Cavs’ Garland: ‘Our mindset all season is to play all 48 minutes’

The Cleveland Cavaliers have led from start to finish in three out of the last four games, including Wednesday’s 124-89 blowout win over the visiting Houston Rockets.

Cleveland led by as many as 32 points in the first half, and Houston never threatened from there. The Cavs had their largest lead of 45 in the third, and a significant part of the second half was extended garbage time. 

All 13 Cavalier players scored against Houston. 

The Cavaliers(18-12) swept their three-game homestand and have won five straight and nine of 11. Cleveland has won five straight for the time since LeBron James was in the Land(2018).

Houston’s(9-19) two-game winning streak ended Wednesday night.

The Great for the Cavaliers:

Where do you begin when you win by 35?

First Half: In the first quarter, the Cavaliers outscored the Rockets 35-16, and they went on an 18-0 run from the end of the first into the second quarter to take a 47-16. In the first half, Cleveland shot 54.8% from the field, including 9/17 from three-point range. Additionally, the Cavs held Houston to 30% shooting. They also forced 10 Houston turnovers and led 69-38 at the break

In the last five games at halftime, Cleveland has held the following leads:

+31 (69-38) Houston

+11 (55-44) Miami

29 (81-52) Sacramento

+21 (65-44) @Timberwolves

+9 (52-43) Bulls

First Half Rubio: Ricky Rubio gave Cleveland a great lift off the bench in the first half. Rubio scored seven points and dished out eight of his game-high 12 assists in the half. Additionally, Rubio ended the half with a team-best +29 rating. He also finished the game with four steals.

First Half Garland:  Darius Garland scored 17 points in the opening half, including three threes. The third-year guard was 6/8 from the field and 3/4 from downtown. Garland had a +25 rating in the first half and finished with a game-high 21 points. 

Isaac Okoro, Isaac Okoro, Isaac Okoro. He’s playing with so much confidence right now. He scored 11 of his 20 points in the first half as he shot 7/9 from the floor, including 3/3 from three-point range. This is his fourth straight game in double figures and his second 20-point game during this stretch. In those four games, Okoro is shooting 70% from the floor.

Okoro also had this sick dunk:

The backcourt of Garland and Okoro combined for 41 points on 14/20 shooting from the field, including 6/9 from downtown. They were sizzling Wednesday night. 

The Not So Great for the Cavaliers:

Absolutely nothing to see here. You lead by as many as 45 points, and you win by 35; you did everything right.

Bottom Line:

Five straight and nine out of 11 is impressive. The Rockets were a depleted team(Christian Wood, Eric Gordon out), and Cleveland took full advantage. The Cavs continue to blow teams out as they defeated all three teams on this homestand by a combined 60 points. Cleveland, who is the fourth-seeded team in the East, is now three games behind the number one seed in the East, the Brooklyn Nets.

“Our mindset all season is to play all 48 minutes. We did that tonight,” Garland said.

What’s Next:

The Cavaliers go on the road for three games, starting Saturday night against the world champion Milwaukee Bucks. 

Best of the Rest:

Dean Wade, who started for the injured Evan Mobley(hip), had his first double-double of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Kevin Love added 15 points(3/5 3pt FG), and Lauri Markkanen chipped in with 12 

Alperen Sengun led Houston with a career-best 19 points and 11 rebounds off the bench. 

Rockets head coach Stephen Silas left the game in the first half with dehydration and did not return. Assistant John Lucas coached the rest of the way for Houston.

Watch below as Garland and Okoro react to the win over Houston:





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