The Cavs returned home to battle the Timberwolves(6-8) on Sunday after going 2-3 on their five-game road trip, including three straight losses. Unfortunately, they would be without Donovan Mitchell(ankle), Jarrett Allen(ankle), and Dean Wade(knee).
The Cavs cut a 20-point fourth-quarter lead to two and had an opportunity to tie as they trailed 127-124 with 06.5 seconds left, but Kevin Love’s inbound pass was stolen by Rudy Gobert, and Minnesota held on to defeat the Cavs 129-124 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
Cleveland(8-5) has now lost four straight.
Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ loss to Minnesota
Darius Garland went crazy in the fourth and almost brought the Cavs all the way back. He scored 27 of his career-high 51 points on 16/31 shooting, including 10 threes to go along with six assists. The 16 field goals and 10 threes made are also career highs. He did everything, and I mean everything in his power to bring the Cavs back.
Garland struggled on the west coast trip, so this was a welcomed sight for the Cavs.
Fourth Quarter: Cleveland trailed by as many as 24 points in this contest and was down by 20 entering the fourth. We know what Garland did, but this team played with an energy that was missing in the first 36 minutes of the game. They scored 40 points in the quarter on 52% shooting, including eight threes, six of them by Garland. Conversely, they held Minnesota to 33% shooting. Unfortunately, it was too little, too late.
Not So Great:
Defense for the first three quarters: After three quarters, they allowed Minnesota to score 104 points on 64% shooting. In addition, the Timberwolves shot 52% from deep after three. Minnesota finished the game scoring 54 points in the paint and shooting 56% from the floor, including 50% from downtown.
First Quarter: Cleveland allowed Minnesota to score 40 points in the first. They trailed 40-20 after one. That first quarter set the tone for the rest of the game.
In the first nine games, Cleveland allowed 104 points per game; during the four-game losing streak, the Cavs have allowed 120 points per game. Last season, Cleveland’s defense was one reason the Cavs had success, and they have to regain that defensive identity going forward. Should there be some concern? Maybe, but it’s still very early.
Cleveland heads back on the road as they battle the Bucks in Milwaukee on Wednesday night.
Best of the Rest:
D’Angelo Russell led the Timberwolves with 30 points and 12 assists; Karl Anthony Towns added 29 points and 13 rebounds. Minnesota had five players in double figures.
Lamar Stevens added 15 points and six rebounds; Kevin Love and Cedi Osman chipped in with 14 points apiece. Like Minnesota, Cleveland had five players in double figures.
The Cleveland Cavaliers were hoping to build off Saturday’s win over the Wizards as they hosted the Minnesota Timberwolves Monday night.
Of course, Cleveland was still without Darius Garland(back), Caris LeVert(foot), and Rajon Rondo(toe).
After trailing by 23 points in the third, the Cavs(36-25) tied the score at 122 late in the fourth, but Karl-Anthony Towns hit a three with 12.4 seconds left to give Minnesota(33-29) a 127-122 victory at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
With the loss, Cleveland’s eight-game home winning streak was snapped.
Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ loss to Minnesota.
The Great for the Cavs:
-Kevin Love was 2/15 from the floor, including 1/9 from deep in the last two games. He broke out of his little shooting slump Monday night, and he helped lead the comeback. Love scored 18 of his game-high 26 points in the second half, including five threes. He also had five rebounds and four assists.
-Cedi Osman was also big-time off the Cavs’ bench. He scored eight of his 21 points in the fourth and made the game-tying three late in the fourth. Unfortunately, he missed a three with a chance to tie with 04.6 seconds left.
Osman also added five assists and was a huge reason the Cavs had a chance at the end.
-Brandon Goodwin did his job Monday night. He recorded the first double-double of his career with 17 points and a career-high 12 assists. Goodwin also had just one turnover, and he added four rebounds.
-Jarrett Allen had another efficient night as he had 21 points(9/10 FG) and eight rebounds.
