Mitchell, Garland, Osman lead the Cavs over Hawks

The Cleveland Cavaliers(11-6) continued their four-game homestand on Monday night against the Atlanta Hawks(10-7).

Behind Donovan Mitchell, Darius Garland, and Cedi Osman, the Cavs defeated the Hawks 114-102 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

With the win, Cleveland has now won three straight.

Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ win over the Hawks.

Great:

Cavs, again were led by the backcourt of Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland. The two combined for 55 points and 18 assists; Mitchell and Garland both had nine assists. Mitchell had 29 points and Garland had 26. We knew this would be a prolific backcourt and two guys that would be tough to stop, and they were tough to stop on Monday night.

Cedi Osman scored a season-high 23 points off the bench on 8-for-10 shooting. Osman has been so good off the bench this season, and that continued against the Hawks. In the fourth, with the Cavs up six with just over four minutes left, Osman hit two free throws after a clear path foul was called on John Collins, and on the same possession, Osman would hit a dagger three to put the Cavs up 11. 

Second-Half Defense: The Hawks shot 38 percent from the floor in the second half. Atlanta is in the top 10 in scoring, and the Cavs held them to 102 points. In addition, 10 of the Hawks’ 17 turnovers came in the second half. 

Not So Great:

You can point to the turnovers. Cleveland tied a season-high with 20 turnovers on Monday night, and Garland was the biggest culprit with eight. 

Bottom Line:

After losing five straight, Cleveland has righted their ship at home, and they are bringing the defensive energy that makes them go. They held the Hawks to 102 points on Monday and the Heat to 87 on Sunday night.

At this point, Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse is a home-court advantage for the Cavs. They are 7-1 at home but have to be better on the road(4=5), and after this homestand, they will have three straight on the road.

What’s Next:

Cleveland concludes their four-game homestand on Wednesday night against the Blazers.

Best of the Rest:

Evan Mobley had 10 points, nine rebounds, and three assists; Jarrett Allen added eight points and 11 rebounds. 

Trae Young led the Hawks with 25 points and 10 assists; Onyeka Okongwu had 18 points and 10 rebounds off the bench.

Cleveland was without Caris LeVert on Monday night, who missed his first game of the season with an ankle injury.

Cavs snap five-game losing streak!

The Cleveland Cavaliers(9-6) got back at it on Friday night, hoping to snap a five-game losing streak as they battled the Charlotte Hornets(4-13).

Cleveland had four players score 20-plus points as they defeated Charlotte 132-122 in double overtime at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ win over the Hornets.

Great:

Darius Garland made big shots in both overtimes for the Cavs. In a career-high 48 minutes, Garland(16/28 FG) had a game-high 41 points, six assists, and a career-high five steals. In the first overtime, with the Cavs trailing 117-114 with under a minute to go, Garland hit a three to tie the game, and when the Hornets took a 120-117 with 22.5 seconds to go, Garland would make another three with 13.5 seconds to send the game into double overtime. He had 13 of the team’s 27 points in the two overtime periods.

Donovan Mitchell had 34 points and six assists. The Cavs backcourt combined for 75 points; Mitchell and Garland also combined for 20 of the team’s 27 points in the overtime periods.

Evan Mobley was sensational on Friday night. He had 21 points, a career-high 18 rebounds, five assists, two blocks, and a steal. According to the Cavs, Mobley became the ninth player in team history to have 20-plus points, 15-plus rebounds, five-plus assists, two-plus blocks, and one-plus steal in a game. In fact, Mobley and Jarrett Allen(20 points, 12 rebounds, four blocks) combined for 41 points, 30 rebounds, and six blocks.

Second OT: The Cavs blew the lead at the end of the fourth and almost lost it in the first overtime, but they took control in the second OT. After Kelly Oubre Jr. made a running hook to give the Hornets a 122-120 lead with 4:38 to go, the Cavs closed the show on a 12-0 run. Charlotte did not score the rest of the way and shot 1/10 from the field in that period.

Not So Great

The Final 52.4 seconds in Regulation: After two Mitchell free throws made the score 103-93, things got a little haywire for the Cavs. Charlotte closed the game on a 12-2 run to send it to OT after a Terry Rozier three with 01.1 seconds to go. During that stretch, the Cavs turned the ball over two times.

Turnovers: Cleveland had a season-high 20 turnovers on Friday night, leading to 35 points for the Hornets, which almost cost them in this game. Fortunately, Garland and Mitchell bailed them out in OT.

Bottom Line:

This would have been a terrible loss for the Cavs. The Hornets were without LaMelo Ball, and Cleveland had what seemed like an insurmountable lead late in the game. Hopefully, they will learn from this and figure it out going forward.

What’s Next:

Cavs will battle the Heat on Sunday night at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

Best of the Rest:

Oubre Jr. led the Hornets with 34 points; Rozier and P.j. Washington added 28 points apiece. Washington also added 10 rebounds.

With the win, Cleveland moves to 4-0 in overtime games this season.

The Great, Not So Great, & Bottom Line of Cavs’ loss to Warriors

The Cleveland Cavaliers(8-4) concluded their five-game road trip in San Francisco against the Warriors(5-7), and behind the heroics of Steph Curry, who had 15 of his 40 points(6/11 3-PT FG) in the fourth, the Cavs fell to Golden State 106-101 at Chase Center.

Cleveland has now lost three straight.

Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ loss to the Warriors

Great:

Donovan Mitchell almost had a triple-double with 29 points, 10 rebounds,  nine assists, and two steals. Mitchell did his part, but it wasn’t enough.

Evan Mobley had a double-double with 20 points, 13 rebounds, four assists, and two blocks. This is his second double-double of the season. The Cavs used their size effectively against the Warriors, but again, it wasn’t enough.

Points in the Paint: Cleveland had a lot of success in the paint as they scored 54 points. 

Not So Great:

Darius Garland: He was off again Friday night. He finished with 15 points and eight assists, but he was 5/19 from the field. Garland is 6/28 from the floor in the last two games, including 2/9 from deep.

Fourth Quarter Defense: Curry is Curry, and for most of the game, the Cavs defended well, but not in the fourth. Cleveland allowed 32 points in the fourth and allowed the Warriors to shoot 63% from the floor. 

The final 4:38 of the game: After a Caris LeVert four-point play, which was ruled a flagrant foul, Cleveland had a six-point possession after a Jarrett Allen dunk, which put them up 95-87. However, just like they did against the Clippers, they couldn’t close. They were outscored 19-6 the rest of the way as Curry scored 13 of his 15 fourth-quarter points in the final 4:38 of the game.

Bottom Line:

The Cavs could not close the show in the final three games of this road trip. Cleveland had a 13-point lead late against the Clippers with five minutes left, couldn’t close against the Kings, and lost another lead late against Golden State. Cleveland could have easily gone 5-0 on this trip; instead, they went 2-3. It’s early, but this trip was a disappointment for sure. 

What’s Next:

The Cavs return home to face the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday.

Best of the Rest:

All five of Cleveland’s starters scored in double figures Friday night. Jarrett Allen had 13 points and nine rebounds, and LeVert added 11.

Andrew Wiggins had 20 points; Draymond Green had two points, 13 assists, and nine rebounds, and Jordan Poole added 18 points.

The Great, Not So Great, & Bottom Line of Cavs’ loss to Sacramento

The Cleveland Cavaliers(8-3) continued their five-game road trip in Sacramento(4-6) against the Kings. The Cavs’ eight-game winning streak was snapped against the Clippers on Monday night, and they hoped to return to their winning ways. 

However, that wasn’t the case Wednesday night. Sacramento led by as many as 15 points and led for most of the game, but Cleveland would take their largest lead of six with just over eight minutes to go in the fourth. The game with knotted at 117 after two Jarrett Allen free throws with just under three minutes to go, but Kevin Huerter scored five of Sacramento’s next seven points, including a dagger three late, that put the Kings up 124-118, and they would go on to defeat the Cavs 127-120 at Golden 1 Center.

Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ loss to the Kings.

Great:

Donovan Mitchell had a game-high 38 points(16/28 FG, 6/14 3-PT FG). He went berserk in the third quarter as he was 7/7 from the field, including 3/3 from deep, to score 17 points in the quarter. Mitchell’s great third quarter helped the Cavs trim the Kings’ 11-point halftime lead to four entering the fourth. Mitchell also added five rebounds and four assists.

Caris LeVert had his first double-double of the season with 21 points, a season-high 10 rebounds, and six assists. He was aggressive throughout the game on Wednesday night.

Jarrett Allen had 20 points, seven rebounds, and a block. Allen has been in double figures in points in five straight games and nine out of the first 11 games of the season.

Points in the Paint: The Cavs had 64 points in the paint against Sacramento. Cleveland finished the night shooting 53% from the floor.

Not So Great:

Defense: The Cavs did not bring it on the defensive end for the second straight game. Sacramento got way too many open looks. As they did in their loss to the Clippers, they allowed the Kings to have three 30-plus point quarters. Sacramento ended the night shooting 53% from the floor. The 127 points are the most Cleveland has given up in a game this season.

Darius Garland was just off Wednesday night, and he scored only six points and shot 1/9 from the field in 34 minutes of action. Nights like this happen, and the All-Star didn’t have it against the Kings; Garland did finish with eight assists.

Turnovers: Cleveland had 18 turnovers, which led to 18 points for Sacramento. LeVert led the way with five, and Garland had four.

Bottom Line:

Cleveland has to be better on the defensive end, which wasn’t much of a problem until the last two games. It’s a long season, but the defense needs to improve. Statistically, the Cavs have been one of the better defensive teams in basketball, so maybe it’s an aberration, or perhaps it’s a start of an issue that a team with a small backcourt might have moving forward. Stay tuned.

What’s Next:

The Cavs conclude their five-game road trip in San Francisco against the world-champion Warriors on Friday night.

Best of the Rest:

The Kings had seven players in double figures. Domantas Sabonis led the way with 21 points, five rebounds, and six assists, and Harrison Barnes added 20 points and nine rebounds. 

Evan Mobley added 16 points and six rebounds for the Cavs.

On Wednesday, Mitchell(366 games) became the second-fastest player to reach 1,000 threes in the history of the NBA.

The Great, Not So Great, and Bottom Line of the Cavs’ tough loss to Clippers

The Cleveland Cavaliers(8-2) appeared to be on their way to its ninth straight victory on Monday night, but the Clippers(6-5) had other ideas. 

Cleveland led the Clippers 111-98 with five minutes left in the fourth. However, the Clippers would outscore the Cavs 21-6 the rest of the way as a Paul George layup plus the foul with 37.2 seconds to go gave the Clippers the lead for good, and they would go on and defeat the Cavs 119-117 at Crypto.com Arena. 

With the loss, the Cavs’ nine-game winning streak is over.

Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Clippers’ win over the Cavs.

Great:

Donovan Mitchell continues to score the ball at a high level for the Cavs. Mitchell scored 30 points(10/15 FG), including eight threes(8/11). Mitchell made eight threes in a game for the second time this season.

Jarrett Allen was an absolute monster on Monday night. Allen got his second straight double-double as he had 10 points, a season-high 20 rebounds, and two blocks. It’s clear, the All-Star is playing like one after 10 games.

Darius Garland had a great night of swishing and dishing, with 19 points and a season-high 12 assists. This was Garland’s second double-double this season. 

Evan Mobley and Garland connected many times on the alley-oops, and the second-year forward had a season-high 26 points and eight rebounds. 

First Quarter: Cleveland came out firing in this one. The Cavs shot 67%(16/24) from the field, including 5/9 from deep. Mitchell made four of his eight threes in the first as he and Mobley combined for 26 of the team’s 37 first-quarter points. In addition, the 37 points tied a season-high for points in the quarter for Cleveland this season.

Not So Great:

Defense: Look, this game was a shootout, and both teams did not defend very well. Cleveland, who is a great defensive team, is third in points allowed and sixth in opponents’ field goal percentage. However, they allowed the Clippers to have three 30-plus point quarters and Los Angeles to shoot 51% from the field. The 119 points are the most the Cavs have given up in regulation this season.

The Final Five Minutes of the Game: Cleveland had their largest lead of the game at 111-98 with five minutes left in the game. At that point, the Clippers exploded, and the Cavs went cold. Los Angeles went on a 17-1 to take the lead for good at 115-112. Cleveland did not have a field goal during the final five minutes until Mobley’s dunk with 29.2 seconds to go. 

Bottom Line:

This was a bad loss for the Cavs. They were in complete control, but they could not close the deal. In an 82-game regular season, stuff like this happens, but Cleveland had a terrific opportunity to win against the Clippers, who were missing Kawhi Leonard and John Wall. However, things happen, but if the Cavs want to be the team that many believe they could be, these are the games they have to win.

What’s Next:

Cleveland continues their five-game road trip on Wednesday in Sacramento against the Kings.

Best of the Rest:

Kevin Love had 17 points, eight rebounds, and four assists off the bench.

The Clippers had six players in double figures, including their starting five. Paul George led the way with 26 points, and Marcus Morris Sr. had 20 points.

Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and Bottom Line of Cavs’ win over Pistons

No Donovan Mitchell(ankle sprain), no Darius Garland(knee sprain), and no problems as the Cavs went into Detroit(2-8) without its two top scorers and got their seventh straight win as they routed the Pistons 112-88.

Cleveland(7-1), who led by as many as 30 points, had all hands on deck as they had six players in double figures.

Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ win over Toronto:

Great:

Evan Mobley was a beast on defense! He had a career-high eight blocks as he became the youngest player in Cavs history to record that many blocks in a game. In addition, he had 11 points and eight rebounds. Cleveland was tough on defense as they recorded 13 blocks, held Detroit to 37% shooting, and forced 19 turnovers that led to 28 points.

Kevin Love almost messed around and had a triple-double, as he had 21 points, eight rebounds, and 10 assists off the bench. Love stepped up and handled his business for Cleveland. In addition, Love was a game-high plus-30. The Cavs got 54 points from its bench, including 15 points from Cedi Osman. 

Jarrett Allen had 17 of his season-high 23 points in the first half, seven rebounds, and two blocks.

Caris LeVert started at point guard and had 15 points, six rebounds, and six assists.

Second quarter: Cleveland blew the game open in the second quarter. The Cavs led 24-21 after the first quarter. They went on a 23-5 run to take a 21-point lead in the second. Cleveland outscored the Pistons 33-18 in the quarter. They shot 63% in the second and held the Pistons to 32% from the field. The Cavs led 57-39 at the break.

Not So Great:

It’s all great!! Nothing to see here!

Bottom Line:

The Cavs came together as a team, and great things happened. Everyone stepped up their game, and that’s what you need to do when your top players are down. The NBA is weird like that sometimes. When the chips are down, the other guys get it done.

What’s Next:

The Cavs head west as they battle LeBron and the Lakers on Sunday at Crypto.com Arena.

Best of the Rest: 

Cade Cunningham led the Pistons with 19 points, five rebounds, and five assists. Jaden Ivey and Saddiq Bey had 18 apiece.

According to Elias Sports, Love (21 PTS, 10 AST, 8 REB) became the first Cavs player ever to record 20-plus 10-plus assists and eight-plus rebounds off the bench. Love’s time-on-court (23:26) is the lowest of any player in the shot clock era (1954-55) to hit those minimums.

Junkyard Dog:

Everybody gets the award! J.B. Bickerstaff gave the prize to the whole team.

The Great, Not So Great, and Bottom Line of Cavs’ big win over Celtics

The Cleveland Cavaliers got some great news on Wednesday before battling the Celtics as All-Star Darius Garland was back in the lineup after missing five games with an eye injury.

Garland and his backcourt mate Donovan Mitchell combined for 54 points on Wednesday night, but the Celtics had a shot at winning it in OT; however, Jaylen Brown’s jump shot at the buzzer was just off, and the Cavs defeated the Celtics again 114-113 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

Cleveland has now won six straight.

Like last Friday’s game, where the Cavs beat the Celtics 132-123 in OT in Boston, this was a back-and-forth affair, but as they did in Boston, Cleveland made the plays when it mattered the most.

Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ win over the Celtics.

Great:

Donovan Mitchell did not shoot it well(11-27) but came up big when it mattered most, as he scored 11 of his 25 points in the final two and half minutes of regulation and overtime. In addition, Mitchell added six assists.

Darius Garland is back, and he balled out with 29 points, 12 assists, and three steals. He had 14 first-quarter points, which is the most he’s had in a first quarter in his career. Garland also recorded his 200th career steal on Wednesday night.

Jarrett Allen had his fifth double-double of the season with 14 points, 14 rebounds, and two blocks. Also, Evan Mobley was efficient with 15 points on 7/8 shooting and seven rebounds. 

Third Quarter: The Celtics led 56-50 at halftime, but Cleveland turned it on in the third. The Cavs, who trailed 66-54 with just over nine minutes in the third, closed the quarter on a 29-10 run to lead 83-76 going into the final quarter. Cleveland outscored the Celtics 33-20 in the quarter and held them to 29% shooting from the field.

Not so Great:

Second Quarter: After a great start where the Cavs led 35-27 after the first quarter, Cleveland struggled in the second quarter. They shot 25% from the field and were outscored 29-15 in the quarter.

Bottom Line:

This win for the Cavs against the Celtics was more significant than their win in Boston on Friday because it’s hard to beat a team as good as the Celtics twice in less than a week. In addition, they made big plays down the stretch and won both games in a similar fashion. It’s great to have Garland back in the lineup. With Garland and Mitchell, the Cavs have two guys they can count on late in games, which should serve this team well throughout the season.

What’s Next:

Cleveland will begin a five-game road trip on Friday when they battle the Pistons. After Detroit, they battle the Lakers, Clippers, Kings, and Warriors.

Best of the Rest:

Cleveland starting five all scored in double figures.

For the Celtics, Jaylen Brown had 30 points, eight rebounds, and four assists, and Jayson Tatum added 26 points, 12 rebounds, and six assists.

Cleveland is 3-0 in OT this season.

Junkyard Dog:

Garland received the “Junkyard Dog” award after returning from injury and balling out on Wednesday night.

Here’s the Great, Not So Great, & Bottom Line of Cavs’ big win in Boston

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.

Great:

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.

Bottom Line:

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.

What’s Next:

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.

Junkyard Dog:

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.

Here’s the Great, Not So Great, & Bottom Line of Cavs’ win over Orlando

The Cavaliers returned to action on Wednesday night as they hosted the winless Orlando Magic(0-5). Cleveland, who came off a 117-107 win in OT over the Wizards on Sunday, was hoping to make it three straight. 

Cleveland led 73-69 heading into the fourth, and the Cavs(3-1) took their largest lead of 12 points in the final quarter as they defeated the Magic 103-92.

Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and Bottom Line of the Cavs’ win over the Magic.

The Great:

Jarrett Allen: He had season-highs of 18 points and 16 rebounds; this was Allen’s second straight double-double and his third double-double in four games.

Also, according to the Cavs, he surpassed the 3,000 career rebound mark as he becomes the only active NBA player age 25 or younger to reach that mark.

Evan Mobley: The second-year forward had a breakout performance and led the team with a season-high 20 points. Seven of those 20 points came in the fourth. He’s finding his way on the offense and was big Wednesday night.

Cedi Osman: Osman had 14 points off the Cavs’ bench. Again, another strong performance from Osman as he continues to get the job done for the Cavs. He has scored in double-figures in all four games for the Cavs this season.

Second-Half Defense: The Magic shot 50% from the field in the first half. However, the Cavs’ defense stiffened, and Orlando shot only 36% from the field in the second half.

Not So Great:

Donovan Mitchell: I hate to put Donovan Mitchell on this list because he’s been so good this season. However, he was 5/19 from the field and 1/7 from deep. He ended up with 14 points, but he did have eight assists. Mitchell’s shot was off Wednesday night, but to his credit, he did impact the game in other ways. 

Bottom Line:

The Cavs won a game they were supposed to win. They didn’t play their best basketball against the Magic and let them hang around. It wasn’t pretty, but Cleveland got the job done in the end.

What’s Next: 

Cleveland goes on the road Friday night to face the reigning Eastern Conference champions, the Boston Celtics.

Best of the Rest:

The Cavs had six players in double figures for the third straight game, including their starting five. Dean Wade and Caris LeVert had 12 points apiece.

Rookie Paolo Banchero had a career-high 29 points for the Magic, and Franz Wagner added 22.

Junk Yard Dog Award:

Allen and Mobley both received the Junk Yard Dog award for their performances on Wednesday night.

Cavs pull it out in OT; here’s the Great, Not So Great, and Bottom Line of Cavs’ win over Wizards

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.

Great:

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.

Bottom Line:

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.

What’s Next:

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.