The Cleveland Cavaliers began a two-game set in Brooklyn against the Nets on Tuesday, and the first game went to the Cavs.
Cleveland led by as many as 24 points and defeated the Nets 115-109 at Barclays Center.
The Cavs(46-28) have won two straight and four out of their last five, while the Nets(39-33) have lost four straight.
Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ win over Brooklyn.
Donovan Mitchell led the Cavs with 31 points, including five threes. In the fourth quarter, Mitchell threw down a nasty dunk over Brooklyn’s Yuta Watanabe, which may have been one of the best dunks of the season.
— NBA (@NBA) March 22, 2023
Jarrett Allen returned after missing four games with an eye injury, and he was big-time. Against his former team, Allen had 12 points, 14 rebounds, and two blocks.
Caris LeVert, another former Net, continues to play at a high level. He scored 18 points off the bench. In the last six games, LeVert has scored 15-plus points.
Second & Third Quarters: Cleveland trailed 30-23 at the end of the first quarter but took control in the second. The Cavs outscored the Nets 38-25 in the second and took a 61-55 lead at halftime. In the third, Cleveland started the quarter on an 8-0 run, and after a Mitchell three in the third, Cleveland had their largest lead at 84-60.
Cleveland would outscored the Nets 33-23 in the third and led 94-78 at the end of three.
Not So Great:
Isaac Okoro continues to struggle. In 20 minutes of action, he scored zero points on 0/4 shooting from the field; Okoro has not been in double figures in the last five games.
The Cavs continue to play well and continue to take advantage of the schedule. Three out of the four teams(Hornets 2x) the Cavs have beaten in their last five were against teams below .500, which is what you should do.
At this point, Cleveland(fourth seed in the East) must continue to take advantage of the schedule. Five of their final eight games in the regular season are against teams below .500, so winning 50 games seems inevitable, and most importantly, keeping homecourt in the first round also seems inevitable. (3.5 games up on fifth-seeded Knicks)
Best of the Rest:
-Mobley and Garland had 17 points apiece. Cedi Osman had 12 points off the bench. Cleveland had six players in double figures.
-Day’Ron Sharpe led Brooklyn with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Spencer Dinwiddie had 19 points and 11 assists. The Nets also had six players in double figures.
-The Cavs are 13-3 when six-plus players score in double figures.
The Cavs(34-22) finished their quick two-game road trip in Washington against the Wizards(24-29. Cleveland led from start to finish and defeated Washington 114-91 on Monday night.
Cleveland had six players in double figures and led by as many as 28 points in this contest.
The Cavs have now won three straight.
Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ win over the Wizards.
The Cavs’ Starting Five:
Jarrett Allen had another strong performance as he was close to perfect from the field(10/13 FG), and he finished 23 points, eight rebounds, and two blocks.
Darius Garland scored 23 points, dished out five assists, and three steals.
Donovan Mitchell added 21 points, six rebounds, and five assists.
Evan Mobley had 16 points, five rebounds, and two blocks.
Isaac Okoro chipped in with 12 points, three rebounds, and two assists.
Defense: The Cavs brought it on the defensive end against the Wizards. They held the Wizards to 91 points and held Washington to 6/28(21%) from downtown.
First Half: Cleveland jumped on the Wizards early and cruised the rest of the way. The Cavs shot 63% from the field. All five Cavs’ starters scored in double figures in the first half. According to Elias Sports, this was the first time since 1997-98 that all five Cavs starters scored in double figures in the first half.
Shooting: The Cavs shot the ball at a high level. They shot 56% from the field and made 12 threes. They had no problems scoring and no issues getting to the basket. Cleveland had 58 points in the paint.
Not So Great:
Turnovers were high(17), but who cares? They won by 23 points.
Cleveland has looked good during their three-game winning streak, and yes, two of those games were against the Pacers and Wizards and a slumping Grizzlies team, but it’s how they are winning. They are sharing the ball and defending at a high level. Most importantly, they won these last two games on the road, and doing it on a back-to-back makes it even more impressive.
Cleveland heads home to face the Pistons on Wednesday night.
