Make that seven in a row.
The Cleveland Cavaliers continued their recent run through their post-trade deadline schedule with wins over the New Orleans Pelicans, the Chicago Bulls and the San Antonio Spurs.
Both guard Donovan Mitchell and head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said the Cavs didn’t play up to their standards in the 117-109 win over the Spurs at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on Monday.
“Sometimes, when you have success, we’ve been playing well the past two and a half weeks, two weeks, you have lapses,” Mitchell said in a postgame press conference. “Tonight was a lapse.
“We played a team to their record and how they’ve been playing. That can’t happen.”
The Spurs slowly chipped away at the 34-19 lead the Cavs built by the end of the first quarter. They scored 30, 32 and 28 points in the next three quarters, respectively. San Antonio remained on the Cavaliers’ heels as they pulled within four points during the fourth quarter after a drive and quick pass from Spurs guard Blake Wesley gave just enough room for forward Charles Bassey to hit a quick layup.
The team needed to take the game as a learning lesson, Mitchell added, as it looks to continue to play to its standards every night.
“For us, take this as a learning lesson,” Donovan Mitchell said. “Like ‘alright, we can’t really play around.’ We kind of came in here expecting things to just go kind of well. They did, because we’re talented.
“At the end of the day, that’s how you fall into being up four in the 4th quarter… We get out to a great start and then just say ‘alright, it’s in the bag.’ That’s not what a great team does. You’ve got to continue doing it every night.”
The Cavs will tip off against the Philadelphia 76ers at 7:30 p.m. EST on Wednesday in the Wells Fargo Center. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN and Bally Sports Ohio.