Tonight’s matchup was a battle between the two hottest teams in the NBA. The Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Clippers entered this game with the best records in the league since Dec. 16 — and the Cavs just added to that.
Can enough be said about Jarrett Allen? I’m not sure.
After a full summer of being meme’d and ridiculed by NBA Twitter for his performance in the playoffs, Allen has responded with the best season of his career. He recorded his 15th consecutive double-double tonight, extending a franchise record he set over a week ago.
Allen finished with 20 points and 17 rebounds as the Cavaliers won the battle of the boards 46-37. Most importantly, Allen anchored Cleveland’s defense and set the tone early. The Clippers scored below 110 points for just the 13th time this season.
Offensively, it was Donovan Mitchell who ran the show. Point Mitchell has been something special with 12 assists to go with a (mostly) efficient 28 points. Mitchell was 2-10 from deep but shot 9-11 from inside the arc. His ability to get inside of the paint and pass the ball allowed Cleveland to generate numerous clean looks on the perimeter.
Well, that happened...
Evan Mobley made his return to the floor after missing the previous month and a half with a knee injury. It wasn’t the most exciting game for Mobley. Naturally, he looked like a player who hadn't played in six weeks.
But rest assured, Cavs fans, Mobley is looking spry and healthy. He scored 10 points on 5-7 shooting and grabbed 9 rebounds all in 21 minutes. And, well, he did this:
Statement wins keep piling up. The Cavaliers have downed two of the best teams in the league in consecutive games. Now, they enjoy a softer schedule with upcoming games against the Washington Wizards, Memphis Grizzlies and San Antonio Spurs.
Cleveland sits at 28-16 with Mobley back in the fold and Darius Garland’s return imminent. It’s been a wild ride that might get even crazier.