Final: Cleveland Cavaliers 117, San Antonio Spurs 101.
Evan Mobley was the star of this game. He finished with 28 points, 10 rebounds and 3 assists in his best game of the season. The headline part of Mobley’s stat line is a career-high three three-pointers.
Yes, the Spurs gave Mobley time to shoot and set his feet. But Mobley taking three-pointers with confidence like this is new. It’s the kind of performance that serves as a reminder that Mobley is a 22-year-old, third-year NBA player who still has a lot of room to grow. He is nowhere close to figuring out his ceiling.
This is not a hesitant shot. This is not a panicked, last-second shot he had to take. This is in-rhythm shot making:
So is this:
He also had this finish. What an offensive performance from Mobley.
Donovan Mitchell led all scorers with 31 points, while Jarrett Allen added 26 points and 16 rebounds. Caris Levert finished with 10 points and 4 assists off of the bench.
Well, that happened…
There was a garbage time scrap involving Mitchell and Spurs center Zach Collins that resulted in both players being ejected. Watch the clip back and it’s understandable why Mitchell reacted the way he did.
The one negative of the night for Cleveland was Darius Garland’s lack of offensive output. In 23 minutes, Garland took just three shots to go with 4 assists and 3 turnovers. He’s still working his way back from a lengthy absence due to a broken jaw, but Garland has to be more than this. He is certainly better than the player he was on Saturday.
J.B. Bickerstaff won’t be coaching the Eastern Conference All-Stars (Doc Rivers will be after the Milwaukee Bucks won on Saturday), but the fact that it was an even a possibility speaks volumes. The Cavs are in the thick of the battle for the No. 2 seed in the East and crushing bad teams like the Spurs with regularity. This team is just humming right now, winning game after game after game. And if Mobley is going to play like this and start taking three-pointers, it’s possible this team is going to get even better.
Up next: The Cavs are back at home on Monday when they host the Sacramento Kings. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.