Dribbles: Cavs Rise Early, Hang On For Another Triumph On Road

Random dribbles following the Cavaliers’ 109-108 thriller of a road win over the Kings on Monday.

1. For a while, it looked like the Cavs might run away with it. Then, it looked like they might lose. Then it looked like they had it in the bag again. And suddenly, it came down to a last shot.<a rel=

2. Thankfully for the Cavs, De’Aaron Fox missed, as Rajon Rondo got the Kings guard out of sorts on his midrange attempt at the buzzer.

3. So, hey, what do you know? The Cavs are 2-1 at the halfway point of their longest road trip of the season. Not bad, and not surprising. This team just keeps finding ways to win, even on its so-so nights.

4. And it took a total team effort for every last second of the game’s 48 minutes.

5. Jarrett Allen was outstanding with 18 points, 17 rebounds and a couple of massive swats of Kings shots. Evan Mobley was extremely poised for most of the night with 17 points and seven boards. He also had multiple heady passes that led to easy looks. The kid just refuses to let defenders speed him up.

6. Kevin Love added 18 points in reserve, scoring 14 points in his first nine minutes. Love and Cedi Osman (15 points) were especially good in the first half, helping the Cavs surge to a 13-point halftime advantage.

7. Even Lamar Stevens got in on the act, with a couple of buckets, including a stepback jumper and a clean-up of a botched alley-oop attempt involving Allen and Lauri Markkanen. In an encouraging sign, it was the second straight strong showing from Stevens after the Cavs decided to guarantee his deal for the season.

8. As for Markkanen, this was much better. He missed a few shots late, but still finished with 15 points on 6-of-14 shooting. He looked much more confident in squaring up and letting it fly.

9. Meanwhile, Darius Garland again really struggled early, but came alive in the fourth quarter, getting into a bit of rhythm, knocking down some shots and finding the open man. He ended up with 12 points and 11 assists.

10. Allen to Bally Sports on the bounce-back win that followed Sunday’s road loss to the Warriors: “We just dig deep. We knew we had it in us. We wanted to come back and make a statement from last night.”

11. Allen was particularly motivated after a subpar showing. “I was disappointed in myself last game,” he told Serena Winters of Bally Sports. “I wanted to show my teammates that I’m not gonna give up on them.”

12. The fact the Cavs (23-18) had to hang on by the hair of their chinny chin chins is not ideal — but any win on the road is cause for celebration. That is particularly true when you are playing on the second night of a back-to-back.

13. Translation: They’ll take it.

14. As an aside, it appears the Cavs are still interested in Pacers guard Caris LeVert, as was relayed at this link. That’s not necessarily a major surprise, as the Cavs have shown a propensity to go through dry spells on this trip. You get the sense that with another scorer, they would have put this game away much more quickly.

15. Tyrese Haliburton scored 21 points to lead the Kings (16-27), and Buddy Hield tacked on 19. Hield especially hurt the Cavs in the second half. There are rumors that the Cavs may have Hield on their radar as well.

16. Right now, though, it seems unlikely the Cavs are ready to make a splashy move. There’s still about a month left before the trade deadline. Clearly, they are doing just fine as is.

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