Groin injury, turnovers dog Cavs’ Mitchell in loss to Knicks

Groin injury, turnovers dog Cavs’ Mitchell in loss to Knicks

NEW YORK – Cavaliers star Donovan Mitchell was unsure of his future status after his groin strained on the final play of Cleveland’s 105-103 loss to the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. On tuesday night.

“I felt the same way as before,” said Mitchell, who had missed the previous three games with a groin strain. “I don’t know what comes next.”

Mitchell had tried to drive into the paint and tie the game for the Cavaliers, but his shot was blocked by Knicks center Isaiah Hartenstein for the second time in the final minute of the game. Then, after grabbing the rebound and kicking it to forward Evan Mobley (who missed another potential game-tying shot as New York claimed the win), Mitchell stayed on the floor for an extended stretch. He later said that he was not only dealing with groin strain, but also with cramps in both legs, all of which happened on that final drive.

He eventually got to his feet and walked off the court under his own power, though he was visibly upset doing so. Mitchell later admitted that the frustration stemmed from both a combination of his poor play down the stretch (Hartenstein not only blocked two of his shots, but was stripped by RJ Barrett on a drive inside the final 90 seconds) and he wasn’t health insurance for the future.

“I felt good enough to come back, and for that to be the last five seconds of the game really pisses me off,” Mitchell said after finishing with 24 points on 9-for-24 shooting to go along with eight rebounds, eight assists. and four steals in 38 minutes. “But I lost the game for the group, and that’s up to me. Bad execution on my part down the stretch. They made perfect plays, and I just didn’t make them.”

“It’s definitely both [frustration about the injury and his play]but more [the injury]. I’m praying to be okay.”

Mitchell’s condition overshadowed what was a hectic 48 minutes for both teams as the Knicks, who had lost four in a row, got back on track with a desperately needed win after the game went back and forth repeatedly in the final game. fourth thanks to 36 points and 13 rebounds from Julius Randle. But from his point of view, Mitchell said the loss was solely on his shoulders.

“I blew it,” Mitchell said. “On the last few possessions, I can cry all I want about fouls. I just have to be more prepared for our group. I had a turnover on a layup, even though I feel like I was fouled, take it out.” , execute a play, get something. And then the second I throw a layup, that’s up to me. I let the team down at the end of the game. We played a very good game up to that point, all of us, and I didn’t do my job. And that’s my fault.”

However, his colleagues thought otherwise.

“I think it’s the excitement that keeps going around,” Jarrett Allen said. “He’s thinking, ‘What could I have done better? I should have done this, I should have done that.'” But we all should have done something. Not everything depends on him. I’m not going to say he didn’t screw it up. I’m not going to say he didn’t screw it up. We all play a part in this game. .”

The emotions of the night were only heightened by the fact that it was Mitchell’s second game at MSG since the Cavaliers landed him in a surprising blockbuster deal in September after the Knicks and Utah Jazz discussed a possible trade for the. All-Star base for months. . New York has now won both games.

Mitchell, however, has been spectacular in his first season in Cleveland, averaging 28.3 points per game, good for 10th in the league, while shooting 48.1% from the field, down 39.6 from the field. % from 3-point range and 86.9% from the free throw. Throwing line: All of his career highs. He is likely to be voted an All-Star starter for the first time when the selections are announced Thursday night.

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