Cavs’ Bickerstaff on win over Jazz: ‘We took all 48 minutes of it seriously’

The Utah Jazz came into Wednesday’s game against the Cavs, a depleted team. The Jazz had six players out due to health and safety protocols, including Rudy Gobert, Rudy Gay, and Hassan Whiteside. 

The Cavs took full advantage of it.

Cleveland had six players in double figures as they went into Utah and routed the Jazz 111-91 at Vivint Arena. The 20-point win was the largest victory by the Cavs in Utah in team history.

The Cavs(24-18) have won two straight and are 3-1 on their current six-game west coast trip.

Utah(28-14) has now lost four straight.

The Great for the Cavaliers:

-Darius Garland messed around and got his first career triple-double. The third-year guard had 11 points, 10 rebounds, and a career-high 15 assists. Garland registered his triple-double after three quarters. The only player in Cavs history to have a triple-double after three quarters is LeBron James. 

-Lamar Stevens had a career-high 23 points. Stevens went off as he scored 15 of the team’s 30 points in the third, including 11 straight for the Cavs. On Sunday, Stevens had a then career-high 17 points against Golden State, and he surpassed that Wednesday night.

“I got lost in the moment,” Stevens said about his big third quarter. “I was able to pick and choose my spots. I just felt really confident, and I was just riding that confidence and allowing my game to just take me to those 15 points.”

-Lauri Markkanen busted out for the Cavs. He scored 20 points and grabbed six rebounds. 

Markkanen was 8/11 from the floor, including four threes. It was Markkanen’s first 20-point game since December 26.

-Evan Mobley had another Evan Mobley-type game. The rookie had a double-double with 15 points, 10 rebounds, and he added five assists. Mobley became the first Cavs’ rookie to have 15 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists since, guess who, LeBron James. 

-Third Quarter: Cleveland broke the game open in the third after leading 58-52 at halftime. The Cavs outscored Utah 30-16 in the quarter, including an 21-0 run to take their largest lead of 25 points. Utah couldn’t make shots as they went 5/23 from the floor. 

The Not So Great for the Cavaliers:

Nothing! Nothing at all!

Bottom Line:

Even though they beat a depleted Jazz team, this is still a quality win for Cleveland. This was the type of performance we saw from the Cavs when they were blowing teams out during their six-game win streak. It was a team effort during that streak, and we saw the Cavs have a team effort Wednesday night. 

In addition, when Markkanen plays the way he did against the Jazz, Cleveland is tough to beat. He can make shots, and the Cavs will only get better if he gets a little more consistent with his shot-making. Cleveland is 5-2 when Markkanen scores 20-plus points. 

“We didn’t start messing with the game,” Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “We took all 48 minutes of it seriously.”

What’s Next:

Cleveland travels to San Antonio to battle the Spurs Friday night.

Best of the Rest:

-Kevin Love added 16 points and seven rebounds off the bench; Jarrett Allen chipped in with 12 points and seven rebounds. 

– Jordan Clarkson led the Jazz with 22 points off the bench.

-Cleveland outrebounded the Jazz 50-32.

-Rajon Rondo(hamstring) missed Wednesday’s win over Utah.

Watch below as Stevens and Garland talk win over Utah:

Cavs’ Bickerstaff on win over Kings: ‘It’s a win, so we’ll take it, but it wasn’t our best’

The Cavaliers had a terrible taste in their mouth after losing to the Warriors Sunday night, but fortunately for them, they had a chance to change that taste when they played the Kings Monday night as both teams were playing the second half of a back-to-back.

Cleveland got off to a good start and led 62-49 at halftime. However, the Kings would rally in the second half to take a four-point lead in the fourth with over six minutes to go, but the Cavs would eventually build a 10-point fourth-quarter lead and would hold on to defeat the Kings 109-108 at Golden 1 Center.

The Cavs(23-18), who swept the season series from the Kings, are 2-1 on their current six-game road trip, while the Kings(16-27) have lost five straight.

