Cleveland Cavaliers fall short of pulling off another comeback
The Cleveland Cavaliers came up short in a high-scoring affair at home against the Minnesota Timberwolves to lose, 127-122. The Cavs were on the verge of completing another huge comeback but just did not have enough to pull through.
Despite racing to a 14-point lead in a massive opening quarter, the Cavaliers slowly surrendered the double-digit edge they brought into the second period and were already facing a three-point deficit by halftime.
Falling behind by as much as 23 at one point, the resilient Cleveland team clawed all the way back, tying the ball game with about 33 seconds remaining in the closing frame.
However, a clutch triple from the newly-minted NBA Three-Point Contest winner Karl-Anthony Towns and subsequent free throws from De’Angelo Russell slammed the door hard on the Cavaliers’ comeback attempt. Russell top-scored in the game with 25 points, while Towns added 17 in the Timberwolves’ win.
Cavs are still in running to secure homecourt advantage in the playoffs
Still without All-Star point guard Darius Garland, the Cavs got hefty contributions from the bench mob duo of Kevin Love and Cedi Osman, who led the team in scoring with 26 and 21 points from the second unit.
Brandon Goodwin, who started in place of Garland, had another impressive outing with 17 points and 12 assists, while the Tower City trifecta of Jarrett Allen, Evan Mobley, and Lauri Markkanen also added a combined 53 points in the high-scoring loss.
While the rest of the team stepped up offensively in the absence of their best scorers in both Garland and Caris LeVert, they still looked rudderless at times. The defensive effort was also very much lackluster against Minnesota.
The usually stifling team gave up the most points they have for the entire season, breaking an erstwhile impressive feat of holding opponents to an average of 99.2 points per game at the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse.
Now 36-25, the Cleveland Cavaliers will attempt to climb back up to within the top four seeds in the East by closing the three-game homestand with a win against the Charlotte Hornets on March 2nd.