Official: Cavs sign Rubio, Neto, Lopez

The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed guards Ricky Rubio and Raul Neto, and center Robin Lopez, the team announced Friday.

According to Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor, the Cavs are giving Ricky Rubio a three-year deal worth $18.4 million, including a partial guarantee in the final year, while Neto and Lopez have reportedly signed one-year contracts.

“Our focus during this offseason has been centered around making this team better and finding the best talent to help strengthen this roster,” Cavs president of basketball operations Koby Altman said via a press release announcing the move. “When you think about the impact Ricky had on our team last season, his addition became a priority to bring back to Cleveland. We also feel Robin and Raul are both high-character guys who have played a great amount of meaningful basketball and will bring the right balance of seasoned experience and depth to our emerging young core. We are excited for Ricky’s return and welcome Robin and Raul to the Cavaliers family.”  

Rubio, 31, was acquired by the Cavs last August in the deal that sent Taurean Prince and a 2022 second-round pick to Minnesota. The 11-year veteran was having a tremendous season and was one of the reasons the Cavs got off to a great start. In 34 games last season (eight starts), the 6-3 guard averaged 13.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, 6.6 assists, and 1.44 steals.

However, he tore his left ACL in December. Ultimately, his expiring contract was traded to the Pacers in February in the deal that brought Caris LeVert to Cleveland. 

Last season in Orlando, the 34-year-old Lopez appeared in 36 games (nine starts), averaging 7.1 points and 3.5 rebounds in 17.0 minutes. Since 2008, he is one of seven NBA players to shoot .530+ FG% and .700+ FT% over that span, joining Jonas Valanciunas, Enes Freedom, Nikola Jokic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Domantas Sabonis, and Amar’e Stoudemire (min. 400 games played). 

The 7-footer was selected with the 15th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns. Over his 14-year career, Lopez has spent time with Phoenix, New Orleans, Portland, New York, Chicago, Milwaukee, Washington, and Orlando.

The 30-year-old Neto appeared in 70 games (19 starts) for the Washington Wizards last season, averaging 7.5 points, a career-best 3.1 assists, and 1.9 rebounds in 19.6 minutes. As a starter last season, Neto shot 16-39 (.410) from beyond the arc and scored in double figures on nine occasions. 

Neto, a second-round pick of the Hawks in 2013, has played seven NBA seasons with Utah, Philadelphia, and Washington. Before coming to the NBA, he played professionally in Brazil and Spain from 2008-15. A native of Brazil, Neto competed in the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games as a member of the Brazilian National Team.

Neto will probably be the backup point guard for the Cavs until Rubio gets healthy, while Lopez should be the primary backup for center Jarrett Allen. These moves should strengthen the Cavs bench and give this team more veterans to support their young stars. 

Report: Ricky Rubio returns to Cavs

Ricky Rubio and the Cavs are reunited, and it feels so good!

According to Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor, the Cavs are giving Ricky Rubio a three-year deal worth $18.4 million, including a partial guarantee in the final year.

Rubio, who was acquired by the Cavs last August in the deal that sent Taurean Prince and a 2022 second-round pick to Minnesota, tore his left ACL in December and ultimately his expiring contract was traded to the Pacers in February in the deal that brought Caris LeVert to Cleveland. 

The 31-year-old guard was having a tremendous season and was one of the reasons the Cavs got off to a great start. In 34 games last season (eight starts), Rubio averaged 13.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, 6.6 assists, and 1.44 steals.

The Cavs tried everything in their power to replace Rubio, including adding veteran Rajon Rondo, but he battled injuries as well, and Cleveland did not get what they needed from that backup point guard spot, which forced All-Star Darius Garland to log heavy minutes.

There are no guarantees that the 11-year veteran will be the same player when he returns, probably sometime in December or January. Remember, Rubio tore the same ACL in 2012, and now he’s a little older, so it should be interesting how this plays out.

