The Cavs, after leading by 19 points after the first quarter and by seven heading into the fourth quarter, But then the Pelicans continued their long comeback, ultimately taking a 97-96 lead with 4:09 to play on a Garrett Temple three-pointer. The Cavs, who took a 3-0 lead with 10:45 left in the first quarter and only grew it from there, never led again.
More concerningly, the Cavs lost guard Ricky Rubio to an apparent knee injury in the fourth quarter. He went down and had to be helped off the floor by multiple teammates without putting any weight on his leg en route to the locker room. Postgame, Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said that Rubio was still being examined. Prior to the injury, Rubio finished with 27 points, 13 rebounds and 9 assists. Rubio’s injury comes on the same day Cavs guard Darius Garland entered the league’s health & safety protocols, putting him on the sidelines for multiple games.
Mobley, in his return, finished with 22 points and 7 rebounds in 30 minutes. Kevin Love added 24 points off of the bench.
Up next: The Cavs are off tomorrow before playing the Washing Wizards on Dec. 30. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. EST.