Injuries have forced the Cavaliers to work with a thin roster all season, and it got even thinner in the wake of Wednesday’s mega-trade, as newly acquired Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince were held out of the Cavaliers tilt against the New York Knicks on Friday night. But just as they have all season, the Cavaliers pushed through and came out with a 106–103 win.
Andre Drummond returned after missing Wednesday’s blowout loss to the Utah Jazz, and apparently, the time off served him well: he registered a double-double just minutes into the second, and by the time intermission arrived, the big guy had already dump-trucked his way to 20 points and 14 boards (including 7(!!!!!) offensive). Drummond’s efforts were a huge reason why the Cavaliers took a two-point lead into the half.
Drummond (whose finally tally was 33 points and 23 boards) wasn’t the only Cavalier in prime form. Osman and Okoro both notched season-highs in points (25 and 13, respectively) and played huge roles in the Cavaliers’ third-quarter blitz; and Damyean Dotson chipped in 13 points of his own, including seven in the fourth quarter that helped keep his former team at arm’s length.
The Cavs had a chance to run away during the third quarter as they took a double-digit lead, but the Knicks answered with a 16–0 run of their to go up by four early in the fourth. That the Cavaliers were able to regroup and regain the lead for good — with such a depleted roster, no less — speaks volumes to how far they’ve come since last season.
Up next: The Cavs’ Sunday/Monday double-header against the Washington Wizards was postponed after two more Wizards tested positive for coronavirus on Friday. Their next game will be against the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday at 7 p.m.