The Cavaliers returned home for the second half of a back-to-back on Sunday as they battled the Wizards in the home opener at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
Cleveland(2-1) had a lead late but allowed the Wizards(2-1) to tie the game in regulation and send it to overtime. In OT, the Cavs outscored the Wizards 14-4 to win 117-107.
Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ win over the Wizards.
Donovan Mitchell: The three-time All-Star had another 30-plus point game as he had 37 points(5/12 3pt FG), five rebounds, four assists, and three steals. In OT, with the Cavs down one, Mitchell made a layup plus the foul, and on the next possession, he had a big steal that set up Cedi Osman for a layup plus the foul. According to Elias Sports, Mitchell is just the third player in NBA history to score 30-plus points in each of his first three games with a franchise.
Jarrett Allen: He was tough and gritty on Sunday. He recorded his second double-double in three games with 15 points, 14 rebounds, and two blocks. Allen punctuated the game with a big dunk over Kristaps Porzingis in OT.
Cedi Osman: The Cavs got off to a slow start in the first quarter, and Osman checked in and immediately sparked the Cavs. He scored 10 of his 16 points in the first quarter. The Cavs bench outscored the starters in the first half, and Osman was a big reason that happened.
Defense: Cleveland forced 20 Wizards turnovers, which led to 28 points. In addition, they had 10 steals and five blocked shots. Washington had no field goals in the final 3:19 of the game.
Not So Great:
Donovan Mitchell: With less than a minute left in regulation, and the Cavs up four, Mitchell got a little sloppy with the ball. He was stripped by Bradley Beal, who got fouled and made two free throws. The next possession, he got stripped by Will Barton, which ended in a Barton dunk, and after Mitchell missed a jumper on the final possession, the game went to overtime. Not a great sequence for Mitchell.
The energy at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse was terrific, and Mitchell gave them a lot to cheer about. He’s been as advertised and then some. Mitchell can get anywhere he wants on the court and score the ball at a high level. In addition, Cleveland continues to get great play from its bench, especially Osman, who has been outstanding in the first three games. Still early, but the Cavs may have something with this roster.
Cleveland has a few days off before they battle the Orlando Magic at home on Wednesday night.
Best of the Rest:
The Cavs had six players in double figures for the second game in a row. Dean Wade had 12 points off the bench; Evan Mobley and Caris LeVert had 10 points apiece.
Beal’s 27 points led Washington; Porzingis had 18 points and 11 rebounds, and Rui Hachimura chipped in with 16 points off the bench.