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.

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

No Donovan Mitchell(ankle sprain), no Darius Garland(knee sprain), and no problems as the Cavs went into Detroit(2-8) without its two top scorers and got their seventh straight win as they routed the Pistons 112-88.

Cleveland(7-1), who led by as many as 30 points, had all hands on deck as they had six players in double figures.

Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ win over Toronto:

Great:

Evan Mobley was a beast on defense! He had a career-high eight blocks as he became the youngest player in Cavs history to record that many blocks in a game. In addition, he had 11 points and eight rebounds. Cleveland was tough on defense as they recorded 13 blocks, held Detroit to 37% shooting, and forced 19 turnovers that led to 28 points.

Kevin Love almost messed around and had a triple-double, as he had 21 points, eight rebounds, and 10 assists off the bench. Love stepped up and handled his business for Cleveland. In addition, Love was a game-high plus-30. The Cavs got 54 points from its bench, including 15 points from Cedi Osman. 

Jarrett Allen had 17 of his season-high 23 points in the first half, seven rebounds, and two blocks.

Caris LeVert started at point guard and had 15 points, six rebounds, and six assists.

Second quarter: Cleveland blew the game open in the second quarter. The Cavs led 24-21 after the first quarter. They went on a 23-5 run to take a 21-point lead in the second. Cleveland outscored the Pistons 33-18 in the quarter. They shot 63% in the second and held the Pistons to 32% from the field. The Cavs led 57-39 at the break.

Not So Great:

It’s all great!! Nothing to see here!

Bottom Line:

The Cavs came together as a team, and great things happened. Everyone stepped up their game, and that’s what you need to do when your top players are down. The NBA is weird like that sometimes. When the chips are down, the other guys get it done.

What’s Next:

The Cavs head west as they battle LeBron and the Lakers on Sunday at Crypto.com Arena.

Best of the Rest: 

Cade Cunningham led the Pistons with 19 points, five rebounds, and five assists. Jaden Ivey and Saddiq Bey had 18 apiece.

According to Elias Sports, Love (21 PTS, 10 AST, 8 REB) became the first Cavs player ever to record 20-plus 10-plus assists and eight-plus rebounds off the bench. Love’s time-on-court (23:26) is the lowest of any player in the shot clock era (1954-55) to hit those minimums.

Junkyard Dog:

Everybody gets the award! J.B. Bickerstaff gave the prize to the whole team.

Here’s the Great, Not So Great, & Bottom Line of Cavs’ win over Knicks

The Cavs returned home on Sunday night riding a four-game winning streak as they faced the New York Knicks.

Against New York, Cleveland led 62-59 at the break, but the Knicks outscored the Cavs by 12 in the third to take a nine-point lead into the fourth.

However, in the fourth, Cleveland went on a 19-8 run to take the lead for good as they would defeat the Knicks 121-108 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse to get their fifth straight win.

Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ win over New York:

Great:

Donovan Mitchell had 38 points(8/13 3-PT FG) and a career-high 12 assists. He was supposed to be a Knick, and it seemed he had a little extra for them on Sunday night. 

First Quarter Mitchell: He had 15 of his 38 points and five of his 12 assists in the first quarter. All 15 of Mitchell’s points came on five threes. In fact, he scored and assisted on 28 of the team’s 35 first-quarter points.  

Kevin Love had 16 of his season-high 29 points in the fourth quarter. He made five of his eight threes in the final stanza. The eight threes ties a career-high. Love will have moments like this, as is 29 points came in only 22 minutes off the bench. He’s a weapon!! 

Dean Wade: I’ve been calling for him to start all season long, especially after Garland went down, and he rewarded me with a career-high 22 points, including a career-high tying six threes. 

Three-Point Shooting: Cavs made 23 threes on 50 attempts. That’s 46%, and that’s big time. It’s hard to beat a team when they shoot it that well from deep.

