What a game!! The Cavs went into Boston and defeated the reigning Eastern Conference champions, the Celtics, 132-123 in OT on Friday night.
This was a back-and-forth affair as the Cavs(4-1) led by as many as 13 in the first quarter, and the Celtics(3-2) led by as many as 15 in the second. Cleveland had their first lead since the second quarter in the third, and the two teams battled from there.
They would go to OT, and the Cavs outscored the Celtics 18-9 in the quarter to get their fourth straight win.
Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs big win in Boston.
The Donovan Mitchell and Caris LeVert Show: Both LeVert and Mitchell had 41 points. LeVert added four rebounds, seven assists, three steals, and made six threes, while Mitchell added four rebounds, three assists, and five threes. LeVert had 11 points in OT, and Mitchell added five.
According to the team, the last time the Cavs had two 40-point scorers was in Game 5 of the 2016 NBA Finals(LeBron James & Kyrie Irving). In addition, the Cavs starting backcourt combined for 82 points, which is the most scored by a Cavs backcourt in a regular season game in team history.
Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen both had double-doubles: Mobley had 19 points, 10 rebounds, and two blocks, while Allen had his third straight double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Third Quarter: The Cavs trailed 75-62 at halftime. In the third quarter, they got themselves back into the game. Cleveland outscored the Celtics 33-24 in the quarter. The Cavs shot 64% from the field and took their first lead since the second quarter. However, Boston took a 99-95 lead into the fourth.
OT: Cleveland outscored the Celtics 18-9 in the OT, and they shot 71% from the floor. LeVert and Mitchell had 16 of the team’s 18 points in the quarter.
Three-point shooting: Cleveland shot 16/35(.457) from deep. The two stars of the game, Mitchell and LeVert, made 11 of those 16 threes.
Not So Great:
It’s all great when you defeat the Celtics in Boston.
There are no statement wins in November. Again, there are no statement wins in November, but this comes pretty close for the Cavs. Without Darius Garland(eye), who is arguably their best player, Cleveland got big performances from Mitchell and LeVert. These types of games are why you acquired LeVert and Mitchell. LeVert is a walking bucket, and Mitchell is the same. Great win, but the two teams will have the rematch next Wednesday in Cleveland, which should be interesting.
The Cavs return home to battle the New York Knicks on Sunday at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
Best of the Rest:
Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown led Boston with 32 points apiece.
Cavs’ Milestones: Allen surpassed 4,000 career points, and Mitchell made his 3,000th career field goal Friday night.
LeVert, with his big 41-point performance, got the “Junkyard Dog” award. Ironically, LeVert had his career-high of 51 points against the Celtics while he was with the Nets back in 2020.