Blazers Nip Cavs in Double-OT
Wrap-Up – With 2.5 seconds to play in the second overtime, Alonzo Gee split a pair of free throws to give the Cavaliers a two-point lead, 117-115. But on the ensuing possession, Portland’s Nicolas Batum hit an improbable three-pointer from the corner in front of Cleveland’s bench – sending the Wine and Gold to the heartbreaking 118-117 loss on Saturday night at The Q.The loss spoiled some terrific individual performances as eight Cavaliers notched double-figures. Anderson Varejao (19 points, 17 boards) and Tyler Zeller (14, 10) each doubled-up and Alonzo Gee led the team with 22 points. Jeremy Pargo finished with 13 points and eight assists and Dion Waiters added a dozen before suffering a sprained left ankle late in the second overtime. Omri Casspi pitched in with 11 points and Donald Sloan and Tristan Thompson finished with ten points apiece.
Turning Point – The very definition of a neck-and-neck game, neither team had a double-digit lead all night and the biggest lead for either squad in both overtimes was four. The Blazers let a six-point edge slip away in the third period and the Cavaliers squandered an eight-point advantage in the fourth. But Saturday’s nail-biter didn’t swing one way or the other until Batum’s bomb ended the affair.
Game Ball – Tyler Zeller – The rookie from North Carolina seems to be finding his footing. On Saturday night, he scored 12 of his 14 points and grabbed six of his ten rebounds in the second half – including eight points in the second OT alone. On the night, Zeller went 6-of-11 from the floor, including 2-for-2 from the stripe, adding 10 boards – four offensive – two assists and a pair of blocked shots.
By the Numbers – .600 … Omri Casspi’s shooting percentage from three-point range – going 12-for-20 – since November 23.
Quotable – Coach Byron Scott, on the Cavaliers’ loss …
“The game really didn’t come down to that last shot to be honest with you. With all of the mistakes that we’ve made in that game, it shouldn’t have went into the first overtime. We were lucky and played with fire basically the whole night, and we got burned.”
Seen and Heard – Both teams wore red and white shooting shirts as well as red head- and wristbands – that teams will autograph and donate – and all coaches wore red ribbons to promote December 1 as World Aids Day.
Up Next – The Cavaliers get right back on the road, traveling to the Motor City to take on the Pistons this Monday. After a day off, they welcome the Bulls to The Q for a Wednesday night affair.