CLEVELAND, OH--- The Cavs lost a heartbreaker in the 2023-2024 home opener, blowing a 10 point lead with 2:37 left in the 4th quarter, losing to the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder 108-105 Friday night.
The Cavs, and specifically Isaac Okoro started the game off very hot, with Okoro scoring the first 9 Cavaliers points, with the first 7 on a 7-0 run. After that, the Cavs cooled down, only shooting 9 for 22 from the field in the first quarter. Isaac Okoro would eventually have to leave the game in the 3rd quarter after taking 2 shots to the face, no intentional foul was called and Cavs fans would let the refs have it, players were vocal as well and they would rally behind this with a barrage of 3 pointers. Okoro would later return in the last minute of the same quarter after heading to the locker room. Okoro wouldn't contribute much more after returning, finishing with 10 points and 7 rebounds. That 3rd quarter was where the game really started to heat up, with the Thunder and the Cavs going back and forth for the rest of the game, there would be 10 lead changes and 13 ties as the teams were in a very physical battle in the second half.
In that 3rd quarter, the Cavs really got their 3 point shot going, making 5 of their 13 attempts from behind the arc. The 4th quarter would be all the same, with lead change after lead change, a late 4th quarter offensive explosion lead by Donovan Mitchell would help the Cavs get out to a 100-90 led with 2:37 left in the game, but the Thunder would not quit. Mitchell would finish the game with 43 points, the 23rd time in his career he exceeded the 40 point mark. A core member of this young Thunder team is Chet Holmgren, who would come up with a very clutch 3 pointer to tie the game at 102 with 1:03 left in the game, followed closely by a Luguentez Dort bucket that capped off a 14-2 Thunder run to quickly erase the 10 point Cavs lead. The Cavs kept crawling and fighting all game, getting within one, fouling, getting within one, fouling, but leave it to "Spida" Mitchell to come in when the Cavs needed him to, hitting a 3 pointer with 6 seconds left off a timeout to bring the Cavs within one at 106-105. After 2 made free throws from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander with 4 seconds left to play, the Cavs couldn't get back in the game due to not having a timeout left, and would go on to lose 108-105.
The Cavs are back home again Saturday night hosting the Indiana Pacers, tip off is set for 7:30.