Sunday night was an easy night of work for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
With Kawhi Leonard and Paul George out for the Los Angeles Clippers, the Cavs got out to an early lead and never looked back. Final score: Cavs 122, Clippers 99. Cleveland led by as many as 40 in the win.
Donovan Mitchell: Back, but not over-extended
When Mitchell returned against the Knicks last Tuesday, he was thrown into the deep end. He was at the center of what the Cavs did on offense and, late in a close game, had the ball on every possession. He ended up missing the next two games after going down late in New York.
Sunday night was the exact opposite. Mitchell, with Cleveland up by so much, was able to rest the entire fourth quarter. He finished with 20 minutes played — 16 below his season average — and 11 points on 5-9 shooting.
This was a good comeback for Mitchell. No overextending himself, very little risk of getting hurt again.
Cedi Osman night
The only Cavalier to score 20-plus on Sunday: Cedi Osman, who led all scorers with 29 points. It was a fitting time for Osman to score a new season-high in points and tie (or pass) his career-high considering it was Turkish Heritage Night at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Osman, of course, is a native of Turkey.
It was also a peak Osman performance. He was 7-7 from three (a new career-high) and 11-13 from the field with 2 assists and 2 steals. He had the hottest hand of any Cavalier on Sunday and the Cavs rode it as much as they needed to depend on any one player in an easy win.
The Cavs’ next game is a home game on Tuesday against the Miami Heat, currently the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference. They came into Sunday just 1.5 games back of the Cavs, but lost to the lowly Charlotte Hornets on Sunday. By getting a win Sunday, Cleveland goes back up by 2.5 games and has a chance to push it back up to 3.5 on Tuesday.
That matchup is still a big game for Cleveland as they’ve fallen closer to sixth than first in the last few weeks. But winning Sunday when the Heat lost takes a little bit of the pressure off.
Up next: The Cavs host the Heat on Tuesday. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. in Cleveland.