July 29, 2014

Elyria
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Mo providing less: Cavs point guard Williams still struggling against Magic

ORLANDO, Fla. – Mo Williams` left eye was swollen, bandaged with four stitches around it and bruises that caused him to wince with every blow.
It`s been rough out there for the Cleveland Cavaliers guard.
Banged up and struggling with his shot, Williams had 10 of his 15 points in the first half and was just 5-for-16 shooting Sunday night in the Cavs` 99-89 loss to the Orlando Magic in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals.
Williams was frustrated afterward, saying the elbow he took from Orlando`s Anthony Johnson to the eye was “most definitely” a cheap shot.
“My head was ringing,” Williams said. “But I had worse stuff happening in the game.”
Cleveland`s No. 2 scoring option has provided little help for LeBron James, clanking jumpers and piling up turnovers. Williams is among the biggest reasons the Cavs trail the Magic 2-1 in the best-of-seven series.
He`s disappeared.
The All-Star guard hasn`t been nearly as efficient or effective as he was during the regular season, when he averaged a career-high 17.8 points. Williams is only 18-for-56 shooting in the series, a lopsided statistic that mirrors many of his teammates who are falling flat in the conference finals, leaving James largely alone to carry the Cavs.
“Mo and I are getting looks,” said Cavs guard Delonte West, who had 12 points. “We`re getting good looks. It`s just we have to make them. But I don`t think as a team we ever got into the flow. Certainly, we didn`t.”
Those numbers aren`t the only thing making Williams cringe.
He briefly left the game after taking the elbow from Johnson above and below the left eye midway through the second quarter. He required four stitches to seal the lacerations.
Johnson drove the lane and extended his elbow, knocking Williams to the floor. Williams was called for a blocking foul, and Johnson was whistled for a flagrant one foul after officials huddled.
Cavaliers players and coach Mike Brown raced across the court to the opposite basket and gathered around Williams, who went to the locker room clutching his eye with an ice pack after about a minute. He returned quickly to shoot the free throws, making both before going back to the locker room.
Williams said the play was “most definitely” a cheap shot but that he has bigger problems than Johnson.
“I got bigger fish to fry,” Johnson said. “I got to go in there and make some shots, how I can get open looks. I could care less about Anthony Johnson. He plays 12 minutes a game. I could care less.”
The real pain was yet to come.
Williams came back with small bandages above and below his left eye, and was largely ineffective for the rest of the game. He missed an open 3-pointer with about 20 seconds left and Cleveland trailing by five that all but sealed Orlando`s victory, finishing with five turnovers and three assists to go with seven rebounds.
“He`s just got to keep shooting the ball and keep trying to make plays,” Brown said. “Those guys are very good shooters. They`ve come through for us the entire year, and we don`t see it being any different in this series.”
The result?
The Cavs have become the LeBron Show.
While the league MVP had 41 points, nine assists and seven rebounds in another dominating performance in Game 3, his teammates are largely standing around and watching him around the perimeter.
No movement. No clean looks. No offense.
And not nearly enough Williams.
“Sometimes I feel like I need to get a big bucket,” Williams said, “and give some support to LeBron.”