Fourth Quarter: Cleveland trailed 93-84 heading into the fourth, and they took over from there. They outscored the Knicks 37-15 in the final quarter. They shot 60% from the floor, made eight threes, and held the Knicks to 35% shooting from the field. Mitchell and Love made seven of those eight threes. The two scored 28 of the team’s 37 fourth-quarter points.

Not So Great:

Caris LeVert: After scoring 41 points on Friday against Boston, LeVert was off Sunday night. He was 0/9 from the floor and finished with one point and eight assists.

Third Quarter: After leading 62-59 at halftime, the Cavs fell apart in the third. They shot 29% from the field. Conversely, the Knicks got hot and shot 65% from the floor. They outscored the Cavs 34-22 in the quarter.

Bottom Line:

The Cavs get another good win Sunday night, especially considering their big, emotional win over the Celtics Friday night. Mitchell had the Knicks and the whole city of New York wishing they would have departed with the assets to bring him back home. However, it didn’t happen, and the Cavs swooped in and got their man, and he’s been as advertised after six games.

What’s Next:

The Cavs battle the Celtics at home on Wednesday night in a rematch of Friday’s thrilling game.

Best of the Rest:

Evan Mobley had 16 points, seven rebounds, and three assists for the Cavs.

For the Knicks, Evan Fournier and Jalen Brunson led the way with 16 points apiece; Julius Randle had a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds.

According to the NBA, Mitchell and Love are only the second pair of teammates in NBA history to each make 8-plus threes in the same game.

Junkyard Dog:

Dean Wade received the “Junkyard Dog” award for his performance on Sunday night.

Cavs rout Bulls in Chicago; here’s the Great, Not So Great, and Bottom Line of Cavs’ win over Bulls

The Cavs(1-1) came into Chicago(1-2) on Saturday night to battle the Bulls for the first of four matchups between the two teams this season.

Cleveland, who was without Darius Garland(eye), fell to the Raptors in Toronto in their season opener, while the Bulls were playing the second half of a back-to-back after losing to the Wizards in D.C. on Friday night.

The Cavs played like the fresher team, and after a slow start in the first quarter, Cleveland dominated the rest of the way. They led by as many as 19 in the first half, and Cleveland had their biggest lead of 32 in the fourth quarter as the Cavs crushed the Bulls 128-96 at United Center.

According to Elias Sports, the Cavs’ 32-point win in Chicago was the team’s largest margin of victory against the Bulls franchise.

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

The Great:

First Half: Cleveland scored 70 points in the first half on 63% shooting, including 71% from deep. They were red-hot in that first half, which carried them to a 70-54 lead at the break.

‘Spyda’: Mitchell, who handled the point guard duties with Garland out, had a game-high 32 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists. In addition, according to Elias Sports, Mitchell became the first player in team history to open a season with back-to-back 30-point games. He’s special!

Bench: Cedi Osman and Kevin Love were a big spark off the bench. Osman had 10 points in the first half, and Love scored nine points in the first quarter, including 3-3 from deep. Love finished the night with 15 points and 12 rebounds, including five threes. Osman added 15 points and was a team-best +41. Also, Robin Lopez chipped in with 12 points(6-7 FG). After getting 33 points from its bench against Toronto, the Cavs got 56 points from the bench on Saturday night.

Fourth Quarter: On Thursday night against the Raptors, the Cavs led by eight as they entered the fourth quarter, and Toronto outscored them 32-21 to take control of the game. Saturday night was a different story. Cleveland, who led 93-79 entering the fourth, outscored Chicago 35-17 in the quarter, holding the Bulls to 235% shooting from the field. In addition, the Cavs shot 50% from the floor, including 63% from downtown(5/8). They lost the game in the fourth against Toronto, but against Chicago, they closed this game the right way.

Three-point shooting: Cleveland shot 16/27 from deep(595%). Love led the way with five, and Mitchell connected on four threes. The Cavs finished the game shooting 565% from the field. That’s impressive, that’s big time, and that’s one reason they’re 1-1.

