CLEVELAND, Ohio — It was a tough January for Cleveland Cavaliers rookie Collin Sexton.
His February started poorly as very well, obtaining substantially outplayed by fellow neophyte Luka Doncic Saturday night.
But with Cedi Osman nursing a sprained ankle, Rodney Hood in Portland subsequent a pre-deadline trade, and Kevin Enjoy and Tristan Thompson even now sporting satisfies on the bench, Sexton stepped up and shipped his best effectiveness in months Tuesday night.
It wasn’t plenty of. The Cavs misplaced to the Boston Celtics for the 3rd time this season, 103-96.
Sexton dazzled for 3 quarters, scoring 27 factors on an efficient 11-of-19 from the subject and 3-of-5 from 3-point selection. With a 3-guard lineup and Alec Burks initiating offense throughout, Sexton was in a position to perform away from the ball, wherever he had much more room. The rookie performed with poise, attacking the rim instead of settling for lousy outdoors jumpers. He concluded by way of contact.
“Very last video game I have been performing on layups, layups, layups,” Sexton reported. “Very last video game I missed a great little bit. I imagine I missed like six at the rim, easy layups I ordinarily make. That was 1 thing I just continued to operate on this 7 days and make guaranteed I labored on the 3-ball mainly because groups are daring me to shoot. So I have to knock it down for my teammates to open up all the things else up.”
Then he went scoreless in the last quarter, missing all 5 photographs and finishing 3 factors shy of the 30-point mark. The Cavs are the only NBA team without having a 30-point scorer this season.
Continue to, for most of the video game, Sexton confirmed the flashes that appeared to be dimming as the season progressed.
It was the type of effectiveness he — and the firm — essential, as criticism has grown louder, specially with him failing to make the Increasing Stars Obstacle and the latest whooping Doncic shipped. For Sexton, it was his maximum point full given that tallying a season-high 29 factors towards Washington on Dec. 8.
“You’ve acquired to go on to be individual mainly because I never know all the things,” Sexton reported. “You’ve acquired to go on to view film and go on to grow on the court docket as very well as off the court docket. Off the court docket is when you study film, crack down and get to know your guys and know precisely wherever they like the ball.”
The Celtics were led by a well balanced scoring assault. Sophomore sensation Jayson Tatum concluded with 25 factors. Marcus Wise chipped in with 17.
Gordon Hayward even confirmed some of his old All-Star variety back in the creating wherever it looked to be taken from him. Returning to Quicken Financial loans Arena for the initial time given that a horrific leg injury charge him the complete 2017-18 season, Hayward shook away individuals haunting memories and provided a essential boost off the bench for the shorter-handed Celtics.
With foremost scorer Kyrie Irving out mainly because of a hip strain and Marcus Morris working with a knee injury, Hayward tallied 18 factors on 9-of-14 taking pictures to go with six rebounds and 5 assists. It really is his 3rd video game in the very last 4 reaching double figures.
“I explained to my wife I was a very little anxious about it, for guaranteed, sitting in my resort room very last night,” Hayward reported. “Just thinking about how all the things improved and wherever I was sitting a yr ago from now. Just content to try out to find some viewpoint, I guess, and just content that I was out there.”
When the last buzzer sounded, Wise — Boston’s pesky defender — went straight to Sexton for a hug, handshake and a temporary chat. He was clearly impressed with the youngster. It was a indicator of regard from the tenacious Wise who assisted keep Sexton is check out in the course of the last body.
Even nevertheless the night ended in defeat, all was not misplaced for the Cavs.
Gamble pays off
Various members of the Cavaliers’ front office environment, including typical supervisor Koby Altman, were bunkered in the office environment on Tuesday night performing to find specials. With absolutely nothing imminent, the team opted to perform Alec Burks, whose title is at the heart of individuals discussions mainly because of his expiring agreement.
In what could be his last audition for the Cavs — and other NBA groups — the versatile guard scored 21 factors on 9-of-19 taking pictures to go with 4 rebounds and two assists.
Jordan Clarkson are not able to find rhythm
Clarkson, the NBA’s 3rd-foremost scorer among the bench gamers, had Boston’s comprehensive awareness for the 2nd time in the very last few months.
When Clarkson came off high screens, a 2nd defender was waiting, forcing him out of the lane. When Clarkson did get in close proximity to the hoop, he struggled to end around the Celtics’ duration. His outdoors shot wasn’t falling either.
Clearly discouraged, Clarkson shouted for calls and threw his arms in the air several occasions in the fourth quarter right before obtaining pulled about the 4-minute mark.
Clarkson concluded with just 7 factors on 2-of-13 taking pictures and 1-of-7 from deep.
The Cavs will head on the road for a back-to-back, which opens Friday night towards the Washington Wizards. They will then go to Indianapolis on Saturday.