The Cleveland Cavaliers(8-3) continued their five-game road trip in Sacramento(4-6) against the Kings. The Cavs’ eight-game winning streak was snapped against the Clippers on Monday night, and they hoped to return to their winning ways.
However, that wasn’t the case Wednesday night. Sacramento led by as many as 15 points and led for most of the game, but Cleveland would take their largest lead of six with just over eight minutes to go in the fourth. The game with knotted at 117 after two Jarrett Allen free throws with just under three minutes to go, but Kevin Huerter scored five of Sacramento’s next seven points, including a dagger three late, that put the Kings up 124-118, and they would go on to defeat the Cavs 127-120 at Golden 1 Center.
Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ loss to the Kings.
Donovan Mitchell had a game-high 38 points(16/28 FG, 6/14 3-PT FG). He went berserk in the third quarter as he was 7/7 from the field, including 3/3 from deep, to score 17 points in the quarter. Mitchell’s great third quarter helped the Cavs trim the Kings’ 11-point halftime lead to four entering the fourth. Mitchell also added five rebounds and four assists.
Caris LeVert had his first double-double of the season with 21 points, a season-high 10 rebounds, and six assists. He was aggressive throughout the game on Wednesday night.
Jarrett Allen had 20 points, seven rebounds, and a block. Allen has been in double figures in points in five straight games and nine out of the first 11 games of the season.
Points in the Paint: The Cavs had 64 points in the paint against Sacramento. Cleveland finished the night shooting 53% from the floor.
Not So Great:
Defense: The Cavs did not bring it on the defensive end for the second straight game. Sacramento got way too many open looks. As they did in their loss to the Clippers, they allowed the Kings to have three 30-plus point quarters. Sacramento ended the night shooting 53% from the floor. The 127 points are the most Cleveland has given up in a game this season.
Darius Garland was just off Wednesday night, and he scored only six points and shot 1/9 from the field in 34 minutes of action. Nights like this happen, and the All-Star didn’t have it against the Kings; Garland did finish with eight assists.
Turnovers: Cleveland had 18 turnovers, which led to 18 points for Sacramento. LeVert led the way with five, and Garland had four.
Cleveland has to be better on the defensive end, which wasn’t much of a problem until the last two games. It’s a long season, but the defense needs to improve. Statistically, the Cavs have been one of the better defensive teams in basketball, so maybe it’s an aberration, or perhaps it’s a start of an issue that a team with a small backcourt might have moving forward. Stay tuned.
The Cavs conclude their five-game road trip in San Francisco against the world-champion Warriors on Friday night.
Best of the Rest:
The Kings had seven players in double figures. Domantas Sabonis led the way with 21 points, five rebounds, and six assists, and Harrison Barnes added 20 points and nine rebounds.
Evan Mobley added 16 points and six rebounds for the Cavs.
On Wednesday, Mitchell(366 games) became the second-fastest player to reach 1,000 threes in the history of the NBA.