CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Cavaliers brought Northeast Ohio sports fans some much-needed joy Sunday evening as they snapped a three-game losing streak with a 108-104 win over the Indiana Pacers.
It was a sad day in Cleveland as the Cavs took the court inside Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse after the Cleveland Browns had been officially eliminated from playoff contention on their day off. But the Cavs lifted the spirits of many after the hard-fought game with the Pacers.
Tied up in the first quarter, the Cavs and Pacers were neck and neck throughout the rest of the game. There were 15 times throughout the game the score was tied with 16 lead changes.
Leading the Cavs was rookie Evan Mobley, who put up 24 points, nine rebounds and four assists, and Jarrett Allen who put up 18 points, 11 rebounds, three blocks and a steal. Lauri Markkanen scored 12 with six rebounds and a block.
But it was Kevin Love coming off the bench who really stole the show.
Love put up 20 points, eight rebounds, four assists and a steal. A buzzer-beater three-point fadeaway Love hit at the end of the third quarter was a spark that helped the Cavs rally for the win.
"It's one of those things where you're searching and you're hunting for a spark. Again, we've got some guys that are tired right now, we've got guys that are doing more than they typically had to do and there's that moment where a decision is made of: do I do more? And what's the catalyst to get me to do more?" head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said after the game. "I think plays like Kevin's—it's like things are going, we're going to ride that wave. The crowd gets into the game, they're there supporting us and pushing us and they feed of of that."
Lamar Stevens also had a strong performance off the bench, scoring a season-high 15 points with three rebounds and a steal.
While the Cavs got the win Sunday night, they also saw another player go down with injury. Already down guards Collin Sexton and Ricky Rubio, who each sustained season-ending knee injuries, the Cavs lost Isaac Okoro in the first half of the game with a left elbow injury.
Bickerstaff did not have an update on Okoro's injury after the game, but the Cavs will remain hopeful it wasn't too serious as they prepare to host the Memphis Grizzlies Tuesday at 7 p.m. before departing on a six-game road trip.
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