SAN FRANCSICO (AP) – The Cleveland Cavaliers stayed poised when things turned testy, and that showed JB Bickerstaff plenty about his team at this early stage.
Donovan Mitchell got the best of Golden State and Draymond Green, finishing with 21 points, seven rebounds, five assists and a pair of steals on a night Green was ejected, and the Cavs beat the Warriors 118-110 yesterday.
Green pushed Mitchell with his shoulder and sent him out of bounds as Cleveland’s Caris LeVert drove for a layup. Then, as Green brought the ball across midcourt moments later, Mitchell chased him down and instigated a heated interaction.
“I think that was a little bit of a dirty play so Donovan retaliated,” Cavs forward Evan Mobley said.
Officials went to replay review and that’s how they determined Green’s infraction, calling Mitchell for a personal foul.
Bickerstaff talks to his team about how to handle such situations.
“It’s our guys standing up for themselves and protecting themselves,” Bickerstaff said.
“There was a play before where Donovan was hit in the back. And we’ve talked about it, that we don’t back down from anybody.
“So, again, proud of our guys for standing up for themselves but then again not letting it turn the tide of the game and getting caught up in something that we didn’t need to be caught up in and allowing them to go on a run. That was premediated to get their team kind of rallied. You felt that building the entire third quarter. I thought it could have been nipped in the bud a little bit earlier.”