The Great for the Cavaliers:

-Jarrett Allen is a man of his word. Allen took full responsibility for the Cavs getting outrebounded against Golden State. He knew he had to be better, and against the Kings, he was better. Allen had a double-double with 18 points, 17 rebounds to go along with two blocks. He secured the double-double in the first half with 12 points and 12 rebounds, including a career-high tying nine rebounds in the first quarter.

-Evan Mobley also had a bounce-back game. He had 17 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and two blocks. Mobley, who scored in double figures for the eighth consecutive game, stuffed the stat sheet as he usually does. 

-Darius Garland had a double-double with 12 points and 11 assists. He also added five rebounds. Garland had only three points in the first half but scored nine points in the second half, including seven in the final quarter.

Kevin Love and Cedi Osman gave the Cavs great production off the bench. Love scored 14 of his 18 points in the first half, and Osman added 15 points. Since returning from COVID, Osman has been in double figures in two out of the last three games.

The Not So Great for the Cavaliers:

Turnovers:  Cleveland had 17 turnovers, which led to 20 points for Sacramento. The Cavs have had 36 turnovers in the last two games.

The final 2:34 of the game:  After a Lauri Markkanen(15 points) three, Cleveland led 109-99 with 2:34 left in the game. However, the Kings went on a 9-0 run to cut the lead to 109-108 with 11.0 seconds to go. Fortunately for Cleveland, De’Aaron Fox missed a jump shot at the buzzer after great defense from Rajon Rondo, and the Cavs would hold on.

Bottom Line:

Excellent bounce-back performance for the Cavs after the way things went against the Warriors. This is the type of effort you like to see from a team following a bad performance, especially Allen, who showed that he’s a team leader and an All-Star.

Cleveland was not at its best Monday night, but a win is a win, and now they have surpassed their win total(22) from last season.

“It’s a win, so we’ll take it, but it wasn’t our best,” Cavs head coach Bickerstaff said. “We talk about playing with purpose and discipline for 48 minutes. We didn’t do that tonight.

What’s Next:

Cleveland continues their six-game road trip in Utah against the Jazz Wednesday night.

Best of the Rest:

The Kings had six players in double figures, led by Tyrese Haliburton’s 21 points. Buddy Hield added 19 points off the bench. 

Cleveland also had six players double figures. In addition, Rondo had five points, four rebounds, six assists, and two steals off the bench.

Watch below as Mobley and Allen react to win over Kings:

Cavs fall short against Memphis

The Cavaliers hoped to end their three-game homestand with a win Tuesday night, but they ran into the red-hot Memphis Grizzlies, who came in winners of five straight.

Memphis was up 102-100 with just under two minutes left, and from there, Ja Morant took over. He scored Memphis’ final eight points, including six in the last 30 seconds as the Grizzlies defeated Cleveland 110-106 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

Morant led Memphis with 26 points to go along with six assists and five rebounds. The Grizzlies had six players in double figures.

Memphis(25-14) has won six straight, and Cleveland(21-17) ended their three-game homestand 1-2 and have lost four out of their last five.

The Great for the Cavaliers:

-Jarrett Allen had his second straight double with 22 points and 12 rebounds. He also added three blocks. Allen has recorded 20-plus points in two out of his last three appearances.

-Darius Garland had 27 points and 10 assists and only one turnover in his first game back after missing four games due to health and safety protocols. It was Garland’s fifth straight 20-point game. 

-Evan Mobley had 17 points, eight rebounds, and two blocks. Mobley recorded his 15th multi-block game of the season, which leads all rookies

-Kevin Love is turning himself into a sixth-man of the year candidate. The five-time All-Star had 18 points and 10 rebounds off the bench. This was Love’s 14th straight game in double figures.

The Not Great for the Cavaliers:

Late Game Execution: After Ja Morant made a tough layup, Cleveland trailed 106-104 with 29.9 seconds left and had a chance to tie or take the lead. However, Brandon Goodwin’s pass was stolen by Morant. Cleveland had to take a foul, and Morant made both free throws to put the game away.

You have to get a shot up in that situation, and the Cavaliers did not do that. 

“We’re learning that the fourth quarters are what’s important,” Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said postgame. “Every shot, every pass, every possession, every box out, every rotation means everything. Give Memphis credit for hitting the shots at the end.”

