Cavs Top 3: Darius Garland can’t topple LeBron James despite big game

The Cleveland Cavaliers couldn’t get past the LA Lakers despite Darius Garland’s big game.

The Cleveland Cavaliers’ defense and bench fell apart when the team needed them the most. The LeBron James-led LA Lakers and the Cavs played evens-and-odds, with the Cavaliers winning the first and third quarters, and the Lakers winning the second and fourth quarters. The Lakers did more damage in those two quarters than the Cavs did in theirs. The Cavs lost 131-120 and fell to 41-31 on the season.

The lack of perimeter defense wasn’t the issue (Lakers shot just 37%), it was Russell Westbrook and James attacking the heart of the paint.

Without Jarrett Allen, the Cavs can’t run their game to the same level of effectiveness that they’ve done before. That and well, it didn’t help that DJ Augustin of all players went off on the Cavs. The former Bobcat shot 7-7 from the floor, while six of those were from three. He finished with 20 very unexpected points.

The Cavs starting five played great offensively, but not so great on defense. On those nights, the bench unit can bail them out with the shooting of Kevin Love and Cedi Osman, but that didn’t happen on Monday. Instead, Osman and Love shot just 5-15 combined for the game and finished with a combined 13 points.

They remain one game-up on the Toronto Raptors for the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference but fall to six back of the top-seeded Heat.

Darius Garland can’t plug the holes in the Cavaliers’ defense

Cavs Top 3

  1. Isaac Okoro
  2. Lauri Markkanen
  3. Darius Garland

The first point goes to Isaac Okoro, who went 4-4 from three. He finished with 12 points and a BPM of +12. Okoro is shooting the ball much better this season, but he’s still far from a finished project.

Lauri Markkanen’s hot second-half continues, as he gets the game’s two-pointer. Markkanen had 18 points, nine rebounds, and shot 50% for the game. Markkanen also played solid defense all things considered and finished with a  BPM of +2.

The three-pointer goes to Darius Garland, who had 29 points and 17 assists. He shot 44% from the floor and hit all seven of his free throws.

Yearly Standing:


  1. Darius Garland (80 points)
  2. Jarrett Allen (68 points)
  3. Kevin Love (60)
  4. Evan Mobley (50 points)
  5. Lauri Markkanen (51)
  6. Cedi Osman ( 36 points)
  7. Ricky Rubio (32 points)
  8. Isaac Okoro (18 points)
  9. Dean Wade (10 points)
  10. Rajon Rondo (6 points)
  11. Lamar Stevens (4 points)
  12. Caris LeVert (4 points)
  13. Brandon Goodwin (3 points)
  14. Dylan Windler (1 point)