The Cleveland Cavaliers were on the verge of ending the first half of the season on an extremely high note. The San Antonio Spurs own the best record in the NBA and were in Cleveland for the last game before the All Star break. Dion Waiters pulled up and drilled a midrange jumper to give the Cavs a two point lead with minimal time left on the clock. It looked like the Cavs were about to pull off a great upset and enter the break with their spirits sky high.
But then the defense broke down. Dion fells asleep or there was a miscommunication and Kawhi Leonard found himself wide open in the corner for the game-winning three pointer. The Cavs lost 96-95.
It's inevitable that during the season every team will suffer from tough losses. But the Cavaliers have made it an art form. They have mastered the craft of blowing close games.
The Cavs lost to the Milwaukee Bucks on Brandon Jennings' buzzer-beater early in the season.
The Cavs lost to the Miami Heat on a Ray Allen three, after fighting so hard to stay in the game without Kyrie Irving.
The Cavs lost in double overtime to the Portland Trail Blazers on a funky, off-balance three pointer by Nic Batum.
The Cavs lost to the Knicks when Anderson Varejao missed the potential game-tying free throw with just seconds on the clock.
And these are just off the top of my head. The Cavaliers are certainly improving as a team and very rarely get blown out of games. They're typically in it until the very end. But, as with most young teams, they just can't seal the deal unless Kyrie goes supernova. I suspect that they'll get better at it, but until then I have to consider them masters at losing in heartbreaking fashion.