Bottom Line:

This was a battle of two young teams, who are both playing good basketball, and the Grizzlies were able to get the job done. Not a bad loss for the Cavs, but these are the games they have to learn how to win. 

Also, it was great to see Garland out there on the court. He’s the team’s best player and the guy that makes this team dynamic. 

Now it’s time to head west as the Cavs begin a six-game road trip.

What’s Next:

On Friday, Cleveland will travel to Portland to battle the Blazers 

Best of the Rest:

-Jaren Jackson Jr added 22 points, and Brandon Clarke had 13 points and nine rebounds for Memphis.

-Cedi Osman (Health and Safety Protocols) missed his sixth straight game.  

-Collin Sexton was in attendance for the time since his surgery to repair a torn meniscus. 

 

 

 

Cavs’ Allen on Mobley: ‘If he keeps being aggressive, we believe that’s going to help us keep winning games’

The Cleveland Cavaliers came into Sunday’s game against the Pacers at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on a three-game losing streak.

Early In the fourth, with the game tied at 90, Cleveland went on a 7-0 run and never looked back as the Cavaliers defeated the Pacers 108-104.

Cleveland(21-16) snapped their three-game losing streak, while the Pacers(14-23) have lost four straight.

The Great for the Cavaliers:

-Evan Mobley is a special talent. He had 24 points(11-16 FG, 2-2 3pt FG), nine rebounds, four assists. This is Mobley’s third 20-plus point game in the last four. 

-Kevin Love again brought instant offense off the bench. Love scored 10 of his 20 points in the third quarter. He had three threes, added eight rebounds, and four assists. Love is 27/51(52%) from downtown in the last five games.

-Jarrett Allen added a double-double with 18 points, 11 rebounds, and three blocks. Allen is eighth in the NBA in double-doubles(18). 

-Lamar Stevens had a career-high 15 points, to go along with three rebounds and two assists.

15-0 run in the third quarter: Cleveland trailed 84-73 with just over three minutes in the third, but they went on a 15-0 to end the quarter, and eight of those 15 points came from Love.

The Not So Great for the Cavaliers:

Three-point Shooting: Again, Cleveland struggled from deep as they shot 6/26 from three-point range. The Cavaliers are 36/120 from downtown in the last four games, and not having Darius Garland is definitely impacting that number.

Bottom Line:

It’s great for the Cavaliers to get back in the win column after losing three straight. With their upcoming six-game west coast trip, which includes games against the Jazz and Warriors, it will be important for Cleveland to get the final game of their three-game homestand against the Grizzlies. 

 “If he keeps being aggressive, we believe that’s going to help us keep winning games,” Allen said about Mobley. “We really needed this tonight to give us a boost.”

What’s Next:

Cleveland finishes up their three-game homestand against the Grizzlies Tuesday night.

 Best of the Rest:

-Indiana had five players in double figures led by Domantas Sabonis, who had 32 points, 13 rebounds, and seven assists. Duane Washington, Jr. had a career-high 20 points.

-Lauri Markkanen added 12 points and six rebounds for the Cavs. Isaac Okoro left in the second quarter with a left elbow injury and did not return.

Garland and Cedi Osman were out again due to health and safety protocols, and for the Pacers, Goga Bitadze Malcolm Brogdon, Chris Duarte, Isaiah Jackson, Jeremy Lamb, Caris LeVert , Kelan Martin,  T,J, Warren were all out due to health and safety protocols.

Watch below as Mobley, Allen, and Stevens react to win over Pacers:

 

Cavs’ Bickerstaff on loss to Hawks: ‘We let our guard down and it came back to bite us’

The Cavaliers started a three-game homestand Friday night against the Hawks. Cleveland got the start they wanted and had a 15-point halftime lead.

However, the Hawks picked it up in the second half and took the lead for good in the third. Cleveland had one last chance to tie the game late, but Kevin Pangos missed a three at the buzzer, and Atlanta defeated the Cavaliers 121-118.