Best of the Rest:
-Kristaps Porzingis led the Wizards with 18 points; Will Barton added 15 points.
-Cleveland is 16-1 when they hold their opponents under 100 points, and the Cavs are 11-3 when they have six-plus players score in double figures.
-Washington was without Bradley Beal(foot), and Kyle Kuzma(ankle).
The Cavs(26-15) continued their five-game road trip in Phoenix against the Suns on Sunday night. After resting in the team’s loss to the Nuggets on Friday night, Cleveland got back their leading scorer Donovan Mitchell.
Fortunately for the Cavs, the Suns(20-21) were without their starting backcourt of Chris Paul(hip) and Devin Booker(groin), and ultimately, Cleveland led by as many as 22 points and defeated Phoenix 112-98 at Footprint Center.
With the win, the Cavs, who beat the Suns 90-88 last week at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, swept the season-series.
Cleveland has won four out of their last five, while the Suns have lost six straight.
Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ win over the Suns.
Starting Backcourt: Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland had 22 points apiece. Garland added seven assists. Mitchell and Garland combined for 44 points, and they were reunited, and it felt so good.
Jarrett Allen had his team-leading 15th double-double on Sunday with 13 points, a game-high 12 rebounds, and a season-high five assists.
Shooting: Cleveland shot 57% from the field against the Suns. Cleveland made 11 threes on Sunday night, but most of their damage came in the paint, as the Cavs had 52 points in the paint.
According to Cavs Notes, this is their highest field goal percentage in any road game since 2015.
Fourth Quarter: The Cavs took an 80-79 lead into the fourth, and they took over from there. Cleveland went on a 23-4 run to take a 103-83 lead with just under four minutes to go. The Cavs shot 66% from the field in the fourth, outscored the Suns 32-19 in the quarter, and a close game became a rout!
Not So Great:
After that fourth quarter for the Cavs, there are no complaints. Turnovers(14) were a little high, but hey, they won.
In the NBA, when you have an opportunity to defeat a team that is down, you have to get the job done, and that’s what the Cavs did on Sunday night. They took advantage of a depleted Suns team.
The Cavs have reached the halfway point of their schedule, and after 41 games, here are a few things we know about this team:
-Donovan Mitchell is the real deal
-The Cavs are an outstanding home team(18-4)
-The Cavs are a mediocre road team(8-11)
-Cleveland is a great defensive team(the number one-rated defensive team in NBA)
-They are legitimate contenders in the Eastern Conference and could make a deep playoff run
Cleveland heads to Utah to battle the Jazz on Tuesday night as Mitchell faces off against his former team.
Best of the Rest:
Evan Mobley and Isaac Okoro had 14 points apiece, and Caris LeVert had 13 points off the bench. Cleveland had six players in double figures, including all five starters.
For the Suns, Duane Washington Jr. led the Suns with 25 points off the bench, and Deandre Ayton had a double-double with 14 points, 11 rebounds, and six assists.
Donovan Mitchell went against his old team, the Utah Jazz(17-16) on Monday night, and fortunately for the Cavs(21-11), he and his team brought it as the Cavs routed the Jazz 122-99 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
Cleveland led by 19 at halftime and led by as many as 25 points in this one.
Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ win over the Jazz.
Donovan Mitchell, who spent five seasons with Utah before being traded to the Cavs in the offseason, scored 23 points on 8/12 shooting, including 4/5 from downtown. He had 23 points and only 23 minutes. For now, he got revenge.
Jarrett Allen was a dunking machine on Monday night. Six of his seven field goals were dunks, and he finished with 20 points, 11 rebounds, and three blocks.
Cedi Osman was 8/10 from the field and 5/6 from deep, as he finished with 22 points off the bench.
Shooting: Cleveland shot a sizzling 61% from the field, including 57% from deep. The Cavs finished with 15 threes. It was just one of those nights where everything Cleveland threw up went in the basket. Part of the reason they shot it so well is they had 29 fast break points.
Not So Great:
Nothing here to see…
Cleveland had seven players in double figures and was in control from start to finish. The Cavs have won four straight, and they are taking advantage of this homestand. Again, this is a totally different team at home than on the road, and this is a dominating team when they play in their own building.
Cleveland is 15-2 at home. Interestingly enough, the 2016 championship team started 15-2 at home.
The next three games will be a test as they finish the homestand against the Bucks, Raptors, and Nets, which should be interesting.
Cleveland hosts the Bucks on Wednesday night.
Best of the Rest:
For the Cavs, Darius Garland had 17 points and eight assists; Caris LeVert had 13 points; Evan Mobley and Issac Okoro had 12 points apiece.
Lauri Markkanen led the Jazz with 24 points, and Jordan Clarkson had 23.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have exercised the third-year (2023-24) contract option on Evan Mobley and the fourth-year (2023-24) contract option on Isaac Okoro, the team announced Saturday.
Mobley, who was selected third overall by the Cavaliers in the 2021 NBA Draft and was a unanimous All-Rookie First Team selection, appeared in 69 games (all starts) last season with averages of 15.0 points on .508 shooting from the field, 8.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.67 blocks in 33.8 minutes.
The 7-footer became just the fourth rookie in NBA history to average at least 14.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.5 blocks, joining Pau Gasol (2001-02), Tim Duncan (1997-98) and Chris Webber (1993-94). The 21-year-old was the runner-up for the 2021-22 NBA Rookie of the Year award; Mobley led all first-year players in rebounds (8.3), blocks (1.67), and field goal percentage (.508) and ranked second in minutes (33.8), fifth in points (15.0), seventh in steals (0.81) and eighth in assists (2.5). He also led all NBA rookies in double-doubles with 21, which is tied for the fourth-most ever by a Cavaliers rookie.
The 21-year-old Okoro was Cavs’ fifth pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. Last season, he appeared in 67 games and averaged 8.8 points and 3.3 rebounds in 29.6 minutes per contest. The 6-6 guard scored in double figures in 26 games, including four 20-point performances.
In other moves, the Cavs waived five players: guard Sharife Cooper, forward Mamadi Diakite, forward Nate Hinton, guard R.J. Nembhard, and forward Jamorko Pickett.
According to Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor, the Cavs expect to bring Cooper, Hinton, and Pickett back as members of the G League affiliate Charge and Nembhard, who averaged 24.5 points, 8.2 rebounds and 5.3 assists per contest in 15 games with the Charge, could return as well.
According to Fedor, the Cavs could also bring Diakite back on a two-way deal.
Cleveland, whose roster currently stands at 14, is keeping the final roster spot open due to its salary cap situation as the team is $2.5 million away from the luxury tax, according to Fedor.
The Cavs have had a lot of success at Madison Square Garden in recent years. Coming into Saturday’s showdown in New York against the Knicks, Cleveland was 12-2 in their last 14 games at MSG.
Cleveland’s dominance in NYC continued. They led from start to finish and defeated the Knicks 119-101. The Cavs(3-0) swept the season series with the win.
The Cavs(43-35), who had seven players in double figures, including all five starters, snap a two-game losing streak, while the Knicks(34-44) have lost two straight.
The Great for the Cavs:
Double-Double DG: Darius Garland had 11 double-doubles in the month of March, and he kept up his double-double ways in April as he had 24 points, including five threes and 13 assists against the Knicks. According to StatMuse, it’s his third game with 20-plus points, 10-plus assists, and five-plus threes this season, which ties Mark Price for the most in team history.
-Moses Brown recorded a double-double for the second consecutive game as he had 16 points and 13 rebounds. In his last three starts, Brown is averaging 14.3 points and 11.6 rebounds per contest. You gotta love his activity around the basket, which was rewarded as he won the “Junkyard Dog” award.
-Caris LeVert had 19 points, including three threes, six rebounds, and six assists Saturday.
-Isaac Okoro was active and accurate as he had 16 points on 7/8 shooting from the floor.
-First Quarter: With just under five minutes left and the game tied at 20, Cleveland went on an 18-8 run to take their largest first-quarter lead at 38-28. Garland led the way with 10 points in the quarter. Cleveland shot 62% from the floor, including 5/5 from downtown. The Cavs led 39-30 after one, and for the fourth time this season, Cleveland scored 39-plus points in the first quarter.
