In the weird, wild and wacky world blanketed by a global pandemic that will seemingly never go away, the Cleveland Cavaliers went to Boston to take on the Celtics. Speaking of that global panic at the disco, Cleveland was down eight players due to the league’s health and safety protocols, including key starters like Isaac Okoro, Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen.
But, there is never any sympathy for teams facing adversity, the Cavs included. Due to so many players being out due to COVID-19, Cleveland was required to sign three players to 10-day hardship exceptions. The lucky trio were G League stars Luke Kornet, Justin Anderson and Tre Scott. All three new additions didn’t play until the closing moments of this game, but, surprisingly it was competitive at times given everything going on.
“I think that’s who we’ve been,” said Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff. “Our level of competition hasn’t wavered no matter who has been available to us. ... You can control how hard you scrap and I think we did that tonight.”
Darius Garland continues to put together an All-Star caliber campaign and finished the night with 28 points on 11-22 shooting along with 2 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals. Other notables for the Cavs came off the bench from Kevin Love, who had 18 points, and Cedi Osman, who had 13 points.
On Boston’s side of things, it was the Jaylen Brown show. Brown had 34 points on 12-22 shooting, hit 5 three-pointers, dished out 3 dimes and grabbed 6 rebounds. Joining Brown in the starting lineup were Robert Williams III, who had 21 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists, as well as Jayson Tatum, who had 18 points.
This 111-101 loss to the Celtics is the thirteenth of the season for the Cavs. It also marks the end of their six-game winning streak. The last time Cleveland lost to Boston it started a small losing skid. But, they then won 10 of their next 12 games so, hopefully, time is a flat circle. But, the best way to make that happen is to wear a mask, get your vaccine and booster shot, practice social distancing and be mindful of others and their well-being this holiday season.
Up next: The Cavs are off until December 26, where they take on the Toronto Raptors at home on Boxing Day. Tipoff is at 6:00 p.m. EST.