The Great, Not So Great, & Bottom Line of Cavs’ loss to Knicks

The Cavs(15-9) were on the road on Sunday as they battled the Knicks(11-13) at Madison Square Garden. Cleveland has struggled on the road this season, and in the end, the road struggles would continue as Cleveland, who never led in this one, fell to the Knicks 92-81.

With the win, the Knicks would snap their five-game losing streak at home.

Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ loss to the Knicks.

Great:

Absolutely nothing! Cleveland was bad, but maybe Evan Mobley can get some recognition for recording another double-double with 11 points, 10 rebounds, and four blocks.

Not So Great:

Turnovers: Cleveland had 19 turnovers. Six of those 19 turnovers came in the fourth. They were downright sloppy!!

First and fourth Quarter: Cleveland was terrible at the beginning and end of the game; they scored only 16 points and shot only 26% in the first quarter. Fortunately, the Knicks were not much better, so Cleveland trailed only by seven after one. In the fourth, the Cavs had six turnovers and scored only 18 points on 29% shooting.

Shooting: The Cavs could not make shots. They were way off. They finished the game shooting 35% from the field, including 23% from deep. The Cavs finished with a season-low 81 points.

Bottom Line:

This was a bad performance for the Cavs, maybe their worst performance of the season. They could not make shots, they could not control the ball, and they just good not make enough plays. The game was there for them to win because the Knicks were not much better. Look, young teams have to learn how to win consistently on the road, and Cleveland is 5-8 on the road; the Cavs are still learning. The bottom line, they have to be better.

What’s Next:

Cleveland returns home to begin a three-game homestand starting with the Lakers on Tuesday night.

Best of the Rest:

Jalen Brunson led the Knicks with 23 points; Julius Randle had 18 points and nine rebounds.

Donovan Mitchell led the Cavs with 23 points, but he shot 8/22 from the field; Darius Garland added 17 points but, like Mitchell, struggled from the field(5/19 FG).

The officials were very involved in this one as both teams combined for a NBA season-high 13 traveling violations.

Jarrett Allen missed his fifth straight game with a lower back injury.

The Great, Not So Great, & Bottom Line of Cavs’ win over Magic

The Cleveland Cavaliers(15-8) were home again on Friday night as they faced the Orlando Magic(5-18). As expected, Cleveland finished the job and defeated the Magic 107-96 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

Cleveland led by as many as 20 points in this contest.

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

Great:

Donovan Mitchell shot it well as he was 12/21 from the field and ended the night with 34 points, including seven threes. He scored 13 in the first quarter and 16 points in the third.

Evan Mobley continues to start at center with Jarrett Allen(back) out, and he continues to get the job done. Mobley was 9/10 from the field and finished with 19 points, 13 rebounds, four assists, and two blocks. This was his third double-double in the last four games, and Mobley has eight double-doubles this season.

Kevin Lowe returned after missing five games with a thumb injury, and he gave the Cavs some great minutes off the bench, as he finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Third Quarter: The Cavs brought it on both ends of the court in this quarter. They shot 63% from the field, including 57% from downtown. In addition, they held the Magic to 40% shooting. Ultimately, they outscored the Magic 28-17 in the quarter, and it took an 18-point lead into the fourth.

Not So Great:

Fourth Quarter: The Cavs got outscored 32-25 in the quarter. Big deal? Not really, but hey, maybe it hurts them against a better team.

Bottom Line:

This was a win the Cavs expected to get. You don’t lose to the Orlando Magic at home.

Dean Wade did leave with a shoulder injury; hopefully, it’s nothing serious.

Cleveland travels to New York to play the Knicks on Sunday, and then they have three straight at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse against the Lakers, Kings, and Thunder, so based on the way they’re playing at home(10-1), they could string together some wins in the next week.

What’s Next:

Cleveland goes to New York to battle the Knicks on Sunday.

Best of the Rest:

Darius Garland had 18 points and six assists. Lamar Stevens, who missed the last three games due to illness, returned and scored eight points.

Paolo Banchero led the Magic with 22 points; Moritz and Franz Wagner had 16 points apiece.

Cavs dominate and defeat 76ers

The Cleveland Cavaliers(14-8) returned home on Wednesday night to face the Philadelphia 76ers(12-10). Following one of the worst performances of the season, where they were beaten in Toronto by the Raptors, Cleveland played one of its better games this season as they dominated and defeated the 76ers 113-85.

The Cavs led by as many as 33 points in this game and were never really threatened after the second quarter by Philadelphia.

Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ win over the 76ers.

Great:

Second Quarter: This was the best quarter of the season for the Cavs. They were an incredible 16 from 17 from the field(94%), including 5/5 from deep. Evan Mobley, who missed the only shot in the quarter for Cleveland, had 10 points, Donovan Mitchell had nine, and Caris LeVert added eight. Cleveland outscored the 76ers 44-27 and led 69-48 at halftime.

The 44 points in a quarter is a season-high.

Cleveland shot 73% from the field in the first half.

Everybody was Great:

  • LeVert led the way with 22 points off the bench.

  • Garland had 21 points and nine assists.

  • Mitchell had 18 points, including five threes.

  • Mobley added 16 points and eight rebounds.

  • After struggling against Toronto, Isaac Okoro chipped in with 11 points off the pine.

Defensively, they limited the 76ers to 41% shooting and allowed a season-low 85 points.

Shooting: Cleveland shot 61% from the field, including 52% from deep. They were flat out on fire.

Not So Great:

Nothing to see here!!

Bottom Line:

Last season, the 76ers swept the season series from the Cavs(4-0), but Cleveland had a different energy Wednesday night. They really wanted to beat Philadelphia, and it showed.

If it wasn’t apparent, the Cavs are a totally different team at home, and they are 9-1 and look more confident at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

You can argue the 76ers were depleted as they were without James Harden and Tyrese Maxey, but Philly had won three straight and four out of five, so this was an excellent win for the Cavs.

What’s Next:

Cleveland returns Friday at home against the Magic.

Best of the Rest:

Joel Embiid led the 76ers with 19 points, six rebounds, six assists, and three steals; Shake Milton added 14 points.

Cedi Osman moved to eighth place on the Cavs’ all-time three-pointers made list(544) on Wednesday.

Junkyard Dog:

Mamadi Diakite, who got the start for an injured Jarrett Allen(back), earned the “Junkyard Dog” award for his performance against the 76ers. He finished the night with six points, four rebounds, and two assists.

The Great, Not So Great, & Bottom Line of Cavs’ loss to Raptors

The Cleveland Cavaliers(13-8) finished their three-game road trip in Toronto on the second half of a back-to-back against the Raptors(11-9). Cleveland was again without Jarrett Allen(back) and Lamar Stevens(illness). However, they did get back Caris LeVert, but it wasn’t enough.

Toronto led by nine at halftime and dominated the third as they led by as many as 18 in the quarter. The Raptors had their largest lead of the game of 20 in the fourth, and they would defeat the Cavs 100-88 at Scotiabank Arena.

Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ loss to the Raptors.

Great:

Evan Mobley had his second straight double-double with 18 points, 15 rebounds and two blocks. This was his fifth double-double in the last seven games.

Darius Garland had 18 points, 10 assists, and three steals. He was 7/11 from the field; he shot it well for Cleveland. It’s his third double-double in the last four games.

Not So Great: 

Isaac Okoro got the start for the injured Jarrett Allen. His shot was off as he shot 1/11 from the field. Okoro was solid in the past two games but was not very good on Monday night. He finished with two points.

Donovan Mitchell scored five points in the first quarter but added only three points the rest of the way. Mitchell ended the night with a season-low eight points on 3/11 shooting. He was 2/4 in the first quarter but was 1/7 the rest of the way.

Shooting: The Cavs shot 38% from the field and was 7/38 from deep. Against the Pistons, they were 8/28 from deep. In the last two games, the Cavs were a combined 15/66 from downtown.

Bottom Line

Cleveland was not very good against the Raptors; they did not have the energy and could not make shots. This is a make-or-miss league, and the Cavs missed a lot. Nights like this happen in an 82-game schedule, but they must be better.

What’s Next:

The Cavs return home on Wednesday to battle the 76ers. 

Best of the Rest:

The Toronto Raptors had six players in double figures on Monday night; O.G. Anunoby had 20 points, and Pascal Siakam, who returned after missing 10 games with an adductor injury, added 18 points, 11 rebounds, and five assists.

LeVert, who returned after missing four games with an ankle injury, added nine points for Cleveland off the bench.  

The Great, Not So Great, & Bottom Line of Cavs’ win over Pistons

The Cleveland Cavaliers(13-7) continued their three-game road trip in Detroit to face the Pistons(5-17). Cleveland has lost five straight on the road and has not played well away from Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

The Cavs were without Jarrett Allen(lower back). In addition, they were missing Kevin Love(thumb), Caris LeVert(ankle), and Lamar Stevens(illness).

However, they were able to get back to their winning ways on the road as they defeated the Pistons 102-94 at Little Caesars Arena.

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

Great:

Second & Fourth Quarter Donovan Mitchell: The three-time All-Star scored 11 points in the second quarter on 4/6 shooting and helped close the show in the fourth as he scored 14(4/6 FG) of his 32 points. Overall, he did not shoot it well, 9/23 FG, but he did what he needed to do when it mattered most. 

Evan Mobley: The second-year forward was big-time in Detroit. He scored 20 points and grabbed 13 rebounds; this was Mobley’s fourth double-double in six games. Mobley made two threes(his total for the season), including a big three that gave the Cavs the lead for good at 93-90 with under five minutes to go.

Fourth Quarter: Cleveland trailed 78-73 heading into the fourth. From there, the Cavs took over. Cleveland shot 54% from the field, including 5/7 from downtown, and held the Pistons to 32% shooting. They outscored Detroit 29-16 in the quarter. 

Not So Great:

Three-Point Shooting: The Cavs struggled from behind the arc on Sunday. Cleveland was 8/28 from three-point range. Darius Garland struggled from the field(4/19 FG) and was 0/5 from deep.

Bottom Line: 

The Cavs did not play their best on Sunday. They did not shoot it well, but they were able to get the win. Defensively, they were able to limit the banged-up Pistons, who were missing their leading scorer, Bojan Bogdanovic and Cade Cunningham. In the end, this is why you bring in a player like Mitchell. He’s a walking bucket, and he took over in the fourth.

What’s Next:

Cleveland will travel to Toronto to battle the Raptors on Monday night.

Best of the Rest:

Garland had 19 points and 10 assists, and Cedi Osman added 10 points off the bench. 

For the Pistons, who had five players in double figures, Marvin Bagley III led the way with 19 points and 10 rebounds; Alec Burks added 16 points off the bench.

Junkyard Dog:

Isaac Okoro received the “Junkyard Dog” award for his play on Sunday. Okoro(2/2 FG) had seven points and seven rebounds off the bench.

Mitchell, Garland, Osman lead the Cavs over Hawks

The Cleveland Cavaliers(11-6) continued their four-game homestand on Monday night against the Atlanta Hawks(10-7).

Behind Donovan Mitchell, Darius Garland, and Cedi Osman, the Cavs defeated the Hawks 114-102 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

With the win, Cleveland has now won three straight.

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

Great:

Cavs, again were led by the backcourt of Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland. The two combined for 55 points and 18 assists; Mitchell and Garland both had nine assists. Mitchell had 29 points and Garland had 26. We knew this would be a prolific backcourt and two guys that would be tough to stop, and they were tough to stop on Monday night.

Cedi Osman scored a season-high 23 points off the bench on 8-for-10 shooting. Osman has been so good off the bench this season, and that continued against the Hawks. In the fourth, with the Cavs up six with just over four minutes left, Osman hit two free throws after a clear path foul was called on John Collins, and on the same possession, Osman would hit a dagger three to put the Cavs up 11. 

Second-Half Defense: The Hawks shot 38 percent from the floor in the second half. Atlanta is in the top 10 in scoring, and the Cavs held them to 102 points. In addition, 10 of the Hawks’ 17 turnovers came in the second half. 

Not So Great:

You can point to the turnovers. Cleveland tied a season-high with 20 turnovers on Monday night, and Garland was the biggest culprit with eight. 

Bottom Line:

After losing five straight, Cleveland has righted their ship at home, and they are bringing the defensive energy that makes them go. They held the Hawks to 102 points on Monday and the Heat to 87 on Sunday night.

At this point, Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse is a home-court advantage for the Cavs. They are 7-1 at home but have to be better on the road(4=5), and after this homestand, they will have three straight on the road.

What’s Next:

Cleveland concludes their four-game homestand on Wednesday night against the Blazers.

Best of the Rest:

Evan Mobley had 10 points, nine rebounds, and three assists; Jarrett Allen added eight points and 11 rebounds. 

Trae Young led the Hawks with 25 points and 10 assists; Onyeka Okongwu had 18 points and 10 rebounds off the bench.

Cleveland was without Caris LeVert on Monday night, who missed his first game of the season with an ankle injury.

Cavs snap five-game losing streak!

The Cleveland Cavaliers(9-6) got back at it on Friday night, hoping to snap a five-game losing streak as they battled the Charlotte Hornets(4-13).

Cleveland had four players score 20-plus points as they defeated Charlotte 132-122 in double overtime at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

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

Great:

Darius Garland made big shots in both overtimes for the Cavs. In a career-high 48 minutes, Garland(16/28 FG) had a game-high 41 points, six assists, and a career-high five steals. In the first overtime, with the Cavs trailing 117-114 with under a minute to go, Garland hit a three to tie the game, and when the Hornets took a 120-117 with 22.5 seconds to go, Garland would make another three with 13.5 seconds to send the game into double overtime. He had 13 of the team’s 27 points in the two overtime periods.

