The crowd inside Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse let out a gasp of despair after Darius Garland missed on a long 3-pointer in the dying seconds of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ matchup against the Utah Jazz. The Cavs’ 109-108 loss snapped their four-game winning streak.
Everyone knew the ball was going to be in Garland’s hands. He was having a hot shooting night, going 11-of-19 from the field for his second-straight 30-point game. The shot he wanted most just didn’t go through the hoop. Some questioned the shot selection, but the savvy playmaker had full confidence in that attempt.
“I work on that shot every day. It just didn’t fall tonight,” Garland said, via Tim Bielik of Cleveland.com. “My teammates told me it looked good. My coaches told me it looked good.”
The Cavs fell into a 15-point hole to start the fourth quarter, but Cedi Osman and Ricky Rubio refused to die down. The two sparked a 15-0 run that allowed the home team to regain the lead near the three-minute mark. Utah was too savvy to buckle down, though.
Garland is one of the brightest, if not the brightest, rays of light for the Cavs this season. Hampered by injuries to multiple starters, the former fifth overall pick kept the Cavs in a fighting position even against the top teams in the league.
The Cavs now hold a 13-11 win-loss record. It’s still an overachievement considering their brutal record thus far. It doesn’t get easier, though, as they’re pitted against the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks next.
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