Cleveland(20-16) has now lost three straight and four out of the last five, and Atlanta(16-19) snapped their three-game losing streak.

Here is the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ loss to the Hawks:

The Great for the Cavaliers:

Love is in the air!! Kevin Love had a season and team-high 35 points, including a game-high seven threes, 11 rebounds, and four assists in 30 minutes of action. According to Elias Sports, he’s the only Cavaliers’ player to tally 35-plus points and 10-plus rebounds off the bench since 1975. Love has been a great weapon off the bench, and this is his fourth straight game of 20-plus points or more. 

-Jarrett Allen is back after missing four games due to health and safety protocols. Allen picked up where he left off and scored 21 points(9/11 FG) and grabbed eight rebounds.

-Evan Mobley just gets it done. The rookie stuffed the stat sheet Friday night. He scored 16 points, grabbed eight rebounds, dished out five assists, and blocked three shots. This season, Mobley has tallied 14 multi-block games and leads all NBA rookies in blocked shots (51 blocks).

-Brandon Goodwin signed with the Cavaliers Friday and made his debut the same day. He had 13 points, six assists, four rebounds in 25 minutes of action off the bench. 

First Half: Cleveland shot 70% from the field(28/40 FG), including 5/11 from downtown in the first half. The Cavs shared the ball as they had 19 assists on 28 field goals. Cleveland had 42 points in the paint and took a 66-51 lead at halftime.

The Not so Great for the Cavaliers:

Third Quarter: Things got bad for the Cavs in the third. Atlanta went on an 11-0 run to take a three-point late and outscored the Cavs 40-22 in the quarter. The Hawks shot 62% from the floor, and Trae Young scored 12 of his 35 points in the third as Atlanta took a 91-88 lead into the fourth.

Three-point shooting: In the past three games, including Friday’s night loss to the Hawks. Cleveland has shot the three ball well in the first quarter, but it falls apart after that.

On Friday night, the Cavaliers shot 4/6 from deep in the first quarter. After that, they were 4/19 from three-point range against Atlanta.

In the last three games, they’ve shot (17/27)63% from three in the first quarter. However, in quarters two through four, they’ve shot 13/67(19%) the rest of the way.

Bottom Line:

Cleveland needs point guard help badly, and it continues to be a struggle without Garland and Ricky Rubio. Fortunately, Garland will be back at some point. It’s a difficult time for the Cavaliers, just like every NBA team, because of health and safety protocols.

We’ve seen what the Cavs look like when they’re whole, and that will happen soon enough, minus Rubio. In addition, they will get Rajon Rondo, so maybe that will help.

However, give Young credit. He’s a star, and stars make things happen, and that’s what he did Friday night for the Hawks.

“We were complacent because we had a lead, but you have to understand they’ve got winners over there who just went to the Eastern Conference finals,” Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “We let our guard down and it came back to bite us.”

What’s Next:

The Cavaliers return to action Sunday when they host the Indiana Pacers.

Best of the Rest:

-Atlanta had six players in double figures. Young led the Hawks with 35 points and 11 assists. Clint Capela added 18 points and 23 rebounds, and Skylar Mays chipped in with 19 points.

-Isaac Okoro added 10 points(4/4 FG) for the Cavs. Cleveland was without Garland (Health and Safety Protocols) and Cedi Osman (Health and Safety Protocols).

-Atlanta had 12 players out due to health and safety protocols: Bodgan Bogdanovic, John Collins,  Sharife Cooper, Gorgui Dieng,  Malik Ellison, Danilo Gallinari, Kevin Huerter, Malcolm Hill, Jalen Johnson, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Onyeka Okongwu, Delon Wright.

 

Shorthanded Cavs get routed by Wizards

The Cavaliers began life without backup point guard Ricky Rubio against the Wizards Thursday night. Rubio will miss the rest of the season after tearing his left ACL Tuesday against the Pelicans.

Cleveland was still without Darius Garland and Cedi Osman due to health and safety protocols, and they were without Jarrett Allen(Return To Competition Reconditioning). However, they did get Lamar Stevens and Dylan Windler back after being away from the team because of health and safety protocols.

