Groin injury, turnovers haunt Cavs’ Mitchell in loss to Knicks – ESPN

Groin injury, turnovers haunt Cavs’ Mitchell in loss to Knicks – ESPN

11:20 p.m. ET

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    Tim Bontemps ESPN

NEW YORK — Cavaliers star Donovan Mitchell wasn’t sure his status would progress after his groin tightened in Tuesday night’s final game of Cleveland’s 105-103 loss to the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

“It felt the same as before,” said Mitchell, who missed the previous three games with groin strains. “I don’t know what’s next.”

Mitchell had attempted to drive into the paint and tie the game for the Cavaliers, but his shot was blocked for a second time by Knicks center Isaiah Hartenstein in the final minute of the game. Then, after grabbing the rebound and kicking it to forward Evan Mobley – who missed another potential shot as New York claimed the win – Mitchell stayed on the court for an extended period. He later said he was struggling not only with tightness in his groin but also with cramps in both his legs, all of which happened on that last ride.

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He eventually got up and walked off under his own power, although visibly upset in doing so. Mitchell later admitted the frustration stemmed from both a combination of his poor play on the stretch – Hartenstein not only blocked two of his shots, but RJ Barrett pulled him out on a drive within the last 90 seconds – and not being sure of him his health ahead.

“I felt good enough to come back and that this was the last five seconds of the game really pisses me off,” Mitchell said after finishing with 24 points on 9-for-24 shooting with eight rebounds and eight assists had and four steals in 38 minutes. “But I fumbled the game away for the group and that’s on me. Poor execution on my part on the track. They made perfect plays and I just didn’t execute them.

“It’s definitely both [frustration about the injury and his play]but even more [the injury]. I pray that I’m fine.”

Mitchell’s status overshadowed a hectic 48 minutes for both teams as the Knicks – who had lost four straight games – got back on track with a much-needed win after the game went back and forth repeatedly in the fourth quarter thanks to 36 points and 13 Julius Randle rebounds. But from his perspective, Mitchell said the loss rests solely on his shoulders.

“I screwed that up,” Mitchell said. “The last few possessions, I can cry all I want over the foul calls. I just need to be better prepared for our group. I had a turnover on a layup, although I feel like I was fouled, pull it out, play a game, get some. And then the second, where I flew the layup, that’s at my expense. I let the team down at the end of the game. We’ve played a really good game up to that point, all of us, and I haven’t been doing my job. And that’s on me.”

However, his teammates saw it differently.

“I think it’s the emotion that’s still going around,” Jarrett Allen said. “He thinks, ‘What could I have done better? I should have done this, I should have done that.’ “But we should all have done something. It’s not just about him. I won’t say he didn’t screw it up. I won’t say I didn’t screw it up. We all had a part to play in this game.” “

Adding to the excitement of the evening was the fact that it was Mitchell’s second game at MSG since the Cavaliers landed him a stunning blockbuster deal in September after the Knicks and Utah Jazz spent months discussing a potential trade for the All-Star guard had spoken . New York has now won both games.

However, Mitchell was 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, 39.6% from the 3-point Shooting range and 86.9% from liberty throwing line: all career highlights. He will likely be selected as a starter in the All-Star Game for the first time when the selection is announced Thursday night.