Cleveland Cavaliers lose Evan Mobley to injury, beat Orlando anyway

Cleveland Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff argues a call during the first half of an NBA...
Cleveland Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff argues a call during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Orlando Magic, Monday, March 28, 2022, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)(Ron Schwane | AP)
Published: Mar. 28, 2022 at 9:21 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The Cleveland Cavaliers won the game Monday but their injury problems are piling up.

Both Evan Mobley (ankle) and Lauri Markkanen (knee) had to leave the game, a 107-101 win over Orlando.

“The injuries can be staggering at times,” Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said after the game. “The injuries take a toll on you mentally and can be a distraction....but we figured out a way.”

Mobley rolled his ankle in the second quarter trying to block a Franz Wagner shot and did not return.

Markkanen banged knees with Wendell Carter Jr. in the third quarter but returned early in the fourth.

Swingman Lamar Stevens also hurt his left wrist in a second-half collision with Mo Bamba but did return to play.

Cleveland is already without injured center Jarrett Allen (broken finger) and Collin Sexton (knee).

Reserve forward Dean Wade also had knee surgery Monday and will miss the rest of the season.

Despite all that, the Cavs put the game away with a late 12-0 run to prevail at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse.

“You have to win ugly and right now every win counts,” said Cavs forward Kevin Love, who had 19 points and 7 assists off the bench.

Darius Garland led Cleveland with 25 points and12 assists.

“Darius is a closer,” Bickerstaff said. “He has the ability to make all the shots.”

The Cavs hit 20 of 23 free throws.

The game opened a 3-game homestand for the Cavs, who have just 7 games left in the regular season.

Number 6 seed Toronto beat Boston in overtime to remain a game ahead of number 7 Cleveland.

The NBA play-in tournament, where teams 7 through 10 battle for the final 2 playoff spots in each conference, is slated for April 12-15.

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