Cavaliers fall to Irvingless and better Celtics 116-106
BY STONE LEXINGTON
CAVALIERS BEAT WRITER
(CLEVELAND, OH) - When Kyrie Irving was a member of the Cavaliers from 2011 through 2017, Cleveland fans fell in love with the point guard with the ridiculous handles. And despite Irving forcing his was out of town, he still has fans in Cleveland. Now a member of the Boston Celtics, Irving fans in Cleveland still had the opportunity to see him in person twice this season when the Celtics visited the Cavs — or so they thought.
In the Celtics’ first game in Cleveland this season on Feb. 5, Irving missed the game with a strained left hip. Never fear Uncle Drew fans, Irving’s Celtics were back in Cleveland on Tuesday for the final meeting with the Cavs this season. Cue that losing noise from The Price is Right.
Irving sat out Tuesday’s contest against the Cavs for load management, an en vogue term used nowadays for rest. Even without Irving in the Boston lineup, the Cavs fell to the favored Celtics 116-106 in Quicken Loans Arena. Boston moved to 11-2 without Irving this season.
The Celtics controlled most of the first two quarters and led by a 40-31 margin with 8:13 remaining until halftime. The Cavs, though, used a 20-10 run, capped by a Collin Sexton jumper, to regain their first lead since a 9-8 advantage, 51-50. Boston, however, keep the pressure applied and took a 57-51 lead into the half.
Cleveland wouldn’t go down without a fight, as the Cavs tied the game at 92 with a Marquese Chriss three-pointer with 9:10 to play. Boston, though, immediately use a 12-4 run to regain a double-digit lead, 106-96 with 3:31 remaining. The Cavs never fully recovered from the Celtics spurt, as thee closest they came the rest of the way was a six-point deficit.
“Winding down the season, the challenge every game is to keep these guys motivated and keeping them driven to where they step out on the floor and they play at a high level,” Cavs head coach Larry Drew said.
The Cavs have moved past Irving and drafted a point guard last season that wears the same number (No. 2) Irving used to when he wore the wine and gold. Sexton is the new primary ball-handler in Cleveland, and he’s shown much promise in his rookie campaign.
On Tuesday against Boston, Sexton led all Cavaliers with 24 points. Jordan Clarkson chipped-in 18 points and four assists, while Cedi Osman contributed 15 points and seven rebounds. Cavs power forward Kevin Love struggled against Boston, shooting 3-of-13 form the field and scoring 10 points with 11 rebounds.
Cavs fans had to go without seeing another favorite point guard on Tuesday, as Matthew Dellavedova sat out his 10th straight game with a concussion.
“With those types of injuries, you just never know as far as a recovery time,” Drew said. “We’ll allow him to take as long as he needs until he feels like he’s ready to even just come out on the court and just go through shooting with us. He hasn’t even been able to do that yet.
“There’s really no timetable, obviously no real rush right now. With seven games left after tonight, we’ll see how he is as each day goes by. At this particular point, we completely, completely just want to allow him to take as long as he needs to get right. This is not the first time this has happened to him, so you always really have to use extra, extra precaution in bringing the player back that has had that injury before.”
When asked if Dellavedova could be done for the season, Drew said, “I think there’s a chance. I wouldn’t completely rule it out.”
The Cavs will now embark on a five-game road trip before finishing their season with two games at The Q..
POSTED 03/26/2019 22:05