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Cleveland Charge blown out in 117-102 loss to Ontario Clippers

A disappointing loss to the Clippers put the Charge in jeopardy of missing the playoffs.

Ontario Clippers v Cleveland Charge Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images

The Cleveland Charge were run off their home floor on Friday night, as the Ontario Clippers cruised to an easy 117-102 win. The game wasn’t nearly as close as the final score indicates as Cleveland rode out the final quarter with their reserves after falling behind by 27.

It was a tough night for the Charge. They came out flat while the Clippers exploded out of the gate with 36 first quarter points. Ontario carried that offensive momentum all game as they concluded the evening shooting 15-28 (53.6%) from beyond the arc and 55.8% from the field.

“Defensively you just have to be better all over the floor,” said Charge head coach Mike Gerrity. “From the individual defensive challenge, to boxing guys out, to being in your help positions and helping your teammates out. Those are areas we have to tighten up.”

The defensive struggles bled over to the other end. The offense was disjointed all evening as the Charge couldn’t get anything going. Sharife Cooper finishing with six turnovers didn’t help matters.

“I thought the ball stuck,” Gerrity said “We were taking on too many one-on-one challenges versus moving the ball and getting it side to side. We allowed them to just sit and load up and the ball got stagnant.

“One of the things we preach but were unable to carry over was ball movement and body movement. We preach a half second mentality meaning you have that long to shoot, dribble or pass. I thought it took us about 5 seconds to make those decisions,” Gerrity said.

The offense playing like it was often left Isaiah Mobley to fend for himself in the post against Clippers’ two-way big Moussa Diabate. The frustration of this matchup combined with the officiating and the way the game was going resulted in Mobley picking up a technical foul in the second quarter and nearly picking up another in the third quarter.

“Isaiah plays with a ton of passion. I think that makes him him and I love that,” Gerrity said. “You need guys that play with passion to uplift the guys around you. He was being very aggressive down there on the block and was trying to get to his spots. He voiced some frustration at times, but I think he knows the balance of that. But, I’d never take away his aggressiveness and his emotions because I think that’s what makes him special.”

Mobley finished the evening with 16 points on 7-15 shooting with 8 boards and 2 assists in 26 minutes of play.

This was a costly loss for the Charge. They are now in a three-way tie with the for fourth place in the Eastern Conference while being just a half game away from falling out of the top-six and a playoff spot with just six games remaining in the season.

“It’s disappointing. There’s no doubt about it,” said Gerrity when asked about what this loss means for the race to the playoffs. “The race from three to ten is a game and a half or so. So, it’s disappointing, but we have a chance to respond tomorrow and come back and get a win.”

On assignment from the Cavs, Dylan Windler had a solid outing. He did a good job of attacking closeouts and finishing at the rim en route to 12 points in 19 minutes.

Up next: The Charge will have a chance to respond tomorrow night in a rematch against the Clippers. Tip-off is 7 p.m. at the Wolstein Center.