Cavs’ road woes continue against Timberwolves


Courtesy of the Associated Press

Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard Isaac Okoro blocks Minnesota Timberwolves player Anthony Edwards in the Cavs’ loss on Jan. 14.

Taniskha Mhaskar, Staff Writer

The Cleveland Cavaliers surrendered a 110-102 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Jan. 14 as they ran out of gas in their late game collapse. Cleveland won two of the five games on their road trip. 

Power forward Evan Mobley and center Jarrett Allen put up 19 points and eight rebounds a piece. Rising star guard Darius Garland had 15 points and All-Star candidate Donovan Mitchell put up 14 more but shot an abysmal 5/16 from the field. The Cavs as a whole played an inconsistent game, their largest lead was 14 points in the third quarter before they slowed down to trail Minnesota by 13. 

The scoreboard and team’s momentum shifted negatively in the last half of the game because of a lack of execution from the offense down the stretch. Cleveland allowed 60 points in the paint, due mostly to self-inflicted mistakes resulting in 18 turnovers. 

The Cavs will need more from their bench in future games as shooting guard Caris LeVert was the only player to finish with double digit points. Though Minnesota’s bench outscored Cleveland’s 56-27, the key issues stem from a season-long struggle on the road where they have a record of 9-13. 

At home the Cavs are 18-4, scoring 114 points per game with a defensive rating of 107.2 and a net rating of 8.1. On the road, they score only 109 points per game while their defensive rating on the road is 111.4 and their net rating is 0.8.

When asked about their road struggles, Mitchell said, “I think it comes from experience. I think that’s the biggest thing. We’re getting close to a point where it’s time to go, you know what I mean? We feel that. We had an opportunity to go 3-2 on this road trip and had an opportunity to go 4-1 with what happened in Utah. But we didn’t. We need to start picking it up. If we want to be who we want to be we have to win on the road. Just can’t be a home team. We have moments. We have flashes. But now we have to put it all together.”

This last road trip was the sixth multi-game road trip that Cleveland has had this season. Each trip has resulted in the same thing: either split or with a losing record. So, what is the reason that the Cavaliers are struggling on the road? 

According to Mobley, “Lack of execution down the stretch. Winning on the road is always harder because you don’t have the crowd with you, so you really have to execute each play. I feel like it’s on the road where it’s happening, and we just have to correct it and fix it.”

Cleveland is now 28-17 and No. 5 in the Eastern Conference a game and a half behind the Brooklyn Nets for second place. As the midway point of the season and the All-Star Break nears, Cleveland must find an answer to fix their road woes.