In an always fun matchup against Lebron James, and the streaking Lakers, the Cavs used stingy defense and a Donovan Mitchell scoring outburst to improve to 11-1 at home defeating the Lakers 116-102.
Cavs take advantage of Lakers lineup
Jarrett Allen met LeBron at the rim 😳 pic.twitter.com/ldT6l8IXsI
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 7, 2022
The first half was highlighted by Jarrett Allen starting the game off 9 for 9. Allen was able to do that mostly because Lakers star Anthony Davis had to go to the locker room because of flu like symptoms. With AD out of the lineup, Allen, playing for the first time in five games due to a back injury, took full advantage. The Lakers had trouble containing the guards and Allen and the Cavs used the confusion to race out to a 57-49 lead at halftime.
Lakers come back
The second half the Lakers made a run. As we all know too well, when Lebron is on the team, you have a chance and you will make a run. In the third quarter, the Lakers took their intensity up a notch and closed the gap 85-83. Several times the Lakers made runs where they looked to be gaining momentum. Led by James and Russell Westbrook, the Lakers would not go away.
Two words: Donovan Mitchell
Donovan Mitchell went OFF in Cleveland
43 PTS (season-high)
What a night for Spida. pic.twitter.com/XyBXODWXfB
— NBA (@NBA) December 7, 2022
In the fourth quarter the Cavs tightened up their defense and Mitchell got hot. Whether a mid-range or a three or acrobatic layups over and around defenders, Mitchell was locked in. Cleveland is used to having a guy take over in the fourth and be able to change the outcome of games. That Guy was playing for the Lakers and because of Mitchell, the Cavs didn’t have to watch Lebron take over and beat the Cavs.
In the second half, Mitchell scored 29 of his game high 43 points. Mitchell was literally all over the place as he also added 6 rebounds, and 5 assist, along with a game high 4 steals. That’s the kind of performance the Cavs have been missing since Lebron left. It’s the reason the Cavs made the trade for Mitchell in the summer. To take over games like he did. And for one night, Mitchell made sure the Cavs and everyone in Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse knew this is HIS team now. And the Cavs will go as far as he takes them.
Lebron did do something he has never done before. In the loss, Lebron grabbed 17 rebounds which is the most he has ever had in a road game.
Lebron came in 20-2 against the Cavs.
The Cavs will host the Sacramento Kings on Friday at home 7:30pm
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