Not So Great

When you win by 32 points, it’s usually all good. However, Cleveland did have 18 turnovers, which is a bit high.

Bottom Line:

This was a nice bounce-back win for the Cavs. The energy was great, and Mitchell was great. Just an overall solid team effort. One thing is clear; this team has depth, athleticism, and talent, which could help them compete night in and night out. It’s 2 of 82, but you have to like what you see so far from the Cavs.

What’s Next:

Cleveland will play the second half of a back-to-back as they host the Wizards(2-0) in their home-opener at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on Sunday.

Best of the Rest:

The Cavs had six players in double figures on Saturday night. Evan Mobley had 16 points, and Caris LeVert added 14 points and eight assists.

For the Bulls, Zach LaVine, who made his season debut, led the way with 23 points, and Nikola Vucevic added 16.

Featured

Listen to Go4i! Guest: Cavs F Dean Wade

Listen to Go4it! Guest: Cavs F Dean Wade on Wednesday at 7 pm ET.

We discussed many topics, including:

-The acquisition of Donovan Mitchell

-Upcoming season

-Wade’s role in Cleveland

-Being title contenders

-Evan Mobley

-Kevin Love

According to Wade, the Cavs are one of the top teams in the NBA. 

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Tyler Herro named NBA Sixth Man of the Year

Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro has been named the 2021-22 NBA Sixth Man of the Year, the NBA announced today. 

Herro, the first Heat player to win the award, received 488 total points (96 first-place votes) from a global panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters. Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love finished in second place with 214 points (three first-place votes). Phoenix Suns forward Cam Johnson finished in third place with 128 points (one first-place vote).

In his third NBA season, the 22-year-old Herro averaged 20.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 4.0 assists in 32.6 minutes in 66 games (10 starts). His scoring average of 20.8 points as a reserve was the highest in the NBA. Herro’s eight 30-point games off the bench were tied for the third-most since the 1970-71 season, and his 20 25-point games were tied for the fourth-most. 

Setting a single-season franchise record with 1,162 points off the bench, Herro helped the Heat finish top seed in the Eastern Conference.

Miami is currently facing the Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, with Game 2 to be played on Wednesday.

The voting results for the 2021-22 Kia NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award are below:

Cavs’ season was a huge success, but a massive disappointment at the same time

After falling to the Nets Tuesday night in Brooklyn in the Play-In Tournament, the Cavs had one more chance to get into the playoffs when they hosted the Atlanta Hawks Friday night.

It’s win or go home!

The Cavs got All-Star center Jarrett Allen back after he missed 19 games(including Play-In Tournament) with a fractured finger. Cleveland had their largest lead of 14 points in the first half and led by 10 at the half. However, Trae Young happened! The All-Star had 32 of his 38 points in the second half as the Hawks defeated the Cavs 107-101 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

The Cavs season ends, while the Hawks capture the eighth seed and move on to face the Heat in first round of the playoffs, which begins Sunday in Miami. 

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

The Great for the Cavs:

-Lauri Markkanen played like he did not want to go home. He had 17 of his team-high 26 points in the first half to along with eight rebounds. Markkanen shot 10/17 from the field, including 6/12 from deep. Unfortunately, he did have a bad pass that was stolen by Kevin Huerter late in the fourth, which sealed the deal for the Hawks, but all and all, Markkanen did his job Friday night.

-Evan Mobley will be a special player, and he played well against the Hawks. The rookie had 18 points, eight rebounds, five assists, and two blocks. Just like Tuesday night in Brooklyn, the moment was not too big for Mobley.

-Darius Garland struggled with his shot(9/27 FG), but he battled through it and finished with 21 points, nine assists, and three steals; however,  he did turn the ball over five times.

