Cavs News: Kings heat up late, Delly returns, Mobley’s ceiling

Matthew Dellavedova, Sacramento Kings. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Matthew Dellavedova, Sacramento Kings. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Cavaliers had started out the season 11-1 at home after their win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday, and looked to be well-positioned to prevail on Friday night over the Sacramento Kings. Unfortunately, the Cavaliers were not able to close, and were stuck on 95, and did not score again from 4:50 on in the game.

The Kings got a monstrous performance from Domantas Sabonis on the glass, and after that Cavs’ last basket by Cedi Osman, Sacramento ripped off a 19-0 run. Despite the Cavaliers defense making things difficult for much of the fourth quarter, the Kings made big-time transition threes in key stretches to hang in there in the second half from Keegan Murray and Kevin Huerter, and in the end, the Cavs went cold at the worst time.

The Cavs were without Donovan Mitchell because of lower leg soreness, but the Kings didn’t have De’Aaron Fox due to foot soreness. It was a gut-wrenching 106-95 loss for the Cavaliers, either way. They’ll have a chance to turn the page right away, though, with the team set to face the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday night, on the second leg of a back-to-back.

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It was good to see Matthew Dellavedova back in Cleveland with the Kings, along with former Cavaliers head coach Mike Brown, now the skipper for Sacramento. Dellavedova made his imprint in his two stints with the Wine and Gold, in two postseason runs with LeBron James and company, and after he was traded back to Cleveland after a stint with the Milwaukee Bucks.

Dellavedova is more so a locker room presence with the Kings, but without Fox in the lineup last night, he did have 16 minutes of burn, resulting in a three, and he had four assists and three steals in that span. Cavs fans will always be grateful for Delly, who was also a key leadership presence for Darius Garland.

Evan Mobley has had a terrific start to his young career with the Cavs, with how he’s gifted the Wine and Gold one of the NBA’s most versatile defenders, and his cerebral approach has made him a notable factor on offense as well.

Taking into account that Mobley is only 21, and with his basketball IQ being so advanced for a player of his age, and only being in his second season, with his creation flashes in mind, too, he seems destined for stardom. Along those lines, our own Mateo Mayorga took a closer look at what Mobley’s ceiling might be down the road with Cleveland in a piece on Friday, and it’s safe to say, Cavaliers fans have been more than satisfied with Evan’s play so far.

NBA news

On Friday night, the Lakers took on the Philadelphia 76ers and Joel Embiid, in what was largely a back-and-forth contest, but the Sixers did seem to be poised to set to land a W, in the closing moments. Then, the noteworthy takeaway from that one, was what ensued at the end of regulation; the fact that this went to overtime was something else. Just watch what happened in these sequences.

In the end, the Sixers ran away with it in OT 13-2, and an incredible 33-point and seven-steal performance from De’Anthony Melton was huge in that one, and Joel Embiid was, well, Joel Embiid. But what an ending in regulation, and the game was an entertaining one, generally.

As for another bit of leaguewide news from Friday, in a matchup of the two early top seeds in the Western Conference, Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans outdueled the Phoenix Suns, 128-117. Williamson was his star self offensively, and the Pels got big contributions from the likes of Naji Marshall, Jose Alvarado and Larry Nance Jr. had 17 points, nine rebounds and five assists in 24 minutes. Nance was an energizer, as was often the case in his Cavs days.

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Next up for the Cavs: As we mentioned, the Cavaliers will take on the Thunder tonight, as they look to rebound from Friday’s L to the Kings.