Coach J.B. Bickerstaff said the Cavs “should have won” before blowing their road game to the Clippers on Monday night, when Cleveland was outscored 19-5 in the game’s most crucial stretch.
“We had the game where we wanted it,” Bickerstaff said, via Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. “But we just didn’t close it out. This is a game we should have won.”
In both losses, the Cavs (8-2) allowed the opponent to go on a massive run to finish the game. The same thing happened against the Raptors on opening night.
“We kind of got out of sorts a little bit,” guard Donovan Mitchell said, via Fedor. “We will learn from this and they did a lot of things we will see come playoff time. It was a test. There were things we did well and things we can get better at.”
The loss ended an eight-game win streak for the Cavs.
“The test of, ‘How do you bounce back from something like this?’ is experience that you need,” Bickerstaff told reporters. “Through all the hype, we’re a team that’s still building, and we understand that. So as a coach, you don’t expect to win them all. You expect to have some adversity and some ups and downs, but it’s what happens next.”
While trade rumors continue to surround center Myles Turner, he sent out a message following a 37-point eruption in a win over the Pelicans. “My heart is in Indiana,” Turner said, via veteran NBA writer Mark Montieth.
The Pacers (5-5) have now won four of five after a rough start.
“That was one of his most impactful games since I’ve been here,” Pacers coach Rick Carlisle told reporters of Turner. “But a big point night should not be what this is about. This should be about the team. He scored all those points to help our team win.”
Minus injured point guard LaMelo Ball (ankle), small forward Cody Martin (quad) and now forward Gordon Hayward (shoulder), the Hornets are sliding fast.
They have now lost five straight, dropping their record to 3-8 under coach Steve Clifford, who returned during the offseason.
But power forward P.J. Washington seems to think things won’t be this way all season.
“It’s important to get them back but losing five games (in a row) is no excuse,” Washington told reporters. “We haven’t played one game with everybody (healthy). … Once they get back, everything will change.”
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During the end of the last two games and somewhat in the Boston game at home, Garland’s late 4th quarter struggles are appearing again. He struggled in the two play in games late in the forth quarter. Hopefully JB can figure out a way to create a more “share” ball handling/playmaking role between DG and Donovan. Also, Allen is struggling making shots at the end of games to complicate the matter even more. In fairness to DG, he did set-up Allen with short range shots at the end of both LA games. In fairness to Allen, he’s been getting fouled quite a bit on those close range shots. Something to watch down this season.