Donovan Mitchell had 34 points and six assists. The Cavs backcourt combined for 75 points; Mitchell and Garland also combined for 20 of the team’s 27 points in the overtime periods.

Evan Mobley was sensational on Friday night. He had 21 points, a career-high 18 rebounds, five assists, two blocks, and a steal. According to the Cavs, Mobley became the ninth player in team history to have 20-plus points, 15-plus rebounds, five-plus assists, two-plus blocks, and one-plus steal in a game. In fact, Mobley and Jarrett Allen(20 points, 12 rebounds, four blocks) combined for 41 points, 30 rebounds, and six blocks.

Second OT: The Cavs blew the lead at the end of the fourth and almost lost it in the first overtime, but they took control in the second OT. After Kelly Oubre Jr. made a running hook to give the Hornets a 122-120 lead with 4:38 to go, the Cavs closed the show on a 12-0 run. Charlotte did not score the rest of the way and shot 1/10 from the field in that period.

Not So Great

The Final 52.4 seconds in Regulation: After two Mitchell free throws made the score 103-93, things got a little haywire for the Cavs. Charlotte closed the game on a 12-2 run to send it to OT after a Terry Rozier three with 01.1 seconds to go. During that stretch, the Cavs turned the ball over two times.

Turnovers: Cleveland had a season-high 20 turnovers on Friday night, leading to 35 points for the Hornets, which almost cost them in this game. Fortunately, Garland and Mitchell bailed them out in OT.

Bottom Line:

This would have been a terrible loss for the Cavs. The Hornets were without LaMelo Ball, and Cleveland had what seemed like an insurmountable lead late in the game. Hopefully, they will learn from this and figure it out going forward.

What’s Next:

Cavs will battle the Heat on Sunday night at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

Best of the Rest:

Oubre Jr. led the Hornets with 34 points; Rozier and P.j. Washington added 28 points apiece. Washington also added 10 rebounds.

With the win, Cleveland moves to 4-0 in overtime games this season.

The Great, Not So Great, & Bottom Line of Cavs’ loss to Warriors

The Cleveland Cavaliers(8-4) concluded their five-game road trip in San Francisco against the Warriors(5-7), and behind the heroics of Steph Curry, who had 15 of his 40 points(6/11 3-PT FG) in the fourth, the Cavs fell to Golden State 106-101 at Chase Center.

Cleveland has now lost three straight.

Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ loss to the Warriors

Great:

Donovan Mitchell almost had a triple-double with 29 points, 10 rebounds,  nine assists, and two steals. Mitchell did his part, but it wasn’t enough.

Evan Mobley had a double-double with 20 points, 13 rebounds, four assists, and two blocks. This is his second double-double of the season. The Cavs used their size effectively against the Warriors, but again, it wasn’t enough.

Points in the Paint: Cleveland had a lot of success in the paint as they scored 54 points. 

Not So Great:

Darius Garland: He was off again Friday night. He finished with 15 points and eight assists, but he was 5/19 from the field. Garland is 6/28 from the floor in the last two games, including 2/9 from deep.

Fourth Quarter Defense: Curry is Curry, and for most of the game, the Cavs defended well, but not in the fourth. Cleveland allowed 32 points in the fourth and allowed the Warriors to shoot 63% from the floor. 

The final 4:38 of the game: After a Caris LeVert four-point play, which was ruled a flagrant foul, Cleveland had a six-point possession after a Jarrett Allen dunk, which put them up 95-87. However, just like they did against the Clippers, they couldn’t close. They were outscored 19-6 the rest of the way as Curry scored 13 of his 15 fourth-quarter points in the final 4:38 of the game.

Bottom Line:

The Cavs could not close the show in the final three games of this road trip. Cleveland had a 13-point lead late against the Clippers with five minutes left, couldn’t close against the Kings, and lost another lead late against Golden State. Cleveland could have easily gone 5-0 on this trip; instead, they went 2-3. It’s early, but this trip was a disappointment for sure. 

What’s Next:

The Cavs return home to face the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday.

Best of the Rest:

All five of Cleveland’s starters scored in double figures Friday night. Jarrett Allen had 13 points and nine rebounds, and LeVert added 11.

Andrew Wiggins had 20 points; Draymond Green had two points, 13 assists, and nine rebounds, and Jordan Poole added 18 points.

The Great, Not So Great, & Bottom Line of Cavs’ loss to Sacramento

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.

Great:

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.

Bottom Line:

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.

What’s Next:

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.

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.