Coach Bickerstaff yanked his wobbly starters with 5 minutes left in the 1st-quarter and stuck with Cook, Windler, Osman, Wade and McGee well into the second. The bench unit, led by McGee and his wacky-waving-inflatable-arm-flailing defense, rebounding and veteran hook-shots, kept the team in the game through the first half. The team, however, took quite a tumble in the third — it was a ‘6.5 minutes without a bucket’ kinda tumble.
Cavs struggled mightily on defense and had a particularly difficult time containing Kings’ star guards De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton. The duo poured in a combined 58 points on a stellar 24 for 38 shooting.
The Cavs’ offense was also badly out of rhythm. The team shot 4-17 from long range, while the Kings went 13-30. Wade, Stevens and McGee provided the only real organized energy and effort for the Cavs, which is well...not ideal. McGee finished with a game-high 18 points with 9 rebounds and 2 blocks, all in just 19 minutes. Garland started strong, but ran out of gas in the second half — likely hampered by his strained quad, he scored 17 points and dished out just 2 assists (-26). Sexton was off on both ends with 15 points on 6 for 15 shooting (-25).
Up Next: The Cavs begin a 4-game road trip on Wednesday as they head to Chicago to compete against the Bulls. Tipoff is at 8.