Collin Sexton led the Cavaliers scoring attack as Cleveland was able to defeat the Knicks at home.
A team leading 20 points from Collin Sexton led the Cavaliers to victory Monday night. Sexton shot 7-21 from the field, 2-8 from beyond the three-point line and 4-5 from the charity stripe. While not the most efficient evening for Sexton, he was able to do just enough for Cleveland to come out victorious.
Larry Nance Jr. continued his streak of excellent play, scoring 15 points and grabbing 16 rebounds. The notable stat of the night for Nance was tying his father’s offensive rebound record with 10. This game was Nance’s sixth straight double-double.
The bench group was led by Jordan Clarkson. Clarkson scored 15 points in 28 minutes while converting six of 17 shots from the field. Nearly half of Clarkson’s misses came from three-point range as he went 2-8 from the deep. Clarkson also had six rebounds, one assist and one steal in the contest.
Extended play for Kevin Love
Kevin Love was on another minutes restriction, but played more than last game, 16 minutes compared to six. In a little bit more of extended action Love was able to score 14 points, including seven of the first 10 Cavaliers points. Love made four of 10 attempts on the night, this includes two of six shots from three. Love rounded out his performance with nine rebounds and one assist.
Marquese Chriss’ rebound in Cleveland
Before coming to Cleveland, Marquese Chriss barely saw the floor with the Houston Rockets. In Monday night’s victory Chriss played 22 minutes and was fairly effective during that time. Scoring 14 points while making five shots from the field, two of which were three-pointers. Chriss was also able to grab seven rebounds off the bench.
The differences that gave Cleveland the edge
What gave the Cleveland Cavaliers one advantage against the Knicks was the ability to crash the offensive boards. Cleveland had 17 offensive rebounds, 10 of which were from Larry Nance Jr. New York only managed 10 offensive rebounds as a team.
The other notable advantage is the number of three-pointers made. Cleveland made 14 compared to just seven from New York. While the Cavaliers were far from efficient from three-point range (14-44), the overall volume is what mattered.
Cedi Osman continues to miss games due to his ankle sprain. Osman may miss the final game before the All-Star break in order to ensure he is healthy for the rest of the season.
Ante Zizic missed the contest with a lower back injury and may not play Wednesday either. Lower back injuries can linger on through the season and playing it safe at this point is the best decision moving forward.
Tristan Thompson also did not participate Monday and will not appear in Wednesday’s game. It is worth noting that Thompson was taking shots during Friday’s practice. A return could be coming sooner rather than later.
Cleveland’s next game is Wednesday at home against the Brooklyn Nets.