However, Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff made it clear after the game that he was far from pleased with how his team played.
“We spoke. They’re aware,” Bickerstaff said. “We’ll take the win, but that was a disappointing game for us. We didn’t play the game and approach the game with the seriousness that we needed to. It’s over now, we got the win, but we can’t afford to play that way.”
The Cavs put together a strong defensive effort against the Thunder, holding them to just 87 points. But Cleveland’s offense was nowhere near the standard the team has set for itself during this campaign. The team totaled 94 points, well below its average of 107.2 points per game.
Cleveland gave up the ball way too much, which allowed Oklahoma City plenty of chances on offense. The Cavs had 23 turnovers by the end of the match, with Darius Garland accounting for eight of those. The rising star did make up for them by recording 23 points and 11 assists for his 15th double-double of the season.
Cleveland also failed to capitalize on the 35 free throw attempts it was awarded versus the Thunder. It made only 18 of them, good for 51.4 percent.
Fortunately, rebounding helped the Cavs defeat the Thunder. The Cavs grabbed 54 boards, thanks in part to a whopping 17 rebounds by rookie Evan Mobley. Jarrett Allen also contributed in that department by posting 13 rebounds.
Cleveland is looking to string some wins together and shoot up the standings in the Eastern Conference.