Free agent deals won’t be official until July 6. 

Cavs’ Rubio out for season with torn ACL

Cavaliers point guard Ricky Rubio with miss the rest of the 2021-22 NBA season after tearing his ACL, the team announced Wednesday.

According to the Cavs, an MRI administered Wednesday revealed the injury.

The 31-year-old Rubio left Tuesday night’s road loss to the Pelicans late in the fourth quarter and did not return.

This is a massive loss for the Cavaliers. Rubio, who Cleveland acquired from Minnesota in the offseason, was averaging a career-high 13.1 points, 6.6 assists, and 4.1 rebounds per contest off Cleveland’s bench. The 10-year veteran gave the Cavaliers great minutes this season.

The Cavaliers will need another point guard on this roster. At this point, Kevin Pangos would be the backup point guard, but that probably won’t be enough, and with Darius Garland out due to health and safety protocols, Pangos could be the starter going forward.

Cleveland returns to action Thursday night against the Washington Wizards.

 

 

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’ Osman on loss to Suns: ‘We compete’

The Phoenix Suns rode into Cleveland to face the Cavaliers on a 13-game winning streak, so Cleveland knew they would have their hands full Wednesday night.

The Cavaliers battled the Western Conference champions to the end, but they would lose 120-115 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

The Cavaliers(9-10) have lost five straight, while the Suns(15-3) extend their win streak to 14 games.

Here is the Great, Not so Great, and Bottom Line of the Cavs’ loss to Phoenix.

The Great for the Cavaliers:

-Cedi Osman returned Wednesday after missing two games with a back spasms, and he was outstanding. Osman had 23 points off Cleveland’s bench, including a team-high five threes. It was a night of milestones for Osman as he got his 200th career steal and 1,000th career field goal.

=Jarrett Allen is having a great season, and maybe an All-Star caliber season. Allen had 18 of his team-high 25 points(9-10 FG) in the first half against the Suns and collected 11 rebounds. He went head-to-head with Deandre Ayton and was dominant. The 18 points in a half was a career-high for Allen.

-Darius Garland was in foul trouble for most of the night and fouled out in the fourth, but he had another solid night with 19 points and seven assists.

-Second Quarter:  Cleveland trailed 36-33 after one but picked things up in the second quarter. They had another 33-point quarter led by Ricky Rubio’s 12 points. In addition, they picked it up on the defensive end as the Cavs held Phoenix to 38% from the field, including 1/6 from downtown. Cleveland would take a 66-61 lead into halftime. The 66 points were the most the Cavs scored in the first half this season.

Grit, Heart, Scrap: The Cavs showed all these things against the Suns. Their grit, heart, and scrap almost got them a victory, but the Suns are so good and know how to make all the right plays down the stretch. However, that does not take away from the effort the Cavs displayed.

Not So Great for the Cavaliers:

-Third Quarter: The third quarter was the worst shooting quarter for the Cavs Wednesday night. They shot 37% from the field, including 1/5 from downtown. Phoenix, who leads the league in team field goal percentage, shot 48 percent from the floor and ultimately took a one-point lead into the fourth. The Suns finished the game shooting 51% from the field.

-Fourth Quarter Defense: The Cavs were not bad in the fourth quarter, but they gave Phoenix too many good looks. Phoenix had their best shooting quarter of the game as they shot 11/18(61%) from the floor; only one of those 11 field goals was a three, so a lot of mid-range jumpers from the Suns, including down the stretch when Chris Paul hit a pull up jumper with just under two minutes left to give Phoenix the lead for good.

Second Half Ricky Rubio: Rubio scored 12 of his 15 points in the first half(4/11 FG). Second half, much different story as Rubio was 1/9 from the field and had three points. On two occasions, with the Suns leading by three late, Phoenix purposely fouled Rubio and would not let Cleveland get off a three-point shot. However, both times Rubio missed the first free throw, and ultimately, the Suns’ plan worked. Rubio finished the game shooting 5/20 from the field.