First Half:  The Cavs fed off their crowd in the first half. Cleveland shot 52% from the floor in the first quarter, including 67%(6/9) from deep. The Cavs led 36-25 after one. Cleveland made 10 threes in the first half and got great looks. In addition, they held the Hawks to 17%(3/17) from three-point range, and Cleveland led 61-51 at the break. 

The Not So Great for the Cavs:

Third Quarter: Great players do great things, and Young is a great player. Young woke up after being held to six points in the first half. He either scored or assisted on 27 of the Hawks’ 33 points in the quarter. He finished with 16 points in the third. Atlanta shot 61% from the floor(4/8 3-PT FG). The Hawks outscored the Cavs 33-23 in the quarter, took their first lead late in the third, and erased a 10-point halftime deficit. The game was knotted at 84, heading into the fourth.

Second Half Offense: The offense stagnated in the second half, and some credit has to go to Atlanta’s defense, which stiffened. Cleveland did not get the same looks they had in the first half. You often saw some 911 shots with the shot clock running down from the Cavs, and they had two shot-clock violations early in the fourth. After scoring 61 points in the first, Cleveland was held to 40 points in the second half. In the fourth, they shot only 33% from the field, including 1/8 from downtown. After making 10 threes in the first half, the Cavs made only three more the rest of the way.

Bench: The Hawks’ bench outscored Cleveland’s bench 25-9. Kevin Love and Rajon Rondo were not much of a factor in this contest. Maybe Love could have gotten more minutes, but Atlanta was trying to go after him on the defensive end. The Cavs’ starters were a combined +10, while the bench was a combined -40.

Bottom Line:

It’s kind of stunning how the season ended for Cleveland. At one point, especially after the addition of Caris LeVert, many thought this team could make a deep playoff run. Now, just like that, it’s over!

The season was a success. Players like Garland and Jarrett Allen grew and became All-Stars, and Evan Mobley looks like a star. LeVert will have a whole training camp to get acclimated with the team, and maybe they’ll bring back soon-to-be restricted free agent Collin Sexton or move him to get another piece. In addition, they will have a lottery pick, so that’s another opportunity to improve this roster. Youth is on their side as Garland, Allen, Mobley, and Markkanen are all under 25.

Even in saying the season was a success, it feels like a disappointment at the same time. They were in striking distance of the top spot in the East for most of the season, but the day that destroyed the season was March 6. Cleveland defeated Toronto in that game and was 37-27 and was the sixth seed in the East with a three-game lead over the seventh-seeded Raptors. However, Allen fractured his finger and missed the final 18 games of the regular season. During that stretch, the Cavs went 7-11. Also, during that stretch, Mobley went down with an ankle injury and missed five games. They overcame the injuries of Sexton and Ricky Rubio, but they did not overcome Allen’s injury.

Again, a fantastic season for the Cavs, and the future seems bright. However, from top to bottom, the East will be challenging, and here’s also the thing: Cleveland is not sneaking up on anyone, so expectations have changed, which means the pressure is on this young group to get better. We’ll see how they’ll respond next season.

What’s Next:

The offseason! It was a fun season!

Best of the Rest:

-LeVert had 16 points for the Cavs as all five starters scored in double figures. Allen, who was basically playing with one hand, had 11 points, three rebounds, two assists, and a block.

-Bogdan Bogdanovic had 19 points for the Hawks off the bench. 

-During the second quarter, Clint Capela suffered a right knee hyperextension after fouling Mobley. According to the team. he will undergo an MRI in Miami, and his status will be updated as appropriate.

Watch below as Garland and Mobley react to the loss to Atlanta:

Cavs start slow, finish strong but fall in Brooklyn

The Cleveland Cavaliers were hoping to punch their ticket to the NBA Playoffs when they battled the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center Tuesday night in the Play-In Tournament.

Cleveland never led and trailed by 20 points after the first quarter and was down by as many as 22. The Cavs battled back and cut the lead to five late in the game; however, they could not get any closer as the Nets defeated Cleveland 115-108. 