-Rookie Evan Mobley registered his second straight double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Mobley has three double-doubles in the last four games, and he also had four assists and two blocks Monday night.
First Quarter: Cleveland got off to a great start against the Timberwolves. They shot 52% from the floor and got a big performance from Jarrett Allen, who scored 10 points on 4/5 shooting. In addition, they forced four turnovers, which led to nine points. Ultimately, the Cavs led 37-26 after one quarter.
Fourth Quarter: The Cavs cut Minnesota’s 23-point lead to 13 at the end of the third and continued to battle in the fourth. Cleveland went on a 13-4 run to cut the lead to 105-101, and they went on to tie the game at 122 late in the quarter.
In the final quarter, the Cavs shot 50% from the floor and almost pulled off the comeback.
The Not So Great for the Cavs:
Second Quarter: The Cavs struggled on the defensive end in the second quarter. Cleveland allowed Minnesota to shoot 68% from the field. The Cavs got a little sloppy with the ball as they turned it over seven times in the quarter, which led to 14 points for the Timberwolves. Minnesota would score 38 points in the quarter and take a 64-61 lead at halftime.
Third Quarter: After getting outscored by 14 points in the second quarter, Cleveland did not do much better in the third quarter. Minnesota went on a 29-9 run to start the third and took their largest lead of 23 points. The Timberwolves shot 60% from the floor, including 58%(7/12) from three-point range. Minnesota would outscore Cleveland 37-27 in the quarter and took a 101-88 lead into the fourth.
-Turnovers: Cleveland had a season-high-tying 22 turnovers Monday night, which led to 35 points for Minnesota. When you’re down two point guards, this is understandable. However, you have to do a better job protecting the ball.
Defense: Cleveland, who allows a league-best 102.7 ppg, allowed 101 points after three quarters. In addition, Cleveland allowed Minnesota to shoot 55% from the floor, including 18 threes. The Timberwolves scored 50 points in the paint.
The Cavs got close, but they just could not get over the hump against Minnesota. We all know how the Cavs must defend to win without Garland and LeVert, and that did not happen Monday night. To their credit, Cleveland never gave up in this one, but hey, no moral victories for this team; they need wins.
Cleveland(fifth-seed) is now 4.5 games behind the Heat for the top spot in the East, but they may have to worry about what’s behind them. The sixth-seeded Celtics(36-27) are one game behind Cleveland, and the Raptors(33-27), who are the seventh seed, are now 2.5 games behind the Cavs, so Cleveland, despite the injuries, has to win.
“We’re upset we lost because we fought really hard,” Osman said. “I apologize for that last shot. I have to be better in those positions.”
The Cavs conclude their three-game homestand Wednesday night against the Hornets.
Best of the Rest:
Minnesota had six players in double figures led by D’Angelo Russell’s 25 points, and Towns, Anthony Edwards, and Jaden McDaniels had 17 points apiece.
Cleveland also had six players in double figures.
Watch below as Love reacts to loss to Minnesota:
The Cleveland Cavaliers led the Minnesota Timberwolves from the beginning to the end Friday night. Cleveland jumped out to a 20-4 lead in the first and led by as many as 19 in the opening period.
Ultimately, Cleveland took a 65-44 lead at halftime. The Cavaliers’ largest lead was 33 points in this one as they routed the Timberwolves 123-106 at Target Center.
Cleveland had seven players in double figures.
After losing two straight, Cleveland(15-12) has now won two in a row and six out of their last eight, while Minnesota lost its fifth consecutive game.
Here is the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ win over Minnesota.
The Great for the Cavaliers:
-Isaac Okoro has been up and down on the offensive end this season, but on Friday night, he got it done. The second-year guard scored 11 of his season-high 16 points(7/10 FG) in the first half. Okoro does a lot on the defensive end. However, it was great to see him break out offensively.