Bottom Line:

Again, again, again, there are no moral victories in the NBA. Absolutely none! However, the Cavs are building; they were without one of their best players in Evan Mobley, and the Suns have won 14 straight, so give Cleveland credit; they went toe-to-toe with one of the best teams in basketball and did not blink. So, for me, the Cavs get a moral victory against the Suns. Sadly, it does not count in the standings.

“Obviously, was a tough ending for us but for the 48 minutes, we were right there,” Osman said. “We compete.”

What’s Next:

Cleveland finishes off their four-game homestand Saturday night against the Orlando Magic. The Cavs our 0-3 on this homestand.

Best of the Rest:

-Phoenix had six players in double figures as Devin Booker had a game-high 35 points. Paul had 17 points and a game-high 11 assists. Deandre Ayton had 16 points and nine rebounds. JaVale McGee had a double-double with 13 points and a game-high 12 rebounds off the bench.

-Cleveland also had six players in double figures. Lauri Markkanen had a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Kevin Love had 14 points and eight rebounds off the bench. Cleveland had 52 points off their bench.

-Phoenix’s 14-game win streak started on October 30th against guess who? The Cavaliers.

Watch below as Osman and Allen talk loss to Suns:

Cavs’ Bickerstaff: ‘Stephen Curry is a hell of a basketball player’

The Cavaliers were again without many of their key players on Thursday night against the Warriors. They were missing Collin Sexton, Lauri Markkanen, Jarrett Allen, Evan Mobley, Cedi Osman, and Lamar Stevens. Also, they were playing the second half of a back-to-back after losing to Brooklyn on Wednesday night.

Cleveland took a 13-point lead into the fourth quarter but was outscored 36-8 in the final period, and Golden State would defeat the Cavs 104-89 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

The Cavaliers(9-8) have now lost three straight while the Warriors(13-2) have won nine of 10.

Here is the Great, the Not so Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ loss to the Warriors.

The Great for the Cavaliers:

-Cleveland had five players in double figures led by Darius Garland, who scored 18 of his team and season-high 25 points in the first half. In that first half, Garland was 7/12 from the field, including four threes.

-Kevin Love scored 11 of his 17 points in the third quarter off the bench. Love was on fire in third as he was 3/4 from the field, including 2/3 from downtown. This was his second straight solid performance after he missed eight games due to COVID.

-Dean Wade gave the Cavs 17 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists in 40 minutes of action. He also made three threes.

-Ed Davis got his second consecutive start on Thursday night, and he did a great job on the glass. Davis, who started at center, had seven points, grabbed 13 of his game-high 14 rebounds in the first half, and added two blocks. The 13 rebounds in a half is a career-high for Davis.

Third Quarter: Cleveland had another extraordinary third quarter. After outscoring the Nets 32-19 in the third on Wednesday night, the Cavs outscored the Warriors 27-17 in the quarter. Golden State shot only 41.2% from the field, including 2/8 from three-point range. Love scored 11 points, and the Cavaliers took a 13-point lead into the fourth(81-68). However, the fourth quarter was a different story.

The Not So Great for the Cavaliers:

Fourth Quarter: Cleveland led 81-68 entering the fourth, but the Warriors, mainly Steph Curry, woke up. The two-time MVP scored 20 of his game-high 40 points in the quarter, including four threes. Golden State went on a 17-0 run to start the fourth to take the lead. Cleveland went almost six minutes without a point.

The Warriors outscored the Cavs 36-8 in the final period. Cleveland went cold as they shot 2/14 from the field, including 0-7 from downtown.

Turnovers: The Cavaliers did not take care of the ball against the Warriors, and they finished with 20 turnovers, including seven by Garland.