Kyrie Irving had 34 points(12/15 FG, 3/6 3-PT FG) and 12 assists; Irving made his first 12 shots; Kevin Durant added 25 points, five rebounds, 11 assists, and three blocks.

The Nets get the seventh seed in the East and will battle the second seed, the Boston Celtics. The Cavs will try to get the eighth seed Friday night against the winner of Hornets/Hawks.

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

The Great for the Cavs:

Darius Garland scored 16 of his 34 points in the fourth. Garland scored the first nine points for Cleveland in the final quarter, and he tried to rescue the Cavs. 

The moment was not too big for him, and the moment has not been too big for him all season long. This is what you want from your best player in a big spot. The All-Star also added five assists and two steals. 

-The moment wasn’t too big for rookie Evan Mobley as well. He had 14 of his 19 points in the second half to go along with seven rebounds and two blocks. Mobley has been steady all season long, and he was steady Tuesday night in Brooklyn.

-Rajon Rondo morphed into “Playoff Rondo” against the Nets. He made the right play time after time. The stat line wasn’t super impressive as Rondo had seven points and nine assists in 26 minutes of action, but he got it done for the Cavs. Rondo and Caris LeVert were the only two Cavs with a positive rating(+2), and Rondo had the best rating in the second half for Cleveland at +9. 

Any Quarter but the First: Cleveland trailed by 20 after the first quarter, but they outscored Brooklyn by 13 points in the final three quarters. They held Brooklyn to 17 points in the second quarter. After shooting 35% in the first half, Cleveland shot 55% from the field, including 50% from deep in the second half. They scored 35 points in the fourth quarter on 55% shooting, but unfortunately, it wasn’t enough.

The Not So Great for the Cavs:

First Quarter: Last Friday, the Cavaliers trailed Brooklyn 34-19 after one quarter, and Tuesday night, the Nets got off to another great start. Brooklyn shot 71% from the floor, including 67% from downtown. Kyrie Irving was 5/5 from the field and scored 11 points in the first quarter; he finished with 20 points in the first half on 9/9 shooting.

The Nets led 40-20 after one quarter and 57-43 at halftime.

Turnovers: Cleveland had 15 turnovers, which led to 24 points for Brooklyn. 

-Isaac Okoro: The second-year guard struggled with his shot Tuesday night. He was 0/3 from the field, all threes, and finished with zero points in 13 minutes. No one expects Okoro to score a bunch, but he had open looks, and he has to make some of those open shots.

Bottom Line:

You can’t spot Brooklyn 20 points and expect to win. Cleveland played well after the first quarter, but they were swimming upstream just like last Friday’s game.

Brooklyn could win a championship, so there is no shame in losing this game. Cleveland has two games to win one. Hopefully, they can get back their All-Star center Jarrett Allen. Cleveland is 35-21 with Allen this season and 9-17 without him, so getting him back would help.

Getting to the playoffs won’t be easy; it should be fun to see the excitement at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse Friday night.

What’s Next:

The Cavs return home to battle the winner of Hornets/Hawks in the Play-In Game.

Best of the Rest:

-Kevin Love had a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds; Lauri Markkanen chipped in with 13 points, and LeVert had 12 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, and three steals.  

-Bruce Brown had 18 points, nine rebounds, eight assists, and three steals; Andre Drummond chipped in with 16 points and eight rebounds, and Nic Claxton had 13 points and nine rebounds.

Listen below as Garland and Love discuss the team’s loss to Brooklyn:

Kevin Love leads Cleveland to eighth seed

The Cleveland Cavaliers came into Sunday’s action against the Milwaukee Bucks looking to get at least the eighth seed in the East or, if the Nets stumble versus the Pacers, the seventh seed.  

Fortunately, the Bucks decided to rest their whole starting lineup, and the Cavs took full advantage. Cleveland led by as many as 40 points and routed the Bucks 133-115 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

Unfortunately, the Nets defeated the Pacers, so they will be the seventh seed, while the Cavs will be the eighth seed in the East, so Cleveland will to travel to Brooklyn Tuesday night in the Play-In Tournament. 

