When we talk about the kinds of losses that you want to see in a lost season featuring more tank driving than you’d hope, this one would be what you’d have in mind. After battling the Brooklyn Nets for three overtimes, the Cavaliers weren’t able to withstand a late explosion from D’Angelo Russell and fell 148-139 in triple overtime.
The Cavaliers probably should have had the game won, and would have if they’d fouled DeMarre Carroll in double overtime with only four seconds to go while leading by three. They didn’t, and Carroll hit an open three to keep the Nets alive.
Collin Sexton ran low on gas late, but continued one of the strongest stretches he’s had as a pro with 24 points on 10-21 shooting, featuring some truly clutch plays to force the game into its later stages.
Really, though, Jordan Clarkson was the engine for the Cavaliers. He poured in a career-high 42 points and kept the Cavaliers in the game until the bitter end. With scorers Rodney Hood and Alec Burks shipped out of town, there really aren’t many players that the Cavs can ask to go get a bucket, and Clarkson took advantage of the opportunity.
He shot 16-34 from the field while canning seven threes to finish the night with 42 points. Unfortunately for the Cavs, D’Angelo Russell won the late-game duel. Russell scored only two points in the first half, and absolutely exploded in the second, dropping 34 points in the second half and the overtimes.
A Nets win overshadows a promising game for the Cavaliers before the All-Star break. Marquese Chriss had one of his best games as a pro, scoring 23 points on 9-16 shooting while also grabbing seven boards before fouling out after 27 minutes. Cedi Osman also made a strong return, finishing with 13 points while playing on a minutes restriction.
Even on a night when the team didn’t have Kevin Love, the Cavaliers competed hard and the projects on the team mostly played well to make it that way. A fun loss? The Cavaliers will take those.