The Cleveland Cavaliers fell to the Golden State Warriors on Thursday, but a certain Cavs youngster impressed Warriors superstar Stephen Curry with his performance.
Darius Garland, who was Cleveland’s leading scorer against Golden State, caught Curry’s attention. After the game, the two-time MVP revealed his message to Garland.
“I told him it’s clear he’s gotten better,” Curry said. “With his speed and his ball-handling, you have to respect both, which opens up a lot more opportunities for him, and he played well. He’s been playing well, and I know with [Collin] Sexton out, he has a lot more opportunity, and he’s showing what he’s capable of as the featured guard. … It’s impressive. I talked about him last year as a guy that’s really impressive just in general his first couple years, and he’s taken another step in that right direction.”
Garland dropped 25 points on 10-for-22 shooting in Thursday’s matchup against Curry and the Warriors. He also shot 4-for-11 from 3-point range and racked up five assists.
For the season, the 21-year-old is now averaging 17.8 points, 2.3 rebounds and 6.5 assists per contest. He’s shooting 46.5 percent from the field and 38.0 percent from deep. He’s certainly opening some eyes.
While Garland has a lot to be proud of individually, he and his teammates are likely frustrated with the outcome of their game against Golden State. Despite building up a massive lead through three quarters, Cleveland wasn’t able to contain Curry in the fourth.
The Cavs were outscored 36-8 in the final frame, as the team seemingly just ran out of steam. Being down several key players likely didn’t help the cause.
Fortunately, a handful of sidelined players are reportedly on the verge of returning for Cleveland.