CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Cavaliers are a team in disarray.
A 105-96 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Sunday night was their 10th in 13 games, and was met with a chorus of boos from fans of the defending Eastern Conference champions.
The latest loss, in which the Cavaliers never led and trailed by 28 points in the third quarter, was so bad LeBron James left the arena without talking to reporters.
It was also another frustrating night for Cleveland coach Mike Brown, who has been pleading with his team to play with more intensity.
"In the first and third quarters we came out with no energy at all," he said.
Stephen Jackson scored 29 points and Baron Davis added 27 to lead Golden State, playing the finale of a five-game trip. The Warriors scored 38 points in the first quarter and were never threatened, building an 89-61 lead late in the third period.
The Cavaliers outscored the Warriors 29-14 in the fourth to make the outcome respectable. Even so, they looked nothing like the team that won 50 games last season, caught a hot streak during the playoffs and rolled to the NBA Finals.
"Last year I thought we played with more energy and more passion," Brown said. "Right now, at times we've come out flat and dug ourselves a hole."
"At the end of the day," forward Drew Gooden said, "the score didn't show we competed."
James, the NBA's leading scorer, led the Cavaliers with 25 points.
The Warriors, second in the league in scoring entering the night, shredded Cleveland's defense. The Warriors built a 23-point lead midway through the second quarter, and were 22-of-38 from the field in the first half.
"We have to play with a sense of urgency on both ends of the floor," Brown said. "Defensively we're going through the motions."
The Cavaliers have allowed 100 or more points 17 times this season. Through 28 games last season, they had allowed 100 or more points five times.
Golden State coach Don Nelson has criticized his team for its slow starts, but that wasn't a problem Sunday. The Warriors made 13 of their first 17 shots, including their first five 3-pointers, to lead 38-22 at the end of the period.
"Coming out in the first quarter and making shots always helps," Davis said. "The whole road trip, it seemed like we haven't gotten off to a start like that."
Nelson was unsure whether Davis (thigh bruise) or Jackson (hyperextended knee) would be able to play.
"I didn't think I'd have either," Nelson said. "Shows you what I know. It was a very nice win for us. That's my Christmas present."
Brown was whistled for a technical foul with his team trailing 54-32 at the 6:59 mark of the second quarter. The free throw by Jackson gave the Warriors a 55-32 lead.
Nelson was given a technical 26 seconds later for protesting a charging call, which was about the only thing he had to complain about the entire game.
The Warriors are 16-12 and finished 3-2 on their road trip.
"I don't know if we're any good or not," Nelson said. "We're able to win some games, put on a bad performance one night and a pretty good one the next."
Cleveland cut the lead to 63-50 by halftime, but any hope of a comeback ended in the third period. Leading 65-54 at the 9:38 mark, the Warriors scored the next eight points for a 73-54 lead and cruised the remainder of the game.
Even James had his problems, missing three straight free throws in the first quarter.
- Cavaliers assistant Hank Egan underwent bypass surgery Saturday morning. There's no timetable for his return.
- Warriors forward Austin Croshere (back) was inactive for the second straight game.
- The Cavaliers host Miami, another struggling team, on Christmas Day.
- The Warriors return home and face Minnesota on Wednesday.