There are happy days in Cleveland after the acquisition of Caris LeVert, and on Wednesday night, he made his debut.
LeVert, who was dealt to Cleveland from Indiana, would come off the bench and score 11 points in 28 minutes of action, and the Cavs would defeat the Spurs 105-92 to get their seventh consecutive victory at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
The Cavs(34-21) have won three straight, while the Spurs(20-35) have lost four of five.
Here’s the Great, The Not So Great, and Bottom Line of the Cavs’ win over the Spurs.
The Great for the Cavs:
-Darius Garland is back, and he picked up where he left off. Garland, who missed four games due to lower back soreness, was 12/15 from the field and had 27 points, five rebounds, and six assists. The 80% shooting from the floor was the best field goal percentage of his career. While he had six turnovers, the offense flowed better with the third-year guard in the mix, and all is well for the Cavs when Garland is on the court.
-Evan Mobley got it done for Cleveland. He had 18 points and 12 rebounds. This was Mobley’s 12th double-double of the season, which is the most by a Cavs’ rookie since LeBron James(2003-04).
-Jarrett Allen had 15 points and 14 rebounds. Since the All-Star snub, Allen has three straight double-doubles. He recorded his 29th double-double of the season Wednesday night, which is good news. When Allen has a double-double, the Cavs are 24-5 this season.
By the way, he got snubbed again when commissioner Adam Silver selected LaMelo Ball over him to replace an injured Kevin Durant in the All-Star Game. Both Ball and Allen are having excellent seasons, but Allen and the Cavs have won more, which should have given him the edge.
Second Quarter: Cleveland trailed 30-29 after one quarter and picked things up in quarter number two. San Antonio took their final lead of 34-33 with 10:00 minutes left in the quarter, and the Cavs went on a 10-0 run to take a 43-34 lead. Cleveland picked up the defense as the Spurs shot 33% from the floor, including 1/9 from deep. The Cavs would outscore the Spurs 28-18 in the second and took a 57-48 lead at halftime.
Third Quarter: The Cavs would pour it on in the third. They went on a 16-2 run to start the quarter and took a 23-point lead, which was their largest lead of the game. Cleveland shot 55% from the field in the third and really was in complete control from there. The Cavs would take an 84-73 lead into the fourth.
The Not So Great for the Cavs:
We could talk about the turnovers(15), but that’s for another night.
While it may take time for LeVert to get completely comfortable, it’s clear he fits well with this team. LeVert’s versatility is huge as we saw him spend some time on the ball. As stated here, they needed a guy who could create his own shot at a high level, and LeVert is that guy.
As for the standings, Cleveland(fourth seed) is one game behind the Heat for the top spot in the East.
“When he gets comfortable, I think it’s going to be really scary,” Garland said postgame about LeVert.
Cleveland begins a three-game road trip before the All-Star break Friday night in Indiana against the Pacers.
Best of the Rest:
-Isaac Okoro added 14 points for Cleveland, and he also scored his 1,000th career point Wednesday night. Kevin Love had seven points and 10 rebounds off the bench.
-For the Spurs, Keldon Johnson and Devin Vassell led the way with 18 points apiece; Derrick White chipped in with 17, and Dejounte Murray had 16 points, six rebounds, and nine assists.
Watch below as LeVert talks debut with Cavs: