Cavs’ big Jarrett Allen promised to be better on the glass after Sunday’s struggles and did just that by securing 17 rebounds last night.
Jarrett Allen took full responsibility for Sunday’s rebounding issues. In the postgame conference, he said his effort needs to be better. Lastly, Allen ended the down-to-earth interview by laughing and saying he did not want to carry anything over to Monday. And he did just that. On top of his 17 rebounds, Jarrett Allen scored 18 points on 8/14 shooting with a steal and two blocks. Although Allen performed admirably, the Cavaliers defeated the Kings on Monday thanks to several players’ contributions.
So much so, six Cavaliers scored more than 12 points in Monday’s one-point victory. That said, the Kings held their own and kept this game close throughout. Despite having a lead throughout the majority of the game, the Cavs could not close quickly. Furthermore, the Kings even made a late comeback to take the lead in the fourth quarter. Like their last meeting, Cleveland could have created separation after halftime but failed to do so.
Jarret Allen Rebounded Early & Often
Talk about playing a game with a purpose. Jarret Allen secured just seven rebounds for the night against the Warriors. Whereas, in the very first quarter the next night, he grabbed nine of them. His effort and attention on rebounding clearly translated against the Kings. By battling in the paint, Allen opened up the court for others to succeed. Albeit, the Cavs almost strictly focused on paint production in the first quarter.
In fact, 20 of the Cavaliers’ 28 points in the first period came in the paint. Granted, this can be attributed to their inability to make threes early on. Conversely, the Kings’ primary success in the first quarter came via the deep ball. The Cavs shot just 1/8 from deep, while the Kings went 4/9 from beyond the arc. Furthermore, half of the Kings’ field goals in the first came courtesy of three-pointers. Besides that, the Cavs’ defense held Sacramento to just 4/16 shooting from the field.
In direct opposition to the first quarter, the Cavaliers relied on threes in the second to enhance their first-half lead. Cleveland splashed home just 10 threes for the entire game, half of which occurred in the second stanza. Kevin Love‘s contributed the most to Cleveland’s second-quarter explosion. Off the bench, Love scored 11 points on 3/4 shooting with two made threes. In doing so, Love, in his 14th NBA season, continues adding to his 6th Man of the Year campaign.
Overall, the lopsided first half ended with the Cavs outshooting the Kings by 13.6% from the field. Consequently, Cleveland went into the break up by 13 points. However, their lead was not safe for long, as their youth shined by not closing the door early.
Cavaliers Second-Half Woes
Like last time these teams faced off, the Kings came out of halftime on a mission. Whereas the Cavaliers reverted to their struggles on Sunday by turning the ball over too much. In the first half, Cleveland surrendered just seven turnovers. In the third quarter, though, that number doubled. Consequently, the Kings capitalized on those turnovers to score 11 of their quarter’s 30 points.
Additionally, the Cavaliers flipped back to missing threes while giving the Kings open looks from beyond the arc. Specifically, Buddy Hield sunk three deep balls in the frame alone. The lead was cut to just five points by the quarter’s end. In the final frame, the Kings rode their hot shooting to not only eliminate the Cavaliers’ lead altogether. Half of Sacramento’s made field goals came via the three-pointer. Whereas, on the other end, Cleveland shot just 2/10 from three-point land in the fourth.
Although Jarrett Allen performed well in the first half, his second half was much quieter. Similarly, Darius Garland truthfully endured three subpar quarters of play. However, in the final quarter, Garland came to play. With seven points and four assists, Garland’s late-game antics boosted the Cavs back into the lead.
Also, someone not yet mentioned Evan Mobley continued establishing himself as arguably the most reliable Cavalier. While playing all but six minutes of the game, Mobley put up 17 points, 7 rebounds, an impressive five assists, as well as a steal and two blocks. His consistency on both ends of the floor is truly remarkable from a 20-year-old rookie.
Cavaliers Schedule Ahead
The game ended up being much closer than it should have been. However, the Kings deserve some credit for making a big second-half comeback. Following their last coastal game of this road trip, the Cavaliers are now headed to the southwest region. They are also halfway done with their 6 games in 9 days road trip, but the task does not get any easier.
Wednesday night, Cleveland takes on the Utah Jazz, who continue playing incredible basketball. In their first meeting back in December, Utah barely hung onto the lead to win by just one point. Hopefully, it will be the Cavaliers stealing a win on the road this time around.
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