Washington had some health and safety protocols issues themselves, including starting point guard Spencer Dinwiddie.

The Cavaliers trailed 31-30 after the first quarter, but things fell apart at the end of the second quarter and the third as Washington routed Cleveland 110-93 at Capital One Arena.

Cleveland(20-15) has lost two straight, while Washington(18-17) snapped their two-game losing streak.

Here is the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ loss to Washington:

The Great for the Cavaliers:

-Rookie Evan Mobley scored 14(highest scoring first quarter of his career) of his 21 points in the first quarter to go along with five rebounds, three assists, and two blocks. Mobley had his second straight 20-plus point game. 

-Kevin Love returned to the starting lineup and had his third straight 20-plus point game. He had 11 of his season-high tying 24 points in the first quarter, including three threes(finished 4/10 3PT FG). Love also added 11 rebounds to record his fifth double-double of the season. Love and Mobley scored 25 of Cleveland’s 30 first-quarter points.

The Not So Great for the Cavaliers:

Three-point Shooting: Cleveland was 4/9 from downtown in the first quarter, but they were 4/19 the rest of the way from three-point range Thursday night. In the last two games, both losses, the Cavaliers shot a combined 9/48(19%) from three after the first quarter.

Defense:  The Cavaliers struggled on the defensive end. Washington shot 50% from the floor, including 68 points in the paint.

End of the Second Quarter: With just under four minutes left in the first half, the game was tied at 46, but Washington finished the half on a 12-5 run to take a 58-51 lead at the break, and the Wizards took that momentum into the third.

Third Quarter: Washington dominated the third as they shot (14/22)64% from the floor. The Wizards led by as many as 2o points in the quarter, and Cleveland never threatened from there as the Wizards outscored the Cavaliers 33-21 in the third.

-Kevin Pangos got his first NBA start Thursday, and he wasn’t very good. Pangos had two points as he shot 1/8 from the field, including 0/3 from downtown. He did have six assists, but he struggled against the Wizards.

Bottom Line:

Without Garland and Rubio, Cleveland did not get much from the point guard position and did not get much out of any player not named Love or Mobley, but help could be on the way for the Cavs. According to reports, Cleveland is close to acquiring two-time NBA champion and four-time All-Star Rajon Rondo from the Lakers. While Rondo is not Rubio at this point, the 35-year-old is better than what they have at the backup point guard spot. 

What’s Next:

Cleveland begins a three-game homestand Friday night against the Atlanta Hawks.

Best of the Rest:

-After missing three games due to health and safety protocols, Bradley Beal returned and led the Wizards with a game-high 29 points, 10 assists, and six rebounds; Kyle Kuzma had 25 points and 10 rebounds.

-Lauri Markkanen had 11 points, eight rebounds, and four assists; Isaac Okoro added 11 points for the Cavs.

Cavs’ Love on Rubio’s injury: ‘We’re just completely gutted’

Cleveland should have beaten the Pelicans Tuesday night at Smoothie King Center, but after a great start, which included a 23-point first-quarter lead, the Cavaliers went cold and fell to New Orleans 108-104.

The Pelicans were without their leading scorer Brandon Ingram(Achilles soreness), Nickeil Alexander-Walker(health and safety protocols), and Josh Hart(ankle).

Cleveland got back Evan Mobley and Isaac Okoro(health and safety protocols). However, their leading scorer Darius Garland missed Tuesday’s game due to health and safety protocols, and Cleveland was still without their starting center Jarrett Allen(health and safety protocols).

After winning six straight, Cleveland(20-14) has lost two of three, while New Orleans(13-22) has won three of four.

Here is the Great, the Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ tough loss to New Orleans:

The Great for the Cavaliers:

-Ricky Rubio got the start in place of Garland, and he did it all. He had a game-high 27 points and a game-high 13 assists to go along with nine rebounds. Sadly, he could not finish the game as he left late with what appeared to be a nasty left leg injury. 

-Kevin Love, who got his first start of the season against the Raptors, went back to the bench after Mobley’s return. In the first quarter, Love scored 12 of his 24 points and four of his game-high seven threes. He got Cleveland off to a great start, and he also had a solid ending as he scored 10 points, including three threes in the fourth. This is the tenth straight game that Love has been in double figures.

