Cavs’ Bickerstaff on win over Boston: ‘There is no basketball reason why we should have won’

With 3:06 left in the third quarter, the Cleveland Cavaliers trailed the Boston Celtics 72-53. However, Cleveland outscored Boston 38-17 the rest of the way and would defeat Boston 91-89 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on Saturday night.

After losing to Washington on Wednesday night, Cleveland(9-5) has now won two straight. Boston’s(6-7) two-game winning streak was snapped on Saturday night.

Here is the Great, Not so Great, and the Bottom Line of Cleveland’s big win over Boston.

The Great for the Cavaliers:

-Evan Mobley has been exceptional in the first 14 games of his career, and after a slow start, he was outstanding on Saturday night. Mobley scored 12 of his 19 points in the fourth. He added nine rebounds, three blocks, and two steals. He made big shots down the stretch and made great plays on defense, including this block on Jayson Tatum.

In addition, according to the Cavs, Mobley became the fastest player in team history to reach 200 points and 100 rebounds.

-Darius Garland led the Cavs with a season-high 22 points to go along with six assists and four rebounds. Garland also hit the game-winning free throws after he was fouled by Marcus Smart on his drive to the basket with 09.4 seconds left. It was Garland’s second straight game with 20-plus points and six-plus assists.

-Cedi Osman brought energy and effort off the bench against Boston. He scored all nine of his points in the fourth. Osman, who played the whole fourth quarter, also had three rebounds, two steals, and a block in the final period. 

-Ricky Rubio also was big-time off the Cavs’ bench. He did not shoot it that well from the field(4/17 FG), but he did score four of his 16 points and had five of his seven assists in the final quarter, including a beautiful lob pass to Jarrett Allen to give the Cavs an 89-87 lead with 35.4 seconds left in the game. Rubio also added five rebounds.

Fourth Quarter: Cleveland trailed by as many as 19 in the third but cut it to 12, heading into the fourth. The Cavs went on an 11-0 run to start the final period to cut the lead to one. Led by the lineup of Mobley, Rubio, Osman, Denzel Valentine, and Dylan Windler, Cleveland scrapped, clawed and got back into the game. Ultimately, Garland and Allen returned to put the Cavs over the top. The Cavaliers outscored the Celtics 25-15 in the final period, and Boston shot only 30%  from the field.

The Not So Great for the Cavaliers:

The First Three Quarters: Boston held the Cavaliers to only nine points in the first quarter on 15% shooting from the field and six turnovers, which led to 11 Celtic points. The second quarter was a little better for Cleveland, but they trailed 52-38 at halftime. The Cavs did outscore the Celtics by two in the third, but they were down as many as 19 that quarter. 

-Isaac Okoro was 0/7 from the field and finished with two points in 18 minutes of action.

Bottom Line:

What an amazing comeback by the never-say-die Cavaliers. They definitely should have lost this game, but they found a way, and it appears this team has the heart, the scrap, and the toughness to keep finding a way.

“There is no basketball reason why we should have won, but there was a collective spirit,” Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff said postgame.

What’s Next:

Cleveland battles the Celtics again at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on Monday night as they conclude their four-game homestand.

Best of the Rest:

-Boston’s Dennis Schroder had a game-high 28 points; Jayson Tatum had 21 points, and Robert Williams added 12 points, a game-high 16 rebounds, and three blocks.

-Jarrett Allen chipped in with 11 points and eight rebounds for the Cavaliers.

-Both teams were missing key pieces as Boston was without Jaylen Brown(hamstring), Al Horford(back), and Josh Richardson(knee). Cleveland was still without Kevin Love(Reconditioning) and Lauri Markkanen(Health and Safety Protocols), and they were missing reserve Lamar Stevens.

Watch below as Garland, Mobley, and Osman react to Cleveland’s big win over Boston:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lakers use big third quarter to defeat Suns in Game 3

The Los Angeles Lakers had their first home playoff game in eight years at Staples Center, and they took full advantage of it. Behind Anthony Davis’ 34 points, 11 rebounds, and five assists, and LeBron James’ 21 points, nine assists, and six rebounds. The Lakers defeated the Suns 109-95 in Game 3 of their first-round best of seven game series.

Deandre Ayton led the Suns with 22 points and 11 rebounds, and Booker scored 19 points.

The Lakers lead the series 2-1. Game 4 is Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles. This game turned in the third quarter. The Lakers outscored the Suns by 10 points and led by as many as 17 points in the third. Davis scored 18 points in the quarter, while James added 10 points. The Lakers never looked back, and now they have control of this series.

There were a lot of interesting subplots in this game. In the fourth quarter, LeBron James went head-to-head with Phoenix’s Jae Crowder and scored on a reverse layup, which excited the Lakers bench and the Staples Center crowd. Crowder would be ejected in the fourth. Also, late in the fourth, Booker would get ejected after being called for a Flagrant two foul. Booker shoved Dennis Schroder, who had 20 points in Game 3, while he was in the air. 

“That wasn’t a basketball play, and regular season, it’s probably a suspension as well,” Schroder said after the game.

“It’s a dirty play,” Davis said. “Dennis could’ve really gotten hurt right there.”

James added: “I thought the play wasn’t a basketball play.”

Suns PG Chris Paul, who is battling a shoulder injury, came into Thursday’s action 0-10 in playoffs games refereed by Scott Foster. After losing to the Lakers, Paul is now 0-11 in games officiated by Foster.

Paul never mentioned Foster by name, but at the end of his post-game interview, Paul had this to say:

“11 in a row.”

Watching Paul, who had seven points, six assists, and five rebounds in Game 3, struggle is brutal. Phoenix may have to make a tough decision and sit Paul down because right now, he has been ineffective. In his place, Cameron Payne has played well. Payne scored 15 points and dished out six assists on Thursday night and had a strong Game 2, so it might be time to turn to Payne.

It should be interesting to see how Paul and the Suns respond in Game 4 on Sunday, which is a must-win situation for this team.