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Cavs Hold Off Kings in Thriller


WRAP-UP

The completion of Monday’s matchup in Sacramento marked the 2021-22 season’s halfway point. It also marked the Cavaliers’ 23rd victory of said season – surpassing their entire win total from last year.

It wasn’t easy – as it never seems to be in Sacramento – but the Wine & Gold managed to hold off a late Kings rally and improve to 2-1 on their recent West Coast roadie, taking the 109-108 victory to complete the season sweep.

In a wild, back-and-forth affair, the Cavaliers looked to have matters in hand – exploding on a 12-2 run to give themselves a 10-point lead with just 2:34 to play in regulation. But the Kings made a late push of their own, getting to within a single point on De’Aaron Fox’s two free throws with 31.9 seconds to play.

Fox picked Evan Mobley clean on Cleveland’s next possession and Sacramento called timeout with 11 seconds to play. But Fox wasn’t able to connect on a 16-footer at the buzzer and – unlike last year’s visit, when Harrison Barnes drilled a game-winning triple as time expired – the Wine & Gold escaped with the win.

Both teams were playing the second half of a back-to-back and neither team lead by more than a baker’s dozen. The Cavaliers – who went off for 81 points, including a franchise-record 45-point second quarter, in their first meeting against Sacramento – scored 62 points in the opening stanza on Monday.

But the Kings rallied back after intermission, and the fourth quarter was nip-and-tuck the entire way.

As has been their recipe all year, Cleveland got a balanced attack in the win. Four of the five starters notched double-figures scoring, two doubled-up and J.B. Bickerstaff got 40 points off his bench.

Jarrett Allen led the Cavaliers with 18 points and both teams with 17 boards, six off the offensive glass, going 8-of-14 from the floor to go with a pair of blocks and a steal.

Kevin Love also netted 18 points, doing so in 20 minutes off the bench on 5-of-13 shooting, adding three boards, two assists and a pair of blocked shots.

Evan Mobley was simply outstanding on both ends – logging a career-high 42 minutes to finish with 17 points on 8-of-14 shooting, adding seven boards, five assists, two swats and a steal.

Lauri Markkanen chipped in 15 points, going 6-of-14 from the field, 3-of-8 from long-distance – including the bomb that put Cleveland up double-digits with just over two minutes to play.

Cedi Osman hit one big bucket after another – including a high-arcing triple at the first quarter buzzer and a streaking layup from Rajon Rondo after an Evan Mobley block to end the first half. The 5th-year pro finished with 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting, adding three boards and an assist.

Cleveland’s top assist man on Monday night was Darius Garland – who piled up a game-high 11 dimes to go with 12 points, five boards and a steal. For the third-year man from Vandy – who led both teams with a +10 in 34 minutes of action – it was his ninth double-double of the season.

Sacramento’s leading scorers did most of their damage after intermission. Tyrese Haliburton notched 14 of his game-high 21 points in the second half; Buddy Hield finished with 19 points, going 4-for-6 from long-range after the break.

Miss any of the action? Find all the highlights and photos in the Game Tracker.


FEATURED HIGHLIGHT

Rajon Rondo comes up clutch on defense, defending and stopping De'Aaron Fox on the last possession of the game with the Kings needing a basket.


TURNING POINT

The Cavaliers dropped a heartbreaker in this arena late last March, with three lead-changes in the final six seconds, including Harrison Barnes game-winner.

Monday’s ending was just as wild, just with different results.

The game was tied at 97-apiece with 5:41 to play when Evan Mobley’s jumper opened up a 12-2 run that saw the Cavs take a 10-point edge with 2:34 remaining on Lauri Markkanen’s three-pointer on a nice feed from Mobley.

But the Kings weren’t done. Barnes’ three-pointer jumpstarted Alvin Gentry’s squad, which took advantage of a pair of late Cleveland turnovers to go on a 9-0 run of their own.

De’Aaron Fox’s shot at the buzzer drew iron, however, and Cleveland snapped a three-game skid in Sacramento.


BY THE NUMBERS

By the Numbers - .699 … Jarrett Allen’s field goal percentage this season, good for tops in the NBA. The 5th-year man from Texas has eight games shooting 80 percent or better, two games at 90 percent or better and three outings in which he has not missed a shot.

