The Cleveland Cavaliers entered Indiana at full strength with Jarrett Allen and Darius Garland back in the lineup. But the Cavs ultimately fell 121-116 in a frustrating loss to Indiana.
It was another dazzling scoring performance from Donovan Mitchell. He poured on 39 points behind a blistering 13-of-21 shooting night. Mitchell flexed his superstar muscles in the second half, coming alive defensively and finishing with a team-high 9 assists.
Evan Mobley also had a big night for Cleveland. He contributed 14 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 blocks and 3 steals. His all-around effort helped catapult the Cavaliers back from an early 17-point deficit.
Indiana was led in scoring by Myles Turner, who scorched the Cavs for 27 points on 4-of-5 three-point shooting. Tyrese Haliburton added 18 points and 13 assists, including the late dagger over Allen.
Coming up short
The first half left much to be desired for the Cavaliers. They stumbled out the gates on both ends, giving up 70 points while scrounging together just 53 of their own. It was an awkward, out-of-sorts start to the game as Allen and Garland returned to the lineup.
Cleveland picked it up in the second half, erasing the double-digit deficit and storming into the lead late in the fourth. However, a string of untimely turnovers and a final missed shot from Caris LeVert closed the door on their first In-Season Tournament Game.
Well, that happened…
Speaking of the NBA’s In-Season Tournament… the Cavaliers just played the first in league history! And, also recorded the first tournament loss.
The court at the Cavs Pacers game is so bad I think I might need to get LASIK eye surgerypic.twitter.com/HwnkurQFCF— Sir Yacht (@SirYacht_) November 3, 2023
The Pacers’ bright blue and yellow court stole the show. Multiple Cavs players described the floor as “disgusting” while NBA Twitter piled on. The tournament is a fun idea, but the jury is still out on the court design.
The Cavs are finally healthy (fingers crossed)! This means no more excuses as they look to dig themselves out of a slow start to the year. Cleveland is 2-4 with a tough matchup versus the Golden State Warriors next on the schedule.