The Cleveland Cavaliers hung around as long as they could, but the poor shooting was too much to overcome on Monday night.
This was the lowest scoring first half in the NBA this season, when the Cavs held a 39-37 lead at the break. Both offenses found a rhythm in the second half, but the Celtics defense held the Cavs in check in the final minutes of the fourth quarter.
The Cavs were down three starters, after Jarrett Allen missed his first game of the season with an illness. Evan Mobley got his first career start at center, and struggled mightily from the field. He shot 0-11, and finished the game with 1 point, but he did find ways to impact the game, grabbing 9 rebounds to go with 5 assists and 2 blocks.He also left the game early due to an injury. According head coach J.B. Bickerstaff, he was “tangled up” and, as of his post-game media availability, had not received an update on Mobley from the Cavs’ training staff.
Ricky Rubio and Cedi Osman kept the Cavs alive with 28 and 26 points respectively. They were the go-to scorers down the stretch, and will be a major part of the offense until the Cavs start to get healthy.
Darius Garland had an up-and-down night, finishing with 17 points and 2 assists. He shot 6-15 from the field (3-7 from deep) and was attacked on the defensive end. Garland showed flashes of brilliance running the offense once again, but he still has work to do to become a consistent threat on that end of the floor.
The Cavs fell to 9-6 after splitting the back-to-back series against the Celtics. Their offense needs to pick up some momentum with a brutal upcoming schedule.
Up next: The Cavs will travel to Brooklyn and take on the Nets on Wednesday night. Tipoff is 7:30 p.m.