It took two overtimes, but the Cavs finally snapped their five-game losing streak, courtesy of a home win over the Hornets.
Still, coach J.B. Bickerstaff wasn’t exactly thrilled with how his team blew a double-digit lead with about a minute to go in regulation.
“We got away with one there,” Bickerstaff told reporters. “We’ve got to learn. We’ve got to be better.”
The Cavs received their usual dose of outstanding contributions from the likes of Darius Garland (41 points), Donovan Mitchell (34), Evan Mobley (21 points, 18 rebounds) and Jarrett Allen (20 and 12, respectively). It was a strong return from a two-game absence for the All-Star center, who also finished with four blocks.
Anyway, Mitchell appeared to agree with his coach — the Cavs needed a win, got it, and can take some lessons from the rest.
“It’s never going to be perfect,” Mitchell said. “It’s going to feel bad and look ugly, but that’s where growth comes from. We have to learn from this.”
- Allen added that getting a win is always the most important thing. “I feel like we got back a little bit of our identity,” he said. “But we’ve got a long way to go to be who we want to be.”
- Shooting guard Tyrese Maxey exited Friday’s win over the Bucks with a left foot injury. He suffered it just before halftime, then left the arena in a walking boot, coach Doc Rivers said. Maxey will have an MRI on Saturday.
- All-Star center Joel Embiid had another huge night, finishing with 32 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists. “He’s so good right now,” Rivers told reporters. “We told him exactly what we wanted him to do in the last six minutes and he was terrific.”
Star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo was so frustrated with his performance that he returned to the court to shoot free throws after the game.
But the frustration only mounted, as Antetokounmpo ended up getting into a shouting match with an arena worker who was doing some work on the basket. Antetokounmpo then shoved the worker’s ladder across the court in disgust.