Shorthanded Cavaliers fall to Jazz 126-113
(CLEVELAND, OH) - With several key players out due to injury and only nine players dressed in uniform on Monday night, the Cleveland Cavaliers had a daunting mountain to climb against the Western Conference contending Utah Jazz.

The Cavs were without starting point guard Darius Garland (groin strain), starting center Andre Drummond (calf strain), backup center Tristan Thompson (knee contusion) and at least two other players, Dante Exum and Alfonzo McKinnie, who have received significant minutes with the team this season. Thus, Cleveland head coach J.B. Bickerstaff was tasked with finding a new starting lineup and rotation on Monday against Utah.

Bickerstaff went with a starting lineup of second-year scorer Collin Sexton (moved over to point guard from shooting guard), rookie shooting guard Kevin Porter Jr. (inserted from the bench), Cedi Osman, backup power forward Larry Nance Jr. (inserted from the bench) and Kevin Love (moved to center from power forward). If that lineup wasn’t intriguing enough, that left the bench.

Against Utah, Cleveland’s bench consisted of local fan favorite Matthew Dellavedova, rookie two-way G-League players Matt Mooney and Dean Wade, and third-year center Ante Zizic, who has also spent plenty of minutes in the G-League.

“It’s tough,” Bickerstaff said about so many players being out of the lineup. “But it kind of is what it is at this point. Our guys, it gives them an opportunity to face a little bit of adversity and help build who we want to be.”

Outmanned against a superior Jazz team, the Cavs fell 126-113 in Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. The loss was Cleveland’s third straight after four wins in five games.

The Cavs were competitive in the first half, trailing 56-51 just before halftime. A Mike Conley three-pointer, however, set the score at 59-51 at the half; and when Utah opened the third quarter with a 14-7 run, the Jazz had taken their largest lead of the game to that point at 73-58. The Cavs closed the gap a bit to trail 94-82 heading into the fourth quarter, but the 12-point Jazz lead seemed insurmountable, considering the circumstances.

Cleveland trailed by as many as 18 points in the fourth quarter, as Utah cruised to an easy win.

The Cavs only played seven bodies against Utah, as six of those seven players played more than 30 minutes. With several young players needing experience, high minute totals can never hurt.

“The goal of all of this stuff is to one day be in a playoff series,” Bickerstaff said. “So guys being able to play those large amount of minutes is what you end up with in the playoffs. So I think we’re working towards that.”

All five Cavaliers starters finished with double figures in scoring, led by Sexton’s 32 points and five rebounds. Love totaled 22 points and nine rebounds, while Porter Jr. finished with 16 points, four rebounds and four assists.

“With K.P., as much exposure and experience that we can get him, you’re always excited about the potential of it because we believe his ceiling is so high,” Bickerstaff said. “The challenge of playing against a guy like Donovan Mitchell, having to matchup with him. K.P. is working and prides himself in wanting to be a two-way player.”

The Jazz had six players reach double figures in scoring, led by Bojan Bogdanovic’s 28 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Rudy Gobert contributed 20 points and nine rebounds, while Donovan Mitchell pitched-in 19 points and nine rebounds.

The Cavs will look to snap their losing skid on Wednesday against another formidable opponent, the Boston Celtics.
Follow us on Twitter @SportsSentinel Check out our Cavaliers fan page Taitville 
​POSTED 03/02/2020 22:21
HomeCommunity InformationEditorialNews ArchivesSports

Lake County Sentinel
Drummond led Cavaliers fall to Pacers 113-104 - 02-29-2020
Cavaliers easily take down Sixers 108-94 - 02-26-2020
Cavaliers comeback to stun Heat in overtime 125-119 - 02-24-2020
Cavaliers end skid, ground Hawks 127-105 - 02-12-2020
Cavaliers suffer worse home loss ever with 133-92 drubbing by Clippers - 02-09-2020
Cavaliers drop eleventh straight at home, fall to Knicks in OT 139-134 - 02-03-2020
Cavaliers lose tenth straight at home, humiliated by Warriors 131-112 - 02-01-2020
Cavaliers fight hard, but fall to Raptors 115-109 - 01-30-2020
Cavaliers and fans pay tribute to Kobe, fall to Pelicans 125-111 - 01-28-2020
Cavaliers mauled by Bulls 118-106 - 01-25-2020
Cavaliers lose sixth straight falling to Wizards 124-112 - 01-23-2020
Cavaliers embarrassed by Knicks 106-86 - 01-20-2020
Shorthanded Cavaliers falter late in 115-113 loss to Pistons - 01-07-2020
Cavaliers comeback falls well short in 118-103 loss to Timberwolves - 01-05-2019
Cavaliers can't keep up with Oklahoma City in 121-106 loss - 01-04-2020
Cavaliers lose heart breaker to Hornets 109-106 - 01-02-2020
Cavaliers run win streak to three with 121-118 win over Atlanta - 12-23-2019
Cavaliers maul Grizzlies 114-107 - 12-20-2019
Cavaliers hold on to beat Hornets 100-98 - 12-18-2019
Kevin Porter, Jr. has huge night, Cavaliers fall short in 116-110 loss to Rockets - 12-11-2019
Cavaliers continue slide with 93-87 loss to Magic - 12-06-2019
Cavaliers blown out by Pistons 127-94 - 12-03-2019
Cavalier's 25 turnovers costly in 116-104 loss to Magic - 11-27-2019
Cavaliers lose heart breaker to Nets 108-106 - 11-26-2019
Cavaliers young duo defeats Portland's dynamic duo 110-104 - 11-23-2019
Cavaliers pounded by Sixers 114-95 - 11-17-2019
Cavaliers fall to Heat 108-97 - 11-14-2019
Cavaliers fight hard, but fall to experienced Celtics 119-113 - 11-14-2019
Cavaliers fight hard, but fall to experienced Celtics 119-113 - 11-14-2019
Cavaliers collapse in fourth quarter falling to Mavs 131-111 - 11-03-2019
Cavaliers veterans/youth stop young Bulls 117-111 - 10-30-2019
Love, Thompson lead Cavs to first win with 110-99 win over Pacers - 10-26-2019
Young Cavaliers drop opener to Magic 94-85 - 10-23-2019