Allen also notched his 22nd double-double of the season on Monday, placing him in a tie for second place in the East along with James Harden, Clint Capela and Giannis.


QUOTABLE

Coach J.B. Bickerstaff, on his team’s late-game defense …

"The game comes down to: Can you get a stop? And fortunately for us, we got the stop. That's what we have to bank on. We have to bank on our defense and trust in our defense. We needed one stop and we were able to come up with it. I thought we put ourselves in a little bit of a difficult situation. But again, credit to the guys for not bowing down and finding stops when we need stops and offensively, there's big guys that make big shots and make big plays to help us win."

CALLS OF THE GAME

Enjoy the best broadcast calls of the night from Cavaliers Radio Network's Tim Alcorn and Rafa Hernandez-Brito from Power 89.1.


UP NEXT

After splitting the back-to-back to improve to 2-1 on the trip, the Cavs begin heading back east – traveling to Salt Lake City for a Wednesday night matchup against Donovan Mitchell and the slumping Jazz.

The Cavaliers close out the West Coast trip with a back-to-back this weekend, taking on the Spurs in San Antonio on Friday night followed by a Saturday night showdown with the Thunder in OKC.

ICYMI: DG & Mobley's Big Fourth Quarter Help Cavs to Win

Darius Garland and Evan Mobley came alive in the fourth quarter against the Kings. They each scored seven points and combined to hand out seven assists in the final frame.

Cavs at Kings - January 10, 2022

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ICYMI: DG & Mobley's Big Fourth Quarter Help Cavs to Win

Darius Garland and Evan Mobley came alive in the fourth quarter against the Kings. They each scored seven points and combined to hand out seven assists in the final frame.
Jan 11, 2022  |  01:53

Cavs vs. Kings Postgame: Lauri Markkanen

Cavs forward Lauri Markkanen spoke with the media following Monday's win against the Kings at Golden 1 Center.
Jan 11, 2022  |  07:33

Cavs vs. Kings Postgame: Evan Mobley + Jarrett Allen

Cavs centers Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen spoke with the media following Monday's win against the Kings at Golden 1 Center.
Jan 11, 2022  |  09:37

Cavs vs. Kings Postgame: J.B. Bickerstaff

Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff spoke with the media following Monday's win against the Kings at Golden 1 Center.
Jan 11, 2022  |  06:50

Cavs at Kings - Verizon Game Rewind

The Cavaliers took down the Kings in a thriller in Sacramento on Monday night. See all the highlights from the game here, in the Game Rewind sponsored by Verizon.
Jan 11, 2022  |  04:56

Feat. Highlight: Rondo's Game-Sealing Stop

Rajon Rondo comes up clutch on defense, defending and stopping De'Aaron Fox on the last possession of the game with the Kings needing a basket.
Jan 11, 2022  |  01:02

Allen's Strong Jam off a Stevens Feed

Jarrett Allen puts down a strong, two-handed flush off a nice lob pass to start the ally-oop in the third quarter.
Jan 10, 2022  |  00:24

Cedi Beats First Quarter Buzzer

After a Kings made basket, the Cavs push the ball up the court and finds Cedi Osman, who fires and hits a long three pointer to cap the first quarter.
Jan 10, 2022  |  00:17

Allen Finishes Through Traffic

Darius Garland lobs a perfect pass inside to Jarrett Allen who catches and scores in between multiple Kings defenders in the paint.
Jan 10, 2022  |  00:16

Rondo Lobs to Mobley

Rajon Rondo uses an Evan Mobley pick-and-roll to the basket to set up a lob pass to the rookie to catch and dunk at the rim.
Jan 10, 2022  |  00:16

Rondo, Mobley Play the Two Man Game

Evan Mobley and Rajon Rondo pass between themselves, as Rondo passes in to Mobley who cans the turnaround jumper as the shot clock expires.
Jan 10, 2022  |  00:19

Allen Drives and Dunks in the First

Jarrett Allen drives into the paint from the wing and throws it down early in the game against the Kings.
Jan 10, 2022  |  00:15
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