CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Just one day after being snubbed from the NBA All-Star roster, Jarrett Allen proved that he clearly belonged in the top-talent showcase via his performance in the Cleveland Cavaliers' 102-101 win over the Charlotte Hornets Friday night on the road.
While the Cavs were happy to have one player representing them in the 2022 NBA All-Star Game being hosted in Cleveland after Darius Garland was named an All-Star reserve—Allen not getting the nod as well seemed unfair.
"Personally, I think Jarrett got snubbed, you look at what he's done over the year and there's no real way to justify him not making it," head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said before Friday's game. "If we respect winning the way we say we respect winning, there's no way that Jarrett Allen doesn't make the All-Star team...we're extremely disappointed that he didn't make it but we know who Jarrett is and he's going to go out and continue to prove people wrong and play with that chip and that edge."
And that's exactly what Allen did Friday. In the first quarter alone, he was just one rebound away from a double-double—posting 13 points and nine rebounds in the first 12 minutes of play.
His dominant performance continued, only pausing for a quick break as Allen worked on his knee in the second quarter after getting a bit banged up on a play. Once he returned, he came back just as hot as he started, putting up 29 total points, 22 rebounds and two assists.
Though he wasn't named an All-Star starter or reserve, Allen still has a chance to make the All-Star roster as a replacement. No bigs were named reserves from the Eastern Conference, and with Kevin Durant not expected to play in the game due to a knee injury, Allen could get the nod after all—and on Friday proved he should.
"The true story of the night was Jarrett Allen," Bickerstaff said after the game. "He came out with a message for the league...He came out with a message tonight and I think he said it loud and clear."
Allen wasn't the only player bringing the heat to Spectrum Center Friday, as Kevin Love put on a show of his own.
Love put up 25 points with nine rebounds, hitting six threes over the course of the night and contiuing his hot streak off the bench that have people putting him in the conversation for Sixth Man of the Year honors at the end of the season.
But it was Love's clutch free throw shooting that really sealed the win. Down 101-100, the Cavs had just seconds left to get the score back in their favor after a Hornets run saw them take the lead (not to mention the phantom three points that officals handed the Hornets on a wonky interference call that had already been blown dead, which turned into four points after calling a technical foul on the Cavs bench.)
With just over a second left, Love grabbed a rebound and put up a shot, getting fouled in the process.
The officials, who had a rough night to say the least, reviewed the play and deemed it a shooting foul, giving Love two free throws which he nailed to give the Cavs the 102-101, which they held for the remaining second of play.
"He's Kevin Love, there was no doubt in our mind that when he was going to the free throw line that he was going to make them both," Bickerstaff said after the game. "He's been there before and he walked up there and hit them both."
After the game, officials admitted in a Pool Report Interview that the three points awarded to the Hornets should not have counted because the ball was called out of bounds prior to the shot.
"It was miscommunication amongst the crew about the sequence of the play. Upon review after the game, the out of bounds was called prior to the start of the field goal attempt and the shot should not have counted," Crew Chief Brian Forte said.
Luckily, the game played out the way it did and the phantom points ultimately didn't impact the final result of the game.
In addition to Love and Allen, Isaac Okoro had nine points with four assists and two rebounds, Brandon Goodwin had 12 points with nine assists and five rebounds and Evan Mobley put up eight points with five assists and eight rebounds and two steals.
Friday's win saw the Cavs bounce back from a tough loss to the Houston Rockets, as they once again faced the challenge of playing without Garland, who is out with lower back soreness, and Lauri Markkanen, who is out with an ankle sprain.
The Cavs return home on Sunday as they take on the Indiana Pacers at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Tip-off is at 6 p.m.
Download the News 5 Cleveland app now for more stories from us, plus alerts on major news, the latest weather forecast, traffic information and much more. Download now on your Apple device here, and your Android device here.
You can also catch News 5 Cleveland on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, YouTube TV, DIRECTV NOW, Hulu Live and more. We're also on Amazon Alexa devices. Learn more about our streaming options here.