-Evan Mobley is back and it was like he never left. The rookie, who missed four games due to health and safety protocols, was efficient as he went 9/12 from the field to score 22 points to go along with seven rebounds. This was the first time Mobley has been over 20 points since November 7th. 

First Quarter Cavs: Coming into this contest, the Cavs led the league in first-quarter scoring margin, and Cleveland got the start they wanted against the Pelicans. They shot 56% from the field, including 9/12 from downtown(75%). Love and Rubio combined for 22 of the team’s 39 points, and the Cavaliers had their largest lead of 23 points in the first. Cleveland would take a 39-20 lead into the second quarter.  

The Not So Great for the Cavaliers:

Three-Point shooting after the first quarter:  The Cavaliers were 9/12 from three-point range in the first quarter. After that, they were 5/29 the rest of the way, including 0/10 in the second quarter. 

“I thought we got a little stagnant offensively and settled little bit too much for too many threes,” Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said postgame.

2nd-4th quarters: Cleveland had a 19-point lead(39-20) after the first quarter. However, after that, they were outscored in every quarter and were outscored 88-65 the rest of the way, including by 11 in the fourth.

Fourth Quarter:  Cleveland led 83-76 heading into the fourth, but things unraveled in the final quarter. The Cavaliers were outscored 32-21 in the fourth as they went cold. Cleveland shot 30% from the field, including 3/12 from downtown. The Cavs took a 95-83 lead at the 07:59 mark of the fourth, but the Pelicans went on a 16-2 run to take the lead for good at 99-97.

Ricky Rubio’s injury: Rubio’s injury did not look good, and he did not put any pressure on the leg. Unfortunately, it seems like he could be gone for an extended period of time, if not the rest of the season. 

Bottom Line:

This was a devastating loss in more ways than one. First, you blow a 23-point lead to a depleted team, and next, you lose one of the MVPs of your squad in Rubio. If the season derails, we will look back at this game. The team was clearly dejected after the game, including Love, who spent time with Rubio in Minnesota:

“I really care for him,” Love said. “I’m just praying that he’s going to be OK. We don’t know what the near future is going to hold for him. We’re just completely gutted. He was having such a great season.”

Rubio is expected to get an MRI Wednesday.

What’s Next:

Cleveland concludes their two-game road trip in Washington against the Wizards Thursday night.

Best of the Rest:

-Herbert Jones led the Pelicans with 26 points; Devonte’ Graham added 18 points, five rebounds, and five assists, and Jonas Valanciunas had 15 points and 10 rebounds as all five starters scored in double figures.

-Lauri Markkanen added 14 points and five rebounds, and Isaac Okoro, who made his return after missing three games due to health and safety protocols, had six points.

Watch below as Love reacts to Rubio’s injury:

Cavs’ Love: ‘We’ve got a good thing going, and I’m having a lot of fun’

The Cleveland Cavaliers returned to action Sunday night against the Toronto Raptors, and both teams were depleted due to health and safety protocols.

Toronto(14-16) had ten players in health and safety protocols, including Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby, Fred VanVleet, and Gary Trent Jr. Cleveland had six players in health and safety protocols, including Evan Mobley, Jarrett Allen, and Cedi Osman. In addition, they were without Isaac Okoro((return to competition reconditioning).

Cleveland(20-13) had six players in double figures and led by as many as 47 points against the Raptors. Ultimately, Cleveland would defeat Toronto 144-99. The Cavaliers had 118 points through the first three quarters, the most points after three quarters in team history.

Furthermore, the Cavaliers’ 45-point victory is their largest win in 30 years.

The Great for the Cavaliers:

Cavs’ Frontcourt: Cleveland got big-time contributions from their frontcourt. In his first start of the season, Kevin Love had 22 points, including a season-high six threes to go along with nine rebounds. Lauri Markkanen added 20 points and seven rebounds, and Dean Wade had 17 points and seven rebounds. The Cavs’ frontcourt scored a combined 59 points and grabbed 23 rebounds.