Bottom Line:

For 36 minutes, it appeared the Cavs could pull off the upset, but the Warriors are one of the best teams in the league for a reason, and it showed. Despite the loss, Cleveland can hold their heads high. They battled two of the best teams in basketball, with 80% percent of their opening-day starting lineup in street clothes. Now, they get three days off, which will give players time to get healthy.

“Stephen Curry is a hell of a basketball player,” Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “The shots he was making weren’t easy.”

What’s Next:

Cleveland will continue their four-game homestand on Monday against the Brooklyn Nets.

Best of the Rest:

-Curry was 9/14 from three-point range. Draymond Green had four points and 14 assists; Nemanja Bjelica scored 14 points off the bench, and Andrew Wiggins added 12 points.

-Ricky Rubio had 10 points and five assists; Isaac Okoro chipped in with 10 points, seven rebounds, and three assists.

Listen Below as Garland and Wade react to the loss to Warriors:

Cavs’ Love on loss to Nets: ‘There was so much we did better in the second half’

The Brooklyn Nets are one of the best teams in basketball, so even with a healthy roster, the Cavs would have a hard time beating them at Barclays Center. 

Cleveland, who were without four of their five starters(Collin Sexton, Jarrett Allen, Lauri Markkanen, and Evan Mobley), trailed by as many as 23 points before trimming the lead to seven in the fourth. However, they would fall short and lose to the Nets(11-5) 109-99 on Wednesday night.

The Cavaliers(9-7) have now lost two straight.

Here is the Great, Not so Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ loss to Brooklyn:

The Great for the Cavaliers:

Cavs’ Backcourt: Ricky Rubio(25 points, five assists, and four rebounds) and Darius Garland(24 points, six assists, and five rebounds) combined for 49 points, 11 assists, and nine rebounds on Wednesday. These two scored half of Cleveland’s points against Brooklyn, but it wasn’t enough.

Second-Half Garland: Garland was sizzling in the second half. He scored 20 points in the second half, including 13 points in the fourth. He finished the half 8/14 from the field, including 3/7 from downtown. After struggling early, the third-year guard kept on shooting, and the shots started to fall. Garland ended the game 10/26 from the floor.

Third Quarter: Cleveland trailed 62-41 at halftime. However, they finally woke up in the third. The Cavs outscored the Nets 32-19 in the quarter, and Garland and Rubio had seven points apiece. Ultimately, the Cavs got within striking distance as they trailed 81-73 after three. 

“There was so much we did better in the second half (and) really started to make (the Nets) feel us,” Kevin Love said postgame.

Love is in the Air: Love returned after missing eight games due to his bout with COVID-19. He was solid on Wednesday as he had 11 points and nine rebounds off the bench.

“The first four or five days were pretty tough,” Love said. “All the usual symptoms that I think people might get. Crazy muscle aches, sensitive skin, can’t smell, taste, muscle spasms, fatigue. Then just chest and head got hit pretty tough as well. Definitely don’t wish that on anybody.”

The Not so Great for the Cavaliers:

First Half:  In the first half, the Cavaliers were ice-cold as they shot 33.3% from the field, including 4/24 from three-point range. Brooklyn was moving the ball in that half as they had 17 assists on 20 made field goals. 

First Half Garland:  Garland shot 2/12 from the field, including 0/4 from downtown, and finished with four points, two assists, and two turnovers. He struggled, but as we all know, he turned it around in the second half.

Bottom Line:

We all knew Cleveland would have to play out of their mind to beat Brooklyn, and they still might have lost. This would be a tough stretch for the Cavaliers with all their players, but it becomes even more difficult without their key players. After the Warriors, who have the best record in basketball, they have the Nets again on Monday and the Suns on Wednesday before ending their homestand on Saturday against the Magic.

What’s Next:

On Thursday night, the Cavs return home to start a four-game homestand against the Warriors.

Best of the Rest:

Brooklyn had four players score 20 points or more on Wednesday night led by James Harden’s 27 points; LaMarcus Aldridge added 24 points off the bench, Kevin Durant had 23 points, and Patty Mills chipped in with 21 (six threes).

