The Cleveland Cavaliers reaped their 22nd victory of the regular season last morning, that is, they already have the same victories as all those obtained in the previous season (22-50).
JB Bickerstaff’s team won 114-101 on their visit to the Moda Center in Portland with an inspired Darius Garland. The point guard was the most outstanding of his team with 26 points and 6 assists, including 10 of 17 in shooting from the field and a remarkable 5 of 8 in triples.
Along with him, up to five additional teammates would contribute double-digit scoring: Evan Mobley (18 points and 8 rebounds); Lauri Markkanen (15); Jarrett Allen (13 points and 13 rebounds); Cedi Osman (14) and rookie Rajon Rondo with 11. This is the Cavs’ first victory in Portland since January 2013.
At Portland, who have barely been a win in the past six games, Norman Powell led their offense with 19 points; Robert Covington added 17 points, and Jusuf Nurkic and Anfernee Simmons both had 14 points.
With hardly much time to prepare for his arrival in Cleveland, veteran Rajon Rondo debuted in his new colors as an emergency signing in the face of serious injuries suffered by Collin Sexton, and more recently Ricky Rubio.
Rondo up from Los Angeles to bring experience to a team whose sole goal is to return to the playoffs. And the truth is that nothing was seen out of tune in his first steps as a new member of the Cavs. Rondo finished with 11 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal in 17 minutes on the floor.
“When the coach called me to leave, I’m always ready,” Rondo admitted to ESPN. “It doesn’t matter if I’m a starter or not, if I’m going to play 28 minutes or two. For me it is already a great opportunity to be out there and play for this team, “he added.
“It was a lot of fun playing with him. In his first few plays I thought: Damn, that’s Rajon Rondo on the court, ”Garland admitted. “It is a new face, but it is fantastic. An incredible veteran, a great guy, and now he’s the leader on the track. It has been a lot of fun playing with him, “he added.
(Cover photo: Patrick Smith / Getty Images)