Thunderstruck: Two takeaways from the Cavaliers’ loss to the Thunder

Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images
Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images /
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Disappointing? Wacky? Weird? Uncharacteristic? Those are just a few words that can be used to describe the first eight games of 2023-24 Cleveland Cavaliers basketball. A thesis could be written on how interesting the start of the season has been. From the injuries to the subpar defense to the inconsistency on offense, the Cavs have not been the team they can be for a consistent stretch to start the year, and this teetered into their second loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder this season.

The Cavs lost 128-120, and gave up 43 points to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. The Cavs also had an uncharacteristic 18 turnovers, making it the second game in a row where they had that number. Donovan Mitchell also picked the wrong time to go colder than a Nick Wright take, as he was eight-of-23 from the field and a chilly one-of-nine from three-point range. Darius Garland also had a subpar performance, as he had eight of the Cavs’ 18 turnovers, which didn’t help their cause defensively.

On the bright side, Evan Mobley, and Caris LeVert were kind enough to show up for the Wine and Gold. Mobley had a strong 22 points on nine-of-16 shooting, and LeVert had 29 points, including 13 of them coming by way of the free throw line. Max Strus and Jarrett Allen also chipped in with 12 points apiece.

Yes, there were some positives, but this is not the way the Cavs wanted to start their road trip. Here are two takeaways from the Thunder loss.