Ed Davis got his first start of season for Cleveland. He was effective in 24 minutes and finished with six points and a game-high 11 rebounds.

Listen below as Love and Garland react to Cleveland’s loss to Brooklyn:

Cavs’ Rubio on injuries: ‘We can’t be complaining about this guy being out or that guy’

Beating a team twice in a two-game set is very difficult, and it becomes even harder when you are down many of your key players. That is what the Cavaliers had to do on Monday at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse as they concluded their two-game set against the Boston Celtics. 

Coming into this game, Cleveland had won two straight and six of their last seven.

Cleveland, who overcame a 19-point deficit to beat the Celtics on Saturday night, was already missing Lauri Markkanen(Return To Competition Reconditioning), Kevin Love(Return To Competition Reconditioning), Collin Sexton(knee), Lamar Stevens(Ankle), and Jarrett Allen(Illness). They would also lose rookie Evan Mobley(elbow) early in the fourth. 

The Cavaliers(9-6) trailed by as much as nine points in the fourth and got within one late in the game, but Boston’s Dennis Schroder hit two big shots and stretched the Celtics lead to five, and Cleveland would fall to Boston(7-7) 98-92.

Here is the Great, Not so Great, and the Bottomline of the Cavs’ loss to Boston:

The Great for the Cavaliers:

-Cedi Osman scored 12 of his 26 points, including four of his game-high six threes in the fourth. He also dished out five assists off the Cavaliers’ bench. The five-year veteran is giving the Cavs great minutes off the bench this season, and he is shooting a career-high 42% from three-point range. 

-Ricky Rubio scored 26 of his game-high 28 points in the second half, including 14 in the third quarter. Rubio got the start for Cleveland. He also added six rebounds and two assists on Monday. He, like Osman, kept the Cavs in this game, and was making array of shots off the dribble.

The Not so Great for the Cavaliers:

-Evan Mobley: Mama said there would be days like this, and Mobley, who started at center for the injured Allen, had an off day for the Cavs. He was 0/11 from the floor and scored only two points, but he did have nine rebounds, five assists, and two blocks. Mobley will learn from this one as Boston’s Al Horford defended him very well. 

On Tuesday, the Cavs announced that Mobley would be out 2-4 weeks after an MRI confirmed that he had a sprained right elbow. According to the team, Mobley will now undergo a period of treatment and rehabilitation.

Shooting: Cleveland shot 38.6% from the field on Monday night, but they did shoot 40% from downtown, so it wasn’t all bad. 

Bottom Line:

Both teams were playing their third game in four nights on Monday, and it showed.

Cleveland would’ve had to play better than they did on Saturday night to get this one, and without their key players, including Mobley, defeating Boston was going to be tough.

Mobley going down is a significant loss for the Cavaliers. He was playing so well. Hopefully, they can get Markkanen and Love back soon. Cleveland battled injuries all last season and is struggling with injuries now, but this is a resilient bunch, so expect this team to fight. 

“Hopefully, the guys who are out get healthy and recover fast,” Rubio said postgame. “We are who we are. Tonight, nine players played. If we have to play with five players we will. We can’t be complaining about this guy being out or that guy. At the end of the day, everybody goes through a lot of stuff.”

What’s Next:

Cleveland, who went 2-2 on their four-game homestand, goes to Brooklyn to battle the Nets before returning home for another four-game homestand.

Best of the Rest:

-Darius Garland had 17 points, including three threes on Monday night; Isaac Okoro had a bounce-back performance for Cleveland as he had 12 points, five rebounds, and three assists. On Saturday, Okoro was 0/7 and finished with two points.

-Boston’s Jayson Tatum scored 23 points, and in his return from a back injury, Horford added 17 points and nine rebounds.

Watch below as Osman and Rubio react to Cleveland’s loss to Boston:

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.