The Cleveland Cavaliers are officially streaking with another inspiring win, this time over the Philadelphia 76ers.
Keys to victory: All together performance
Darius Garland led the way in scoring with 32 points. But make no mistake, the Cavs won this game as a unit.
Jarrett Allen chipped in with a season-high 26 points to go with 13 rebounds and 3 assists. It was Allen who set the tone defensively, battling in the paint against Joel Embiid much like he did in the previous game versus Nikola Jokic. Allen’s value as a defensive anchor has been on full display recently.
Evan Mobley was crucial to getting Cleveland over the hump. This miraculous block to save a dunk in the fourth quarter was key to forcing overtime. Mobley finished the game with 18 points and 12 rebounds
Yet, it was Craig Porter Jr. who once again stole the show. The undrafted rookie notched 12 points and 9 assists in just 27 minutes, converting on two huge plays down the stretch. This gutsy finish over Embiid gave the Cavs the lead. Then, a play later, he dished to Allen for an easy layup to retake the lead for good.
Porter has put the league on notice with his sturdy two-way presence. He had 21 points the other night versus Denver and is shaping up to be a hidden gem for Cleveland.
Well, that happened…
Did somebody say, Tristan Thompson?
With the game tied and just 11 seconds remaining, J.B. Bickerstaff said just that.
Thompson was inserted into the closing lineup and matched up squarely with the reigning MVP. As we all expected, Thompson won this round. Holding Embiid to a difficult jumper that missed the mark.
Joel embiid settling for a kemba walker step back jumper against Tristan Thompson in 2023 is hilarious pic.twitter.com/IpumgMubJ9— John (@iam_johnw) November 22, 2023
In all seriousness, Thompson has been a pleasant surprise for this Cavaliers team. He has not always been perfect but his defense in this game was legitimately helpful. And as always, it’s just good to see him play winning basketball in a Cavs uniform.
This marks four straight wins for the Cavaliers. They advance to 8-6, possibly putting their early-season woes in the rearview mirror.
Next up, a home game against the Miami Heat (no Kevin Love game just yet) before another familiar face comes to town, with LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers arriving on Sunday.