Cavs end win streak at four games
The Cleveland Cavaliers failed to capitalize on both momentum and homecourt advantage as they fell to the Washington Wizards. Despite having led for most of the second half, the Cavs found themselves on the losing end of a 97-94 heartbreak.
Cleveland once again showed out, nearly packing the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse for the team’s fourth home game this season, with great excitement and anticipation for the resurgent Cavaliers team.
However, nearly 47 and a half minutes of exhilaration turned into disappointment, as the Cavs failed to win a fifth consecutive game after new Washington transplant Kyle Kuzma drained back-to-back triples to steal the win.
With the Cavs firmly ahead 93-89 with about 30 seconds remaining, Kuzma went ahead to make two consecutive triples to take the lead for Washington while Cleveland failed to connect with another field goal.
Veteran floor general Ricky Rubio led all Cavaliers with 20 points to go with five rebounds and five assists. Darius Garland and rookie Evan Mobley added 19 apiece, while Jarrett Allen chipped in with 13 in the loss.
Isaac Okoro, who returned to the lineup after recovering from a hamstring strain, made an immediate impact that goes beyond the stat sheets. Despite finishing with just two points and six rebounds, his tenacious defense was vital in keeping the Wizards’ All-Star guard Bradley Beal in check.
It was Montrezl Harrell who led Washington in scoring as he notched a double-double of 24 points and 11 boards to complement the hero of the match Kuzma, who finished with 22 markers.
The Cavs can bounce right back
Cleveland being 7-5 this early the season is an achievement in itself, but don’t tell that to these guys. With a renewed sense of purpose, the young squad has been playing inspired, like every game is theirs to lose.
Sure, it is disappointing to see them lose at home after that spirited blowout win in New York, but you can’t expect to go through stretches without speedbumps. As long as they figure out the kinks, and not fall into old habits, the Cavaliers should be fine.
With key cogs Kevin Love, Lauri Markkanen, and Collin Sexton out, guys like Cedi Osman, Dean Wade, Lamar Stevens, or even Dylan Windler will continue to see minutes on the floor. And even though there is still much to be desired when it comes to consistency, the bench is proving to be much deeper than that of a season ago.
The Cavaliers will have a chance to make a few adjustments and bounce right back up when they host current bottom dwellers of the Eastern Conference, the Detroit Pistons, on November 12.