The Cavs(17-11) began a two-game road trip in Texas against the Spurs(9-18) on Monday night.
Cleveland trailed for most of this game but got back into the contest late. With the Spurs leading by one with 06.7 seconds left, Donovan Mitchell’s layup was blocked by Keldon Johnson; Cleveland had one more chance, but Darius Garland would miss a corner three, and the Spurs would defeat the Cavs 112-111 at AT&T Center.
The Spurs have won three straight, while the Cavs have lost their third straight on the road.
Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ loss to the Spurs.
Donovan Mitchell was back after missing two games with a lower leg injury and had a game-high 28 points(12/24 FG) and five rebounds. He did his part, but it wasn’t enough.
Caris LeVert recorded his third straight 20-plus point game as he had 23 points(9/13 FG) off the bench. Nine of his 23 came in the fourth; it’s good to see LeVert find his groove.
Evan Mobley had 17 points, 13 rebounds, and four assists. This was his fourth double-double in the last six games.
Fourth Quarter: The Cavs trailed 92-78 heading into the fourth. However, Cleveland looked like themselves in the fourth, and you felt they might get it done. The Cavs shot 54% from the field and outscored the Spurs 33-20. The Cavs brought the defensive energy and created six turnovers, but unfortunately, they fell just short.
Not So Great:
First Three Quarters: Cleveland was outworked by the Spurs for most of this game. For the first three quarters, San Antonio outrebounded the Cavs 39-29. Cleveland looked lifeless, their energy was just not there, and the Cavs were down by as many as 19 points.
Three-Point Shooting: The Cavs had a hard time behind the arc. Cleveland shot 5/23(22%) from deep. Mitchell(2/7) and Garland(1/6) were a combined 3/13 from downtown.
Turnovers: Cleveland had 15 turnovers against the Spurs, which led to 18 points.
This was an unacceptable performance by the Cavs. Yes, the Spurs have been playing better, but they did come in this game ten games under .500. Cleveland’s energy is still off on the road as they fell to 5-9 away from “The Land.”
One example of the different energy on the road is Garland.
He’s averaging 26.1 points per contest on 50% shooting, including 46% from deep at home. However, on the road, he’s averaging 16.1 points per game on 34% shooting, including 28% from downtown. He’s one of the best players on the team and has to be better away from Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
Cleveland continues their Texas two-step Wednesday night as they head to Dallas to battle Luka Doncic and the Mavs.
Best of the Rest:
Cleveland had five players in double figures. Jarrett Allen had 16 points, seven rebounds, and three blocks. Garland added 18 points, seven rebounds, and nine assists.
Josh Richardson led the Spurs with 24 points, including five threes off the bench. Keldon Johnson added 21 points and six rebounds, and Devin Vassell chipped in with 16 points.