Cavs’ Backcourt: Darius Garland scored 11 of his 22 points in the third to go along with eight assists, and four rebounds. He scored 20-plus points for the third straight game, and Ricky Rubio added 16 points and six assists. The backcourt combined for 38 points and 14 assists.

With the Cavs being depleted due to health and safety protocols, Denzel Valentine got an extended run Sunday night, and he took full advantage of it. Valentine had season-highs in points(17) and threes(5) in 26 minutes of action.

Third Quarter: Cleveland had a 17-point lead at halftime but busted it wide open in the third by scoring 46 points, which tied their franchise record for most points in a quarter. The Cavaliers shot 62% from the floor, including nine threes. Cleveland went on a 15-0 run in the third to go up by 34 points. They led by as many as 40 points in the quarter as Cleveland took a 118-78 lead into the fourth.

The Not So Great for the Cavaliers:

You score 144 points and win by 45 points,  yeah, it’s all great for the Cavaliers.

Bottom Line:

This game came down to the Cavaliers having more healthy bodies. You could argue that Cleveland was playing the Toronto’s G League affiliate, Raptors 905. However, you play who’s on your schedule, and in reality, every team is dealing with COVID issues right now.

For any team, it’s just good to get a win.

“We’ve got a good thing going, and I’m having a lot of fun,” Love said. “It’s going to be great watching this young team develop.”

What’s Next:

The Cavaliers return to action on the road against the Pelicans Tuesday night.

Best of the Rest:

-Yuta Watanabe led the Raptors with 22 points and 11 rebounds, and Chris Boucher added 20 points and five rebounds.

Watch below as Markkanen and Garland talk win over Raptors:

Cavs’ Garland: ‘It’s next-man-up mentality’

Health and safety protocols have been the talk of the sports world right now, and it has impacted the Cleveland Cavaliers. On Wednesday against the Celtics, Cleveland had seven players out due to health and protocols, including three starters, Jarrett Allen, Evan Mobley, and Isaac Okoro.

However, just like they always do, the Cavaliers fought, but they were outmanned and outgunned by the Celtics, and they fell 111-101 at TD Garden.

Boston led by five after one and took a 63-48 lead at halftime. The Celtics took their largest lead of 23 points in the third, but Cleveland went on a 14-1 run to cut the lead to 10 in the fourth, but it wasn’t enough.

With the loss, Cleveland’s(19-13) six-game winning streak is over, while Boston(16-16) moved to .500.

Here is the Great, the Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ loss to Boston.

The Great for the Cleveland Cavaliers:

-Darius Garland led the Cavaliers with 28 points and six assists. He also had three steals. Coming into this game, Garland led the league in plus/minus, and while this is not a great thing, he was a team-best -6 Wednesday night.

-Kevin Love had a double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds off the bench. Love has scored in double figures in eight straight games, and he has been in double figures 10 out of the last 11. 

-Tacko Fall, yes, Tacko Fall. He got his first NBA start in the city where it all began for him. Fall was originally signed by the Celtics after going undrafted and spent two seasons in Boston. On Wednesday, Fall had four points, 10 rebounds, and blocked two shots in 19 minutes of action. 

The Not so Great for the Cleveland Cavaliers:

Three-point shooting: Cleveland was 9/38 from downtown. Lauri Markkanen was 0/5, Love was 1/5, and Cedi Osman was 1/5 from deep.

Turnovers: Cleveland had 16 turnovers, which led to 19 Boston points. Turnovers are expected when you are trying to integrate new players. However, this has been an ongoing issue as they are 26th in turnovers per game(14.6).

-Lauri Markkanen struggled with his shot as he was 2/12 from the field, including 0/5 from deep. He finished with seven points and nine rebounds.

-Ricky Rubio, who got the start for Okoro, also was 2/12 from the field and 1/5 from downtown. He had a game-worst -20 rating.  Rubio had eight points, six assists, and three steals.

