The Cleveland Cavaliers had their first game at home on Friday night, playing the Oklahoma City Thunder in front of a wildly supportive crowd.
In the end, the Cavs weren’t able to pull out a win and went down 108-105.
Following the game, Max Strus talked about the team’s struggles, especially toward the end of the game and he also commended the homecourt fans who showed nothing but love.
“That was awesome. The way they rallied us, got behind us. We definitely felt their presence. Gave us some life and gave us some energy,” he said to Bally Sports Cleveland.
He added: “Hopefully, they keep that up during the year and keep pushing us.”
"We definitely felt their presence."
— Bally Sports Cleveland (@BallySportsCLE) October 28, 2023
Although it was a close loss, the Cavaliers just couldn’t overcome the power of Shai Giligeous-Alexander with 34 points and 11 rebounds, and Lu Dort who brought 25 points of his own.
Chet Holmgren was also incredibly solid with a double-double of 16 points and 13 rebounds.
Strus didn’t play as well as he did on opening night, but he still contributed.
He scored 8 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists.
That’s a far cry from his 27 points and 12 rebounds on opening night.
Strus’ teammate Donovan Mitchell had an explosive night with 43 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists, but that clearly wasn’t enough.
Strus said that he and his team will “learn and grow” from their experience on Friday night.
He was happy to see the crowd in Cleveland so engaged and committed to the Cavaliers, but they all want to give them more to be proud of.
The sesaon is long and it might take time for the Cavaliers to find a good rhythm and, therefore, some big wins.
They have a chance to redeem themselves on Saturday night as they take on the Indiana Pacers at home.