Osman: ‘We’re down a couple of guys, but everybody did their job for us’

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.

Bottom Line:

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.

What’s Next:

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:


Cavs stumble late against Wizards, but to their credit, they fought hard

It appeared on Wednesday night that the Cleveland Cavaliers(7-5) were going to get their fifth straight win as they had a 10-point lead with just under 11 minutes left against the visiting Washington Wizards(8-5).

Cleveland would take a nine-point lead with just over six minutes to go. However, Washington would close the game on a 19-7 run and took the lead for good when Kyle Kuzma hit a corner three with 11.4 seconds. Washington would hold on to defeat the Cavs 97-94 to snap Cleveland’s four-game winning streak.

Here is the Great, Not so Great, and the Bottom Line of Cleveland’s loss to Washington:

The Great for the Cavaliers:

-Ricky Rubio led the way for Cleveland with 20 points, five assists, five rebounds, and two steals in 28 minutes off the bench. This is the second straight game where Rubio, who was getting serenaded with MVP chants, led the team in points and assists.

-Evan Mobley continues to pile up the numbers. He had 19 points, seven rebounds, two assists, and a block. After 12 games, Mobley is second among rookies in points(15.3), rebounds(7.9), and first in blocks(1.3) per contest.

-Darius Garland had 19 points and four assists. He also made a team-high three three-point shots on Wednesday night.

Not so Great for the Cavaliers:

Fourth Quarter: Cleveland had a six-point lead entering the fourth, but Washington would outscore the Cavs 29-20 in the final period. Cleveland shot 1/10 three-point range in the quarter. In addition, Washington shot 57% from the field, including 5/11 from three-point range.

Leaving Kuzma open for three: Kuzma, who scored 12 of his 22 points in the fourth, was hot as he was 4/5 from three-point range in the quarter, and with the Cavs leading 93-89 with 30.4 seconds, Kuzma hit a three to cut it to one.

Rubio would make one of two free throws to give Cleveland a 94-92 lead. With the Wizards trailing by two, Kuzma would get open and knocked down a three in the corner. Cleveland, who had a foul to give, tried to foul Bradley Beal, but the officials did not call it, and Kuzma was able to get free. 

“We had a foul to give, and we fouled Bradley Beal, and they missed the call,” Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said postgame. “We have to learn in this situation; the three is what kills you.”

Darius Garland’s final shot: Cleveland had one last chance to win, and with the Cavs trailing by one, Garland launched a 25-foot three with 04.3 seconds. It was not a bad shot, but the third-year guard should have worked to get a better shot.

 “When it left my hands, I thought it was good,” Garland said. “All my shots were like that. But that one felt really good, just didn’t go in.” 

Bottom Line:

This was a game the Cavaliers should have won, but the Wizards were able to execute better down the stretch. Washington is the more experienced team, and it showed in this one. Cleveland is without many of their key pieces(Sexton, Love, and Markkanen), but they continue to battle to their credit.

What’s Next:

Cleveland continues their four-game homestand on Friday against the Pistons.

Best of the Rest:

-Montrezl Harrell led Washington with 24 points and 11 rebounds off the bench. Cleveland did a decent job on Wizards star Bradley Beal, who had only 13 points on 4/19 shooting from the field.

-Cavs Jarrett Allen had his fifth consecutive double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Gilbert Arenas: ‘Ingram was your future, but Kuzma is better’

Former NBA star Gilbert Arenas has never been shy about expressing his opinions, which is a good thing!

When it comes to the Los Angeles Lakers, Arenas believes that rookie Kyle Kuzma is better than second- year player Brandon Ingram.

“Ingram was your future, but Kuzma is better. He’s has a better feel; he plays better,” Arenas told TMZ Sports earlier this week.

Kuzma got his first start last night against the Brooklyn Nets, and did not disappoint. He finished with 21 points and 13 rebounds as the Lakers beat the Nets 124-112 at Staples Center.  Both Kuzma and Ingram were in the starting lineup against Brooklyn.  Ingram played well, too. He finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds.

Is Kuzma better than Ingram? Maybe, but both can play and grow together. As we saw last night, playing these two together can work.