Bottom Line:

Boston had their two best players in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, so they had a clear advantage Wednesday night. According to NBA commissioner Adam Silver, the league has no plans to press the pause button on the season, but should they? Around the league, stars are missing games, and we are seeing a lot of G League talent on NBA basketball courts, and while it’s a great thing for those players, it’s probably not good for the product on the court. 

“It’s next-man-up mentality,” Garland said postgame.

What’s Next:

Cleveland will have a few days off as they return to the court Sunday at home against Toronto.

Best of the Rest:

Four out of Boston’s five starters scored in double figures, led by Jaylen Brown’s 34 points and six rebounds. Robert Williams III added 21 points and a team-high 11 rebounds,  a game-high seven assists, and two blocks, and Jayson Tatum chipped in with 18 points, nine rebounds, and five assists. 

40-year-old Joe Johnson, who signed a 10-day contract with Boston, made his debut late in the fourth and scored two points.

-Osman added 13 points off the bench for Cleveland.

Watch below as Fall and Garland react to the loss to Boston:

Cavs’ Garland: ‘It’s not just hero ball, everybody is contributing’

The Cleveland Cavaliers went into Milwaukee to battle the world champion Bucks. However, what they got wasn’t the team that won a championship a year ago. Due to health and safety protocols, Milwaukee was without many of its key players, including Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bobby Portis, and Dante DiVincenzo. 

Cleveland was impacted by health and safety protocols as they were without Evan Mobley and Isaac Okoro.

However, the Cavs had more available talent, and it showed. Cleveland led 62-51 at halftime. The Cavaliers went on a 19-2 run in the third to take their largest lead of 30 and ultimately defeated the Bucks 119-90.

The Cavaliers(19-12) have won six straight and 10 of 12, while the Bucks(19-13) have dropped two straight and three out of their last four. 

With the win, Cleveland is the third seed in the East.

The six-game winning streak for the Cavs is the longest current win streak in the NBA.

Here is the Great, the Not So Great, and the Bottom Line Cavs’ win over Milwaukee.

The Great for the Cavaliers:

Darius Garland was en Fuego Saturday night. He scored 12 of his 22 points in the first quarter. The third-year guard started the game 6/6 and finished 10/13 from the floor, including 2/4 from downtown. Garland also added six assists and four rebounds.

Cavs’ Bench: Cedi Osman had a team-high 23 points, including 5/9 from three-point range. Kevin Love had 15 points, seven rebounds, and four assists, and he made a little history as he passed Campy Russell for 10th place on Cleveland’s all-time scoring list; Ricky Rubio had a double-double with 15 points, 10 assists, and five rebounds. This was Rubio’s fourth double-double of the season, and he was a team-best plus-33. In total, the Cavs had 53 points off their bench. 

First and Third Quarter:  Cleveland outscored the Bucks by 27 points in those quarters. Cleveland shot 58% from the floor in the first quarter, including 6/13(46%) from downtown. The Cavaliers led 34-20 after one. In the third, the Cavaliers shot 50% from the field and used a 19-2 run to take complete control of the game. Cleveland outscored Milwaukee 31-18 in the quarter.

Defense: The Cavaliers held Milwaukee to 39% shooting and forced 17 turnovers, which led to 18 Cleveland points. 

The Not So Great for the Cavaliers:

Nothing here to see today…

Bottom Line:

This would have been a bad loss for Cleveland. Milwaukee and the rest of the league are dealing with a severe COVID outbreak, and at this point, it appears the team with the least amount of players in health and protocols is the team that will win the game. Actually, it seems to be that way in all major sports leagues right now. However, give Cleveland credit. They handled their business Saturday night.

 “It’s not just hero ball, everybody is contributing,” Garland said.

What’s Next:

Cleveland was expected to battle the Hawks in Atlanta on Sunday, but according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the game is expected to be postponed as the Cavs have five players in health and safety protocols.

Best of the Rest:

Jarrett Allen added 14 points and five rebounds as Cleveland had five players in double figures. 

Jordan Nwora led the Bucks with a game-high 28 points. 

 

Most wins by 10 points this season in NBA:

1. Golden State – 17

2. Utah – 15

3. CLEVELAND 14

Watch below as Garland and Osman react to win over Milwaukee: