There are 26 letters in the alphabet and 26 games in the Cleveland Cavaliers losing streak, snapped last Friday in an overtime win over the Los Angeles Clippers. Perhaps another streak began Sunday with a loss to the Washington Wizards, but for now, we thought it appropriate to offer an A-to-Z statistical tribute to the best in NBA futility.
A is for Away. The Cavaliers lost 15 of the 26 games during the streak on the road. Despite snapping the 26-game overall losing streak, Cleveland still has a 26-game road losing streak.
B is for Buccaneers. The Cavaliers' 26 straight losses tied the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1976-77 for the longest losing streak across all four major sports in the modern era. All-time, the only other team in any of the four major sports with at least 26 straight losses was the 1889 Louisville Colonels of Major League Baseball.
C is for Clippers. The Cavaliers ran into the Clippers who have now had two of the three longest single-season losing streaks in NBA history snapped against them.
E is for Eyenga. Christian Eyenga, a Cavaliers first round pick in 2009, was called up from the D-league this season and ended up starting 12 games during the streak.
F is for Fifty-Five. That was the Cavaliers' margin of defeat against the Lakers. It was the largest margin of defeat in an NBA game since 1998.
G is for Grizzlies. They did their franchise proud by extending the Cavaliers' streak to 23 losses (at that point), tying the Cavs with the 1997-98 Denver Nuggets, and 1995-96 Vancouver Grizzlies for the longest single-season losing streak in NBA history.
H is for Heat. The Heat not only lured away the King, but sent the Cavaliers into a tailspin. After a surprising 7-10 start to the season the Cavaliers lost LeBron James' homecoming by 28 points and have won only twice since.
I is for Injuries. The Cavaliers were ravaged by injuries as Anderson Varejao missed all but six games during the losing streak while Mo Williams missed time as well. No team has used more different starting lineups than the Cavaliers this season.
J is for January. The Cavaliers went 0-16 in January, just the third time in the last 20 seasons a team went winless over an entire month with at least 15 games played in it, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Longest Losing Streaks
4 Major Professional Sports
K is for the Knicks. The only thing that stopped this streak from being 37 straight was an overtime win against New York.
L is for Loss. Loss, Loss, Loss, Loss, Loss, Loss, Loss, Loss, Loss, Loss, Loss, Loss, Loss, Loss, Loss, Loss, Loss, Loss, Loss, Loss, Loss, Loss, Loss, Loss, Loss, Loss. You need to see it 26 times to really sink in.
M is for Minnesota, Memphis, and New Jersey. The Cavaliers entered the fourth quarter against each of these teams with a lead only to falter down the stretch.
N is for Now and Then. Each of the last two years the Cavaliers have won a game on February 11th. Last year they improved to 43-11 on a 13-game win streak. This year they improved to 9-45 snapping a 26-game losing streak.
O is for Overtime. Both of the Cavaliers' wins book-ending this streak came in overtime. At 2-0, Cleveland is one of five teams undefeated in overtime this season. The others are the San Antonio Spurs, Boston Celtics, Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Lakers.
P is for Pacers. The Cavaliers scored 112 points and lost against the Indiana Pacers, the most points they scored in any game during the streak.
Q is for Quicken Loans Arena. The Cavaliers home crowd saw 11 straight home losses during the streak. The Cavaliers lost at “the Q” eight times combined in the previous two seasons.
R is for Regulation. Cleveland has lost 37 straight games in regulation, 26 of which came during the streak.
S is for the Spurs, Heat, Bulls, and Hawks. Those four teams COMBINED for 26 losses from Dec 19th through Feb 10th during the losing streak.
T is for Thirteen. Cleveland suffered double-digit losses in half of the 26 games during its losing streak. The Cavaliers were outscored by 13.7 points-per-game during the streak.
U is for UGLY. Especially in losses of 55, 28 and 27 points to the Lakers, Nuggets, and Heat.
V is for Victory. There were none.
W is for Worst. The Cavaliers have the worst record in the NBA. At the beginning of the streak Cleveland was 8-19, and there were five teams with worse records.
Y is for You already owned the record! While this particular group of Cavaliers will live in infamy, the 1981-82 and 1982-83 Cavaliers -- who lost 24 straight games over two seasons, the previous NBA record for consecutive losses -- were let off the hook.
Z is for Zydrunas Ilgauskas. Big Z had 12 points and 14 rebounds in his only meeting with his former team during the streak. Ilgauskas, who holds numerous franchise records, is not part of this one as the Cavs' worst losing streak during his Cleveland days was 15 games in the 2002-03 season.