The Great, Not So Great, and Bottom Line of the Cavs’ tough loss to Clippers

The Cleveland Cavaliers(8-2) appeared to be on their way to its ninth straight victory on Monday night, but the Clippers(6-5) had other ideas. 

Cleveland led the Clippers 111-98 with five minutes left in the fourth. However, the Clippers would outscore the Cavs 21-6 the rest of the way as a Paul George layup plus the foul with 37.2 seconds to go gave the Clippers the lead for good, and they would go on and defeat the Cavs 119-117 at Crypto.com Arena. 

With the loss, the Cavs’ nine-game winning streak is over.

Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Clippers’ win over the Cavs.

Great:

Donovan Mitchell continues to score the ball at a high level for the Cavs. Mitchell scored 30 points(10/15 FG), including eight threes(8/11). Mitchell made eight threes in a game for the second time this season.

Jarrett Allen was an absolute monster on Monday night. Allen got his second straight double-double as he had 10 points, a season-high 20 rebounds, and two blocks. It’s clear, the All-Star is playing like one after 10 games.

Darius Garland had a great night of swishing and dishing, with 19 points and a season-high 12 assists. This was Garland’s second double-double this season. 

Evan Mobley and Garland connected many times on the alley-oops, and the second-year forward had a season-high 26 points and eight rebounds. 

First Quarter: Cleveland came out firing in this one. The Cavs shot 67%(16/24) from the field, including 5/9 from deep. Mitchell made four of his eight threes in the first as he and Mobley combined for 26 of the team’s 37 first-quarter points. In addition, the 37 points tied a season-high for points in the quarter for Cleveland this season.

Not So Great:

Defense: Look, this game was a shootout, and both teams did not defend very well. Cleveland, who is a great defensive team, is third in points allowed and sixth in opponents’ field goal percentage. However, they allowed the Clippers to have three 30-plus point quarters and Los Angeles to shoot 51% from the field. The 119 points are the most the Cavs have given up in regulation this season.

The Final Five Minutes of the Game: Cleveland had their largest lead of the game at 111-98 with five minutes left in the game. At that point, the Clippers exploded, and the Cavs went cold. Los Angeles went on a 17-1 to take the lead for good at 115-112. Cleveland did not have a field goal during the final five minutes until Mobley’s dunk with 29.2 seconds to go. 

Bottom Line:

This was a bad loss for the Cavs. They were in complete control, but they could not close the deal. In an 82-game regular season, stuff like this happens, but Cleveland had a terrific opportunity to win against the Clippers, who were missing Kawhi Leonard and John Wall. However, things happen, but if the Cavs want to be the team that many believe they could be, these are the games they have to win.

What’s Next:

Cleveland continues their five-game road trip on Wednesday in Sacramento against the Kings.

Best of the Rest:

Kevin Love had 17 points, eight rebounds, and four assists off the bench.

The Clippers had six players in double figures, including their starting five. Paul George led the way with 26 points, and Marcus Morris Sr. had 20 points.

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