After Tyler Zeller blocked a shot with five seconds left in overtime, it looked like the Cleveland Cavaliers seemed like they were on their way to winning their second game in two nights. But on the Portland Trail Blazers next possession, Nick Batum hit a dagger of a three with 0.02 seconds lefts on the clock to give the Trailblazers a 118-117 lead. After an ugly throw in, and a near made trick shot by Anderson Varejao, that final score held, sending the Cavaliers record to 4-13. Alonzo Gee, who was almost Mr. Clutch again, lead the Cavaliers with 22 points. Anderson Varejao also recorded his eight straight double double with a 19-point, 17 rebound performance. Rookie sensation Damien Lillard led Portland with 24, while former Cavalier J.J. Hickson added 11.
The first quarter set the overall tone for the rest of the game. Right out of the gate, Cleveland and Portland staying close for the entire period. In fact, the largest lead of either team was Portland’s seven point of the lead at the end of the first period. Dion Waiters had the highlight of the game in this period when he threw down a vicious two-handed slam.
The second quarter of the team, but the Cavs found their groove a little more than they did in the first. Omri Casspi continued his stellar play off the bench, hitting two threes in the period.
The third quarter was arguably the Cavaliers strongest period. Tyler Zeller came on strong in this period, playing some of the best basketball that he has played in the entire season.
The fourth quarter was sloppy, but fun, basketball. Both teams had their offensive moments, but neither was fully able to pull away. Varejao and Lillard missed potential game winning shots, sending the game to overtime all tied up at 91.
The first overtime almost was the end of the game. Gee brought Cleveland back from the brink was a clutch bucket, and a Nick Batum two pointer was ruled to have gone off after the buzzer.
The final overtime was just as competitive as every other minute in the game. It truly came down to the last few possessions, when Gee missed a free throw that would have put the Cavs up three. Two possessions later, as neither team scored, Batum hit his three that sealed the game.
This was a fun game, even in a losing effort for Cleveland. Each quarter was fairly even, with each team going on a run, and then the other team would immediately respond with a run of their own. For the most part, Cleveland appeared to have the advantage. In both overtimes especially, the Cavs appeared to be on the verge of victory. However, Batum ended any hope of a Cavalier with his clutch three.
Outside of tonight’s loss was the injury to Waiters. He sprained his ankle in the second overtime, and was obvious pain as he sat on the bench. While post-game x-rays were negative, losing Waiters while Kyrie Irving is still out would be throwing salt into an already gashing injury wound.
The Cavaliers next take the court against the woeful Detroit Pistons at the Palace of Auburn Hills on Monday, December 3rd. Tip off is at 7:30, live on Fox Sports Ohio.