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Final Score: Cavs struggle with injuries, fall to Pelicans 116-109

Cleveland competes, but can’t close out down the stretch

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Cleveland Cavaliers David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Anchored by franchise veterans Kevin Love and Matthew Dellavedova, the Cleveland Cavaliers (19-34) scraped, but struggled to close out down the stretch falling to the New Orleans Pelicans (24-29) in their second and final meeting of the season. Final Score: 116-109.

It was another night of ‘next man up’ as the Cavs were without their starting backcourt in Sexton and Garland, while also dealing with the continued absences of Allen and Nance, Jr.

Dean Wade (21) and Isaac Okoro (19) both put up career highs, but it wasn’t enough to pull out a victory tonight in Cleveland. Cavs’ big Isaiah Hartenstein — who pulled the start tonight — fouled out with 4:17 left in the game, leaving the Cavs at severe disadvantage in the paint trying to contain high-flying, 284-pound Zion Williamson. Williamson finished with 38 points and 9 rebounds on 16 for 22 shooting.

Kevin Love was on the court for 31 minutes — the most he’s played since returning from injury earlier this month. Love chipped in a season-high 19 points with 5 rebounds. Matthew Dellavedova struggled with his shot (3-11) but was able to dish out 10 assists.

Worth Noting:
Kevin Love moved past Mark Price tonight for the second-most 3-pointers in franchise history.

The Cavs set two new season highs, scoring 39 points in first quarter and 68 points in the first half.

Next Up:
The Cavs will travel to Charlotte for a quick 1-game road trip on Wednesday to face the Hornets. Tip off at 7 pm.