On their second game in two nights, the Cleveland Cavaliers returned to the hardwood of Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse to take on the Golden State Warriors. Much like their loss to the Brooklyn Nets the night before, the Cavs fought valiantly for the majority of the game but came up just short against arguably the best team in the league.
Also like Cleveland’s loss to Brooklyn, injuries decimating the team’s rotation is what resulted in the loss to Golden State. Prior to tipoff, Cedi Osman was ruled out with lower back spasms. Osman joined Jarrett Allen (non-COVID illness), Lauri Markkanen (COVID), Collin Sexton (knee), Lamar Stevens (ankle) and Evan Mobley (elbow) as key players out of the team’s starting lineup and rotation.
The Warriors, meanwhile, are one of the deepest teams in the league and but were able to take advantage of the lack of depth for the Cavaliers. Cleveland’s bench, who until the end consisted of Kevin Love, Denzel Valentine, Dylan Windler and Tacko Fall, were outscored by the Golden State bench, which went seven deep and that’s too many players to list, 38-20. Credit where credit’s due to Warriors general manager Bob Myers, who went out and upgraded a weak second unit over the summer. It’ll be a deciding factor on whether or not Golden State wins yet another championship with head coach Steve Kerr at the helm.
It also helps that the Warriors have Stephen Curry, the frontrunner for this year’s MVP, at the helm as well. It was weird tonight at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse since there were more cheers than jeers for Curry tonight. It was a warm homecoming welcome for the Akronite, as he dropped 40 points on the Cavaliers and connected on 9 three-point attempts. Down the stretch, Cleveland tried to put Isaac Okoro on Curry to slow him down but Golden State countered that by simply screening Okoro. Crazy how that works.
For the Cavaliers, Darius Garland was the headliner as he tried his best to keep Cleveland in this game. Garland had 25 points to go with 5 assists, 2 steals and connected on 4 three-pointers of his own. But, Garland also turned it over 7 times and that played a part in the Warriors scoring 19 easy points. So, for now, the Cavaliers are off for the next three days and they need it to get healthy as quickly as possible.
Up next: The Cavs are home on Monday, November 22 to take on the Nets. The tipoff is at 7:00 p.m.