how freaked out you’d be if you saw, like, five bed bugs just sitting on your pillow,” he said. “I woke up itching and I’m looking around: Are you serious right now? It was 3 a.m. and I was so tired at that point, so it’s, whatever.”

Detroit, which also was playing for the second time in as many days, got 23 points from point guard Reggie Jackson and 14 apiece from forwards Tobias Harris and Marcus Morris, yet nearly blew two big leads.

The Cavs missed their first 10 shots of the fourth quarter as the Pistons went on an 11-0 run to go up 86-68. Cleveland was scoreless until James hit a pair of free throws at the 6:50 mark, its first field goal coming on an Irving drive with 6:22 remaining.

A 12-0 Cleveland run, however, made the score 88-82 with 2:28 remaining, but the Cavs couldn’t complete their rally.

“They came in and they beat us,” Lue said. “We weren’t ready to play tonight.”

The Pistons scored the first eight points of the third period — a Lue timeout 67 seconds in didn’t help — to go up 64-49, then later extended their lead to 75-58 with 4:56 left in the quarter.

Detroit didn’t score the rest of the period, as Cleveland went on a 10-0 run to make the score 75-68. James’ only points of the quarter came with 39.8 seconds left, giving him eight for the game.

The Cavs shot 60 percent from the field in that period and Kevin Love had 14 points while playing against the smaller Harris, but the Pistons led 33-28, largely because their starting backcourt of Caldwell-Pope and Jackson combined for 22 points on 9-for-10 shooting.

Love finished with 24 points on 8-for-15 shooting and added seven rebounds, but he was scoreless in the fourth period, when he was 0-for-3 from the field.

“You could just see it,” Irving said, meaning the team’s fatigue and not the bugs on his bed in Oklahoma City. “There were some non-characteristic plays out there.”


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