Cleveland Cavaliers are now on their first skid of the season
The Cleveland Cavaliers lose two straight after failing to complete a comeback against the Sacramento Kings on the road, 127-120. Following back-to-back losses, they are now tied with the Boston Celtics in second in the Eastern Conference.
One would hope that following the heartbreaking failure to close out the LA Clippers would light a fire under the young squad to prove their mettle against a lesser team, but they came out flat on both ends. Their porous defense actually allowed the home team to race to 69 huge points in the first half, falling behind as much as 15.
Not even Donovan Mitchell’s 38-point night was enough to lift Cleveland, who remained in the rearview nearly the entire game. An and-one play by Evan Mobley (16 points) gave the team their first lead in the second half midway through the final quarter, but the King’s fluid shooting doused any hope for a comeback.
Caris LeVert finished with 21 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists to help mount the rally back, but this time it was Darius Garland who pulled off a disappearing act. The 22-year-old playmaker had eight assists but was visibly struggling to find his shot to tally just six markers off one field goal in nine tries.
The Cavs need to take a step back and refocus
Garland was obviously out of it against Sacramento, probably due to being out of conditioning after being sidelined with an eye injury sustained in the opening night loss to the Toronto Raptors. Backup point guard Raul Neto being out didn’t help Cleveland’s case either, as they coughed up 18 turnovers against the Kings’ nine.
The defense will also need some rebooting because as good as the Tower City duo of Even Mobley and Jarrett Allen was to help pick up the scoring pace for the Cavs, Sacramento’s frontcourt group of Domantas Sabonis, Harrison Barnes, Trey Lyles, and Keegan Murray did serious damage.
Head coach J.B. Bickerstaff will have his hands full as he tries to steer the team back to the winning column, while the young players need to refocus–perhaps learning not to look ahead in the schedule and to treat each game with equal gravity regardless of the opponent.
The Cleveland Cavaliers will take a day off before traveling onward on the Cali road trip with a visit to nearby San Francisco to face the defending NBA champions Golden State Warriors on November 11.