-Third Quarter: The Cavs had a 68-60 halftime lead and took complete control in the third. After New York cut the lead to 76-71 with just under eight minutes in the third, Cleveland went on a 26-14 run to close the quarter and took a 102-85 lead into the fourth. The Cavs were red-hot from the field in the third as they shot 64%, including 57%(4/7) from three-point range.
The Not So Great for the Cavs:
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Cleveland responded well after getting blown out by the Hawks Thursday night. They had excellent ball movement and had great energy against the Knicks. It’s just the Knicks, who were without their leading scorer Julius Randle(knee), but a win is a win, especially when you had lost five of six coming into this game.
Since being one of the top six teams in the East seems out of reach, the Cavs want to make sure they stay at the seventh spot in the East, so if necessary, they’ll have two home games in the Play-In Tournament.
Remember, seeds seven and eight have to win once in the tournament to make the playoffs, while seeds nine and ten have to win twice.
As for the standings, with four games left, the seventh-seeded Cavs are two games up on the eighth seed, the Atlanta Hawks(41-37), and three games up on the ninth-seeded Hornets(40-38) and the tenth-seeded Nets(40-38). Cleveland is two games behind the sixth seed, the Chicago Bulls(45-33), and three games behind the fifth-seeded Raptors(45-32).
“We’re a tough out for anybody,” Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said about his team.
Cleveland returns home Sunday night to face the Philadelphia 76ers.
Best of the Rest:
-Obi Toppin led the Knicks with a career-high 20 points; Evan Fournier added 19 points.
-Kevin Love had 15 points off the bench, and Lauri Markkanen and Cedi Osman chipped in with 10 points apiece.
-Evan Mobley(ankle) missed his third straight game.
Watch below as Kevin Love reacts to win over Knicks:
On Monday night, the Cleveland Cavaliers began a five-game homestand against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Eight of Cleveland’s next nine games are at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
Cleveland got some help as Caris LeVert(foot), who missed eight games, and Lauri Markkanen(ankle), who missed the team’s loss to Chicago, made their return.
Evan Mobley, Darius Garland, and Isaac Okoro combined for 74 points as the Cavs defeated the Clippers 120-111 in overtime.
Both the Clippers and Cavs had six players in the double figures.
Cleveland’s (39-29) two-game losing streak is over, while the Clippers(36-35) have lost four of six.
Here is the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ win over the Clippers.
The Great for the Cavs:
-Evan Mobley continued his impressive rookie season Monday night. He had a career-high 30 points to go along with six rebounds and two blocks. Mobley’s recorded his 100th block in OT as he denied Ivica Zubac’s dunk attempt. He became the fourth player in team history to have 100 blocks as a rookie in a season.
-Darius Garland had 24 points(4/9 3pt FG) and 13 assists. With just under three minutes to go and the game tied at 100, Garland hit a floater, and with the game tied at 103, Garland hit a three with 1:20 left in the fourth. He made big shots against the Clippers, and he has recorded at least 24 points in 10 of the last 11 games.
-Isaac Okoro will always bring defense, but he did that and a little more against Los Angeles. The second-year guard had 20 points(11-13 FT), five rebounds, and five assists. The 11 free throws made are a career-high, and this was his first 20-5-5 game of his career. Cleveland is tough to beat when Okoro gets it done on the offensive end.
-Lauri Markkanen scored five of his 17 points(4/6 3pt FG) in OT. He also grabbed nine rebounds. Markkanen made a dagger three to put Cleveland up 118-111 with 54.3 seconds left in OT. He’s been in double figures in eight of his last nine games.
Three-point shooting: Cleveland bounced back Monday night after shooting 5/24 from three-point range in Saturday’s loss to the Bulls. They were 15/30 from deep against Los Angeles.
Third Quarter: Los Angeles led 57-56 at halftime. After the Clippers took an eight-point lead with just over six minutes to go in third, Cleveland went on a 20-6 run to close the quarter and took an 87-81 lead into the fourth.
Overtime: Cleveland shot 80%(4/5 FG) from the floor in OT, including 2/2 from deep. Conversely, they held the Clippers to 1/10 from the field, including 1/5 from downtown. The Cavs outscored the Clippers 14-5 in the extra session.
The Not So Great for the Cavs:
The Final 6:14 of the Fourth: Cleveland led 100-91 with just over six minutes to go in the fourth, but the Clippers ended the game on a 15-6 run to send it into overtime. The Clipper had an opportunity to take the lead late, but Amir Coffey missed one of two free throws with 30.8 seconds to go in regulation.
Cleveland got back on track Monday night and getting Markkanen and LeVert back in the lineup boosted this team. LeVert gives this team another ball-handler and a guy who can score, and Markkanen has been solid of late.
The Cavs, who are 21-11 at home, know they have to take advantage of this homestand, but the next two won’t be easy as Philadelphia and Denver come to town.
To the standings, Cleveland(sixth seed) holds a one-game lead over the seventh-seeded Raptors(39-30), who have won four straight, including Monday’s rout of the Lakers. The Cavs are 1.5 games behind the fifth-seeded Celtics and two games behind the fourth seed, the Bulls.
“He’ll be there one day, for sure,” Bickerstaff said of Mobley’s jersey being retired in Cleveland.
On Wednesday night, the Cavs host the Philadelphia 76ers, who are 2-0 against Cleveland this season.
Best of the Rest:
-Zubac led the Clippers with 24 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Coffey had 19 points, and Terance Mann added 18 points and 10 rebounds.
-LeVert had 11 points in his return, and Kevin Love chipped in with 13 points and nine rebounds.
-Clippers Ty Lue, who coached Cleveland to their first title in 2016, got some love from the fans as the Cavs gave him a video tribute.
Watch below as Okoro and Mobley react to win over the Clippers:
After losing three straight, the Cavs came limping back home to battle the Wizards Saturday night. Of course, they were without Darius Garland(back) and Caris LeVert(foot). In addition, they were without Rajon Rondo(toe), who will be out for two weeks.
However, while it wasn’t the prettiest, they found a way to get it done. Cleveland defeated the Wizards 92-86 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
Cleveland(36-24) snaps their three-game losing streak with the win, and the Wizards(27-33) have lost two straight.
Here’s the Great, Not so Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ win over Washington.
The Great for the Cavs:
-For the second consecutive game, Lauri Markkanen led the team in scoring as he had 17 of his 23 points in the second half, including six threes, to go along with six rebounds. Nine of his 17 second-half points came in the fourth. On his 23rd point, Markkanen reached 4,000 career points. He was 2/9 from the floor in the first half, but he was 4/9 from the floor in the second half, including four threes.
-Jarrett Allen played like an All-Star Saturday night. He had 18 points(7/8 FG) and a game-high 14 rebounds. Late in the fourth, the All-Star took over as he scored eight straight points and gave Cleveland the lead for good on a dunk with just over three minutes to go. This was Allen’s 31st double-double of the season, which is a career-high.
-Cavs head coach J.B Bickerstaff challenged Evan Mobley to do more, and he responded. Mobley had a double-double with 14 points, 11 rebounds(career-high-tying five offensive rebounds), and two blocks.
-Cedi Osman gave Cleveland great production off the bench. He had 12 of his 19 points in the first half. He also added four rebounds and five assists. Osman kept Cleveland in the game in the first half as they trailed 42-40 at the break.
Defense: It sounds cliche, but defense wins championships, and when you’re down your two best scorers, you have to hang your hat on the defensive end. The Cavs created 18 turnovers, which led to 23 points.
-To steal a phrase from Marc Zumoff, Cleveland locked all windows and doors, especially in the fourth as they held Washington to 16 points on 35% shooting from the floor. More importantly, the Wizards scored only 86 points.
The final 5:50 of the game:– After trailing 84-75(matched Washington’s largest lead of the game) with just under six minutes to go, The Cavs closed out the game on a 17-2 run. During that run, Washington was 1/10 from the floor. Isaac Okoro did a great job on Kyle Kuzma, who had 28 points, including eight after three quarters, but Okoro and the Cavs limited him to six points in the fourth.
The Not So Great for the Cavs:
Kevin Love struggled for the second straight game. He was 1/10 from the floor, including 0/5 from downtown, and finished with four points. Love is 2/15 from the floor in the last two games, including 1/9 from deep. Without their big guns, Cleveland needs more from Love.
It was another ugly win for the Cavs, but winning ugly is beautiful for this team. Cleveland is at their best when they defend, and defense is probably the biggest reason this team has been successful this season.
The Cavs are first in the NBA in opponents’ points per game; in addition, they have held teams below 100 points 24 times this season.
To the Eastern Conference standings, the Cavs are now the fourth seed and are 3.5 games behind the Heat for the top spot.
For now, Cleveland has to try to hold on until they get their big guns back.
“We’re down a couple of guys, but everybody did their job for us,” Osman said.
The Cavs continue their three-game homestand Monday night against the Timberwolves.
Best of the Rest:
-Kuzma led Washington with 34 points and 13 rebounds.
-Before the game, the Cavs announced that they have signed guard Tim Frazier to a 10-day contract. This season with the Magic, Frazier appeared in 10 games (3 starts), averaging 3.7 points and 3.3 assists in 20.0 minutes per contest.
Watch below as Osman talks win over Wizards:
Cleveland Cavaliers forward/center Evan Mobley and guard Isaac Okoro have been selected as Rising Stars, the NBA announced tonight.
The 2022 Rising Stars will be played on Friday, February 18 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland as part of NBA All-Star 2022.
Mobley, the number three pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, is averaging 14.8 points on .505 shooting from the field, 8.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.72 blocks (sixth-most in NBA) in 34.2 minutes over 43 games (all starts). The rookie center from USC is leading all NBA rookies in rebounds, blocks, field goal percentage, plus/minus (+136) and dunks (86) while ranking second in points, minutes and double-doubles (10) and sixth in assists. Mobley won the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month award for October and November and is currently one of only three players in the entire NBA averaging at least 14.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks (Rudy Gobert and Anthony Davis).
In 2021-22, Okoro has appeared in 36 games (30 starts) with averages of 9.1 points and 3.3 rebounds in 28.5 minutes per contest. The Auburn University product has scored in double figures in 14 games, including two 20-point performances, and his plus/minus of +92 is the sixth-best among all rookie and sophomore players.
This year’s Rising Stars will feature four seven-player teams competing in a mini-tournament consisting of three games. Mobley and Okoro will be part of a pool of 28 players for Rising Stars that consists of 12 first-year NBA players, 12 second-year NBA players and four elite young players from NBA G League Ignite, a first-of-its-kind team dedicated to developing top prospects in preparation for the NBA Draft. The combined 24 first- and second-year NBA players for Rising Stars were selected by NBA assistant coaches, with each of the league’s 30 teams submitting one ballot per coaching staff. The four NBA G League Ignite players were selected by NBA G League head coaches.
Each team will be coached by a member of the NBA 75 team and assistant coaches from the 2022 All-Star Game, who will draft their squads on an earlier date prior to the tournament. There will be one NBA G League Ignite player on each team. Each game will be played to a Final Target Score, meaning that a game will end with a made basket or a made free throw instead of with the clock running out. It will be a “Race to 75” to celebrate the league’s 75th anniversary season — Games 1 and 2 will be played until a team reaches 50 points; Game 3 will be played until a team reaches 25 points.
In addition, a timed shooting competition called the Clutch Challenge will take place between Games 2 and 3 of Clorox Rising Stars. A total of eight NBA and NBA G League Ignite players will be divided into four teams of two and compete to make shots from five locations on the court tied to iconic shots made in the NBA Playoffs.
Each team will compete with one shared ball and its players must alternate shots so no player shoots two times consecutively. Team 1 is given 1 minute and 30 seconds (1:30 counting down) to make a shot from each of the five locations in any order. Team 1’s time is then the marker for Team 2. If Team 1’s time is 1:15, then Team 2 will have a 1:15 countdown clock to complete the competition. Each team that establishes a new standard sets the clock for the next team competing, and the fastest finisher will win the Clutch Challenge.