-After 27 games, Jarrett Allen is an All-Star, and he continued to play that way against Minnesota. Allen had his second straight double-double as he had a team-high 21 points(9/11 FG) and grabbed 10 rebounds. According to StatMuse, Allen, who is averaging 17.3 points, 11.2 rebounds per contest on 71% shooting, is on pace to become the first player in NBA history to average 15 points, 10 rebounds on 70% shooting in a season.
-Kevin Love has embraced his new role off the bench, and he returned to Minnesota Friday night, where his NBA career began. The 13-year veteran had a double-double with 18 points, including three threes and a game and season-high 13 rebounds. He’s been in double figures three straight and six out of the last seven games.
-Lauri Markkanen was on fire against the Timberwolves. He scored 19 points(7/8 FG), including 4/5 from downtown. In the last three games, Markkanen is averaging 17.6 points on 65% shooting from the field.
-The man who makes it all work, Darius Garland, had a double-double with 12 points and a game-high 12 assists. He had some nifty passes Friday night, including this one to Evan Mobley:
DG TO MOBLEY! OH MY! pic.twitter.com/3C0SOToBgC
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) December 11, 2021
First Half: Cleveland was cooking in the first half. They shot 61.5% from the field, including (7/11) 63% from downtown, and on the defensive end, they limited Minnesota to 32.6% shooting from the floor and forced 10 turnovers. Cleveland led by 21 points at the break, and according to Cavs Notes, the last time the Cavaliers had a 21-point lead at halftime on the road was November 20, 2017.
The Not So Great for the Cavaliers:
There is nothing to see here. Check back another time. Well, we could nitpick about the turnovers(17), but we’ll pass on that for now.
Cleveland is now 9-5 on the road and has won four of their last five away from the friendly confines of Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. All four of those road wins have been by at least 15 points. In addition, since November 1, they are 7-2 on the road; the only two teams with better road winning percentages in that timeframe are Brooklyn and Phoenix.
This team gets it done collectively, as evidenced by seven players in double figures and three with double-doubles Friday. Clearly, they are ahead of schedule right now, which is a great thing!
“I feel teams are starting to respect us now, and we got to keep on fighting,” Okoro said post-game.
The Cavs return home Saturday night against Sacramento as Cleveland will play three straight at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
Best of the Rest:
-Cedi Osman added 13 points off the Cavs’ bench; Mobley chipped in with 11 points, eight rebounds, and two blocks, and in his return to Minnesota, Ricky Rubio had six points and eight assists.
-Karl Anthony Towns led Minnesota with 21 points, seven rebounds, and three blocks.
Watch below as Markkanen and Okoro react to the big win over Minnesota:
Philadelphia 76ers C Joel Embiid made his return to the court on Saturday after missing nine games with COVID-19.
The four-time All-Star picked up where he left off as he led all players with 42 points and tied a game-high with 14 boards, but Philadelphia would fall to Minnesota 121-120 in double OT.
After the game, Embiid discussed his battle with COVID, and according to him, it wasn’t good.
“It hasn’t been good,” Embiid said. “That jawn hit me hard; I really thought I wasn’t going to make it. It was that bad, so I’m just thankful to be sitting here. You know, I struggled with it, but I’m just glad I got over it. You know, I’m just here doing what I love with some good people.”
Minnesota C Karl Anthony-Towns and Embiid have had their issues over the year, but Towns, who sadly lost multiple members of his family to COVID, including his mother, is happy to see Embiid back on the court.
“I told Embiid on the court as well; I am very happy that he’s come to the other side with COVID because we have had our thing for a while, but that’s bigger than basketball, that’s bigger than what we have,” Towns said. “I’ve seen it kill people, and I’m glad that he is on the other side, you know, so I am very, very happy that he’s doing well and he’s coming out on the other side and that he is healthy and he is getting himself back into basketball. No matter how we have felt about each other at times in the past, I think he is a hell of a player, and I am happy that the NBA has him back because, like I said, I want to play against the best of the best and he is one of the best, so it makes me have to play better, and it gives me a challenge.”
There are many things more significant than basketball, and COVID Is one of them, so it’s good to see Embiid and Towns bury the hatchet.
