Outclassed: Three takeaways from Sunday’s 108-91 loss to the Cavaliers

Mar 26, 2023; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Houston Rockets center Alperen Sengun (28) drives to the basket between Cleveland Cavaliers forward Evan Mobley (4) and center Jarrett Allen (31) during the first half at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Outclassed: Three takeaways from Sunday’s 108-91 loss to the Cavaliers

The Rockets showed some fight, but ultimately lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers 108-91 for their fifth straight loss. After managing to score just 43 points on 43% shooting, the Rockets trailed by 17 at halftime, but rallied to outscore the Cavs 37-25 in the third quarter to cut the lead to five. Ultimately, Houston could not carry that success over into the fourth, scoring just 11 points on 25% shooting. Jalen Green led the Rockets with 30 points, while Jarrett Allen’s 24 points and 14 assists led the Cavs.

Jalen Green and Evan Mobley steal the show

Sunday’s game featured the second and third overall picks from the 2021 draft, and they both came to play. Green finished with 30 points on 10-of-17 shooting, 5-of-11 from long distance to go with four assists, and he took over the third quarter by scoring 14 points on just five shot attempts.

Mobley was just as impressive with his 19-point, seven-rebound, five-assist, three-block night. He converted on 8-of-12 field goal attempts, and might’ve had the most impressive sequence in the game when he came down with three offensive rebounds on one possession. He kicked out to shooters after the first two, but simply threw down a dunk on a third.

Everyone is quick to compare the two because of where they were drafted, and while Mobley has been the better player thus far, he shares the floor with three All-Stars and is asked to do much, much less than Green, who is almost always sharing the floor with a bunch of 19-22 year olds.

Kevin Porter Jr. struggles in his return to Cleveland

Porter had faced the team that gave him away 18 months after drafting him in the first round once before, but Sunday was the first time he played in Cleveland, and he did not play well. Porter shot just 3-of-12 from the field and finished with six points, four assists and two turnovers.

The shot chart was ugly. Porter took five of his 12 shots from inside the 3-point line and outside the restricted, and he did not attempt a single free throw.

No success inside

Entering Sunday’s game, the Rockets were averaging 61 points per game in the paint, most in the NBA since the All-Star Break. But because of the presence of Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen, the Cavs were only surrendering 46 during that span. On this night, the Cavs’ defense won out. The Rockets were held to just 44 points in the paint while attempting just 17 free throws. The Rockets didn’t shoot a bad percentage when they got to the paint, knocking down 56% of the shots they took from that area of the floor – they just didn’t take very many. Houston attempted just 39 shots from inside the paint on Sunday after averaging 53.6 in 16 games since the break.

Next up

The Rockets will continue their five-game road trip when they visit the New York Knicks on Monday night.

Related Posts:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *