Cleveland, OH- The Cleveland Cavaliers (4-1) took on the New York Knicks (3-2) at Rocket Mortgage Field House on Sunday night. The Cavs were coming off of a big overtime win against the reigning Eastern Conference Champion Boston Celtics. The Cavs coming into the game on a four game win streak and looking to extend it to five.
The last game against the Celtics saw both Donovan Mitchell and Caris LeVert score 41 points each. The first time that two Cavs players scored 40 in the same game since LeBron James and Kyrie Irving both scored over 40 in the 2016 NBA Finals.
The first quarter was fast and furious and each team was exchanging baskets back and forth. Donovan Mitchell started hitting 3 pointers from everywhere finishing the quarter with five 3’s and going 5/6 from the three point line to go along with five assists. The Knicks were able to stay with the Cavs scoring both from beyond the three point line as well as getting into the paint. Both teams ended the quarter shooting over 50 percent from the field. The Cavs after the first quarter had a 35-30 lead.
The second quarter was much of the same. Mitchell was able to get a rest as Kevin Love and Dean Wade both started heating up from three. Jarrett Allen and Kevin Love were doing their best to rebound everything they could. The Knicks still were able to stick around again with big men Julius Randle and Isaiah Hartenstein being aggressive themselves in the paint. It seemed like every time the Cavs were able to get a stop and maybe bust the game open they were turning the ball over. A bad pass, A mistimed alley oop, stepping out of bounds, they couldn’t seem to get out of their own way and let the Knicks hung with them all the way until halftime.
At half the Cavs led 62-59. The Knicks outscored the Cavs in the paint by 12, but the Cavs who are ranked first in the NBA in 3 point percentage, kept drilling three’s and by half had hit 12/22 for 54.5%. Donovan Mitchell was the Cavs point leader with 19 points, while both Kevin Love and Dean Wade were right behind him with 13 each. Caris LeVert who was the hero of the Celtics game had yet to score a single point, but led the team in assists with 7. Jarrett Allen had 6 rebounds and 4 points.
On the Knicks side of the ball at half, you could tell it was a team effort to stay in the game with 10 players scoring, the leader being RJ Barrett with 11 points. Mitchell Robinson led in the rebound department with 5, while Obi Toppin and Julius Randle were right behind him with 4. The Knicks were able to capitalize off of the Cavs turnovers. If the Cavaliers want to win the game tonight, they need to clean up the turnovers in the second half.
The start of the second half started right where the first half ended. The Knicks getting into the paint with ease. The Cavs seemed to be struggling from the field. Evan Fournier who has always seemed to be a thorn in the Cavaliers side no matter what team he is on was called for a technical foul early in the third quarter. LeVert hit the free throw, but missed a mid range jumper and Derrick Rose took it into the teeth of the Cavs defense for another basket in the paint. LeVert had really struggled to that point in the game finding his shot.
The Knicks went on an 8-0 run in the third and led by 8 points around the half way mark. The Cavs came right back with a run of their own started by a Mitchell three pointer, followed by Evan Mobley hitting two free throws after a foul, and a Dean Wade three. After the Cavs got back in the game, the Knicks heated up from three with Evan Fournier hitting two straight from the corner, then Jalen Brunson hit a three followed by a driving layup. LeVert had a chance to hit a shot at the end of the third quarter, but still had not found his shot. LeVert still only had a single point heading into the fourth quarter with the Cavs trailing the Knicks 93-84.
Both teams started the fourth with a bevy of turnovers as each team was looking to come out aggressive and strong. The Cavs trying to get back into the game and the Knicks looking to extend the lead. Kevin Love took the lid off the rim hitting a deep three. The Knicks answered with layup, then Donovan Mitchell turned on the spin cycle on a defender and jammed a rim rattling dunk, bringing the Field House alive. Donovan Mitchell and Kevin Love got hot at the right time hitting tying the game up at 99-99 with 6:30 left in the game. In a rare occurrence both Donovan Mitchell and Kevin love made four point plays in a 14-2 run. Cavs led 106-101 with 4:00 left in the game. The crowd was absolutely electric as the Cavs started pulling away. The Cavs turned up the heat and hit a barrage of three’s. The Knicks had no answer and seemed stunned as the Cavs took the game 121-108 and improve to 5-1 on the year.
This Cavalier team can never be counted out. The team lived and died by the three pointer tonight shooting 23/50 for 46 percent. They have star players everywhere, and anyone can heat up at any time and take the game over. Tonight, Donovan Mitchell, Kevin Love, and Dean Wade led the way for the Cavs to pick up the victory. The Cavs next game will at home Wednesday, November 2nd against the Boston Celtics
Cavalier Players of the Game
Donovan Mitchell- 38 points, 12 assists, 3 rebounds, 2 blocks, 1 steal, 8/13 from three
Kevin Love- 29 points, 8 rebounds, 8/13 from three
Dean Wade- 22 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 6/8 from three
Notes from the game- Darius Garland was out his fifth game in a row dealing with an eye injury.
Donovan Mitchell and Kevin Love made history as it was the only the second time in NBA history two teammates hit 8 three pointers or more in the same game