Jeff Teague is back where it all started for him in the NBA. Minnesota sent Teague and Treveon Graham to Atlanta in exchange for guard/forward Allen Crabbe, it was announced today.
Teague, originally selected 19th overall by the Hawks in the 2009 NBA Draft, has averaged 12.7 points, 5.8 assists and 1.2 steals in 27.7 minutes (.446 FG%, .357 3FG%, .843 FT%) over the course of 746 games (589 starts) with Atlanta, Indiana and Minnesota.
In 34 games (13 starts) with the Timberwolves this season, Teague posted 13.2 points and 6.1 assists (.448 FG%, .379 3FG%, .868 FT%) in 27.8 minutes.
The 10-year veteran spent his first seven seasons with the Hawks and compiled 12.1 points, 5.2 assists and 1.2 steals per game in 518 contests (383 starts). The Wake Forest product ranks fifth on Atlanta’s all-time assists list (2,671), seventh in steals (613) and ninth in 3FGM (420) and was named an Eastern Conference All-Star during the 2014-15 season.
Graham, who made his NBA debut in 2016-17, has appeared in 158 games (44 starting assignments) with Charlotte, Brooklyn and Minnesota. The 6’6” shooting guard from Virginia Commonwealth has averaged 4.3 points and 2.2 rebounds per contest for his career. A native of Temple Hills, MD., Graham averaged 5.2 points and 3.0 rebounds in 33 games (20 starts) with the Timberwolves this season.
The Hawks acquired Crabbe from Brooklyn on July 6, 2019. The six-year veteran saw action in 28 games (one starting assignment) for Atlanta and averaged 5.1 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 18.6 minutes. For his career, he’s posted 9.2 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 24.2 minutes (.426 FG%, .389 FG%, .833 FT%) over 372 games (113 starts).
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, All-Star F Jimmy Butler has requested a trade from the Timberwolves and is considering the following teams: Knicks, Nets, and Clippers. While Butler reportedly has those teams on his list, he really wants to be with the Clippers, according to the report.
However, according to ESPN’s Max Kellerman, Butler should consider the San Antonio Spurs.
“He can go to the Spurs, and (Gregg)Popovich would put him in the best position to win,” Kellerman said on First Take today.
— First Take (@FirstTake) September 20, 2018
Butler, 29, was traded to Minnesota last season after spending his first six seasons in league with the Bulls.
Butler has two years left on his contract, but he can opt out of his deal after next season.
Based on the teams that are reportedly on Butler’s list, he wants to play in a big market. Therefore, while the Spurs might be good for him on the court, off the court, San Antonio is not on the level of Los Angeles and New York. With that being said, Butler to San Antonio probably does not happen.
Tuesday was a good day for the state of Minnesota. Earlier in the day, the Minnesota Vikings agreed to terms with ex-Redskins QB Kirk Cousins on a three-year $84 million deal.
Later that day, the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Washington Wizards 116-111 in D.C. last night.
After the game, here is what the Timberwolves tweeted:
Decent little Tuesday. pic.twitter.com/FNOHdna7LQ
— Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) March 14, 2018
What a crazy ending in Minnesota! Stefon Diggs had a walk-off touchdown against the Saints as the Vikings beat New Orleans 29-24, and now the Vikings are off to Philly to battle the Eagles in the NFC Championship Game.
While that game was going on, the Timberwolves were preparing to play the Blazers at the Target Center in Minnesota.
Here is how the fans there reacted to Diggs’ touchdown:
— NBC Sports Northwest (@NBCSNorthwest) January 15, 2018
According to The Salt Lake Tribune, the Minnesota Timberwolves will send Ricky Rubio to Utah for a 2018 first-round pick. It has been rumored for weeks that Rubio could be on the move. The 26-year-old Rubio averaged 11 ppg and 9 apg last season for Minnesota.
This means that soon to be free agent guard George Hill will probably not return to Utah, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.