The Cavs(30-21) finished their three-game road trip in OKC against the Thunder(24-25) on Friday night. Cleveland was without Donovan Mitchell(groin), Ricky Rubio(rest), and Kevin Love(back) and was on a second half of a back-to-back after their win over the Rockets in Houston on Thursday night.
Cleveland led early but faded late and fell to the Thunder 112-100 at Paycom Center.
The Cavs finished their three-game road trip 1-2.
Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ loss to the Thunder.
Darius Garland led the Cavs with 31 points and 13 assists. 23 of his 31 points came in the second half.
Evan Mobley had another strong performance with 23 points, 11 rebounds, and two blocks. This was Mobley’s second straight 20-10 game, and Mobley grabbed his 1,000th career rebound on Friday night.
Not So Great:
Caris LeVert was 1/12 from the field, including 0/6 from deep; he finished with two points and nine assists. Without Mitchell, the Cavs needed LeVert to be better.
Second Half: Cleveland led 54-47 at halftime, but they were outscored 65-46 in the second half. OKC shot 59% from the field in that second half and 7/11 from deep, and they closed the game the right way. Conversely, the Cavs shot 39% from the field.
No Mitchell, no Love, and no Rubio, and the Cavs just ran out of gas in the second half of a back-to-back. The Cavs did not have the energy to hold OKC off.
However, this is not a bad loss. You’re without your best player on a back-to-back against a solid Thunder team on the road, so the loss is excusable.
The Cavs are a very good team, but their road woes(10-16) prevent them from being great.
Cleveland returns home on Sunday to face the Los Angeles Clippers.
Best of the Rest:
-Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 35 points, five rebounds, and eight assists. Jalen Williams added 17 points, including 3/3 from deep; Josh Giddey chipped in with 15 points, six rebounds, and three assists.
-Jarrett Allen had 13 points and nine rebounds for the Cavaliers.