Cleveland finished the season 44-38, and the Bucks ended the year 51-31.

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

The Great for the Cavs:

-Kevin Love, who played only 15 minutes, scored 23 of his 32 points in the first half off the bench. The five-time All-Star made a career-high tying eight threes. He finished 10/16 from the field, including 8/11 from deep. He also added 10 rebounds. Love had 18 points, including five threes in the first quarter. Here’s the crazy part, according to Elias Sports, Love is the first player in the shot-clock era (since 1954) to record 30-plus points and 10-plus rebounds in under 16 minutes of action.

-Evan Mobley had a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds, and he also added four blocks. Mobley finished the regular season with 21 double-doubles, the fourth-most for a rookie in Cavs’ history. 

-Lauri Markkanen had 23 points(4/7 3-PT FG) and seven rebounds. 

First Half: The Cavs jumped on the Pacers early and did not let up. Cleveland tied a season-high with 46 points in the first quarter, which tied a franchise record for most points in any quarter in team history. Cleveland shot 60% from the floor, including 10/15(67%) from downtown. They led by 26(46-20) after one.

Ultimately, the Cavs scored 79 points in the first half and led by 33 points(79-46) at the break.

The Not So Great for the Cavs:

Not today!!!

Bottom Line:

The Cavs caught a break as the Bucks were clearly not looking to win this game. Now, it’s time to prepare to head to Brooklyn to face the seventh-seeded Nets.

Brooklyn will be tough to beat, but it’s one game, so anything is possible.

On Friday, the Cavs were down 17 points in the first quarter against the Nets and were swimming upstream the rest of the way; they took the lead in the third but fell short in the fourth, so Cleveland must get off to a better start.

Playing Brooklyn again could be to the Cavs’ benefit.  For example, last season, the Memphis Grizzlies lost to the Golden State Warriors on the road in the season finale. A week later, Memphis went back on the road and beat the Warriors in the Play-In Tournament, so again, anything is possible. 

Fortunately, as the eighth seed, Cleveland will have two games to win one, so if they fall short against the Nets, they will have a home game against the winner of the Hornets(10) and Hawks(9).

Quotes:

“I like our chances when it comes down to a dog fight,” Love said after the win. “That’s what it’s going to be come Tuesday night.”

What’s Next:

The Cavs travel to Brooklyn to battle the Nets Tuesday night in the Play-In Tournament.

Best of the Rest:

-Mobley finished the season with 1,034 points, 570 rebounds(MOST among rookies), 174 assists, 115 blocks(MOST among rookies), 56 steals, and 21 double-doubles(MOST among rookies). 

-Love finished with 187 threes this season, which is the fourth most in team history.

-The Cavs finished the season 25-16 at home.

-Rajon Rondo had six points and a season-high 13 assists against the Bucks.

-Sandro Mamukelashvili led the Bucks with a career-high 28 points; Thanasis Antetkuonmpko had a career-high 27 points.

-Before the game, the Cavs announced that they had converted the contract of center Moses Brown to a standard NBA contract and signed guard RJ Nembhard to a two-way contract.

Brown, who would not have been eligible for the playoffs with a two-contract, signed his first 10-day contract with Cleveland on March 10, his second 10-day contract on March 21, and a two-way contract on March 31.  

Nembhard, prior to being waived on April 7, was signed to a standard NBA contract with Cleveland on March 31 and was originally signed to a two-way contract on October 16. Nembhard has appeared in 13 games this season for the Cavaliers and 13 games (12 starts) with the Cleveland Charge.

Listen below as Love and Mobley react to win over Bucks:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cavs’ Bickerstaff: ‘We’re a tough out for anybody’

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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Bottom Line:

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).

Quotes:

“We’re a tough out for anybody,” Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said about his team.

What’s Next:

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: