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Cleveland Cavaliers defeat Portland Trail Blazers 109-95

It feels good to be back in the win column.

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at Portland Trail Blazers Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Cavaliers captured a much-needed win over a reeling Portland Trail Blazers team. Let’s recap what happened:

Nightly Notables: Strus and Mobley get it done

The Cavs have been insisting that Max Strus is more than just a three-point shooter. And well, it’s plain as day now.

Strus has done a little bit of everything since arriving in Cleveland. He delivered yet another all-around game tonight. He posted 14 points, 7 assists and 3 rebounds.

Those stats do not jump off the page but rest assured – Strus’s fingerprints were all over this victory. He fought on defense and operated the pick-and-roll at a high level with Evan Mobley. Strus finished as a +25 while Mobley ended the game +26.

The Strus-Mobley duo has been electric to start the season. Both are averaging career-highs in points, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals. Quite the opening stretch for these two.

Donovan Mitchell was also fantastic tonight, as usual. He finished with a game-high 34 points as a +22 for Cleveland.

Well, that happened…

Did I mention Max Strus was more than a three-point shooter? Sure, dishing out of the pick-and-roll is nice but… he also did this:

For those who haven’t watched Strus closely, this explosive dunk might have been a total surprise. But Strus has always had springs. This violent poster is a proper reminder of what kind of bounce he is working with.

Big Picture

The Cavs have not had the start to the season they hoped for. This win puts them at just 5-6.

There are still problems for this team to solve. They were barraged by three-pointers in Sacramento and have had little production from the bench (save Caris LeVert, who has had a phenomenal start to the year). This victory over a depleted Blazers team doesn’t solve everything – but it sure feels good to add to the column.

Up next, the Cavs host their first-ever In-Season Tournament game on Friday against the Detroit Pistons. Another favorable opponent could lead this Cavaliers’ team to the .500 mark.