Game Recap 10/27/23 | Cavaliers Lose to OKC 108-105

October 27, 2023

Andy Billman

Post-Game Recap

3 Things Around The Game

1 – Cavs Blow 10-Point Lead

Cleveland, with 2:37 left in the game, had a ten-point lead but could not hold on with the Cavs allowing open three-point looks that went in for OKC, combing with the Cavaliers getting empty trips down the stretch allowing the Thunder to get the stunning victory—gut-wrenching loss in the home opener.

2 – Slow start

Cleveland had a hard time getting into the game early, missing a lot of three-pointers and falling behind by as much as 15 at one point in the 2nd quarter.  Evan Mobley, in particular, did not play well early on, with a plus/minus ratio of -21 at one point in the 1st half. 

3 – Marvelous Mitchell 

Donovan Mitchell did his best to lift the team with 43 points and, at moments in the second half, took the game over. 

Game Summary

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander put up 34 points, while rookie Chet Holmgren, in just his second NBA game, contributed 16 points and grabbed an impressive 13 rebounds. The Oklahoma City Thunder mounted a remarkable comeback in the final two minutes to shock the Cleveland Cavaliers 108-105 on Friday night.

The youthful Thunder were down 102-93 with only 1:56 remaining on the clock when they embarked on an incredible 11-0 run, which included three consecutive 3-pointers, one of which was nailed by Holmgren. They closed the game with a 15-3 surge that derailed Cleveland’s home opener.

Gilgeous-Alexander sealed the victory by sinking his first two free throws with just 4.6 seconds left. The Thunder’s smooth guard then snatched the ball from Donovan Mitchell to secure the win as they kicked off the season with their second consecutive road triumph.

Despite the brilliant effort from Mitchell, who scored 43 points and had to work extra hard due to the absence of injured All-Stars Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen, the Cavs seemed to be in control until the Thunder’s thrilling comeback. An overturned replay challenge, triggered by Holmgren’s seventh block, paved the way for three quick 3-pointers by Gilgeous-Alexander, Jalen Williams, and Holmgren, all within a span of 46 seconds.

Caris LeVert added 17 points, with 15 of those coming in the second half, and Evan Mobley contributed 14 points and 15 rebounds for Cleveland, marking their first game at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse since their playoff exit at the hands of the New York Knicks on April 26.

The game took a dramatic turn in the final minutes as the Cavaliers faltered, similar to their playoff exit in April.

Chet Holmgren, the second overall pick in 2022, missed the entire previous season due to a Lisfranc foot injury sustained during a summer game. The Thunder finally had him on the court, and the 7-foot-1 Holmgren displayed composure and comfort during his 31 minutes of play.

Darius Garland had been dealing with a left hamstring issue, which had affected the Cleveland point guard in their Wednesday opener in Brooklyn. Meanwhile, Jarrett Allen had been sidelined for several weeks with a left ankle bone bruise. Although Allen had been participating in individual workouts, he was not yet ready to play, and the Cavs were taking a cautious approach to his recovery.

Trailing by 10 points and struggling with their outside shooting (3 of 22 on 3-pointers), the Cavaliers found their rhythm in the third quarter, especially after Isaac Okoro left the game with an injury. Donovan Mitchell and Caris LeVert hit consecutive 3-pointers, sparking a 22-9 run that saw the Cavaliers take the lead for the first time since the opening quarter.

During the first timeout, the Cavaliers paid tribute to Bobby “Bingo” Smith, a cherished member of the Cleveland teams in the 1970s, who passed away at the age of 77 on Thursday. Smith’s No. 7 jersey was retired in 1979 and hangs in the rafters of the arena. Additionally, there was a moment of silence to honor the victims of a recent mass shooting in Maine.

Up Next

Host Indiana Pacers on Saturday night.

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