The Cleveland Cavaliers aim to continue their success at home and complete a season sweep of the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday when the clubs meet for the second time in four days.
Cleveland salvaged a split of its two-game trek through Texas with a 105-90 win in Dallas on Wednesday before rallying from 13 points down to post a 118-112 victory over Indiana on Friday. The latter triumph in the opener of a season-high six-game homestand improved the Cavaliers to 13-2 at home.
Donovan Mitchell followed up his 34-point performance versus the Mavericks by scoring 18 of his 41 points in the fourth quarter against the Pacers. He drained eight 3-pointers on Friday night, marking the 11th time this season that he has made at least five in a game.
“I love playing in here, I love shooting here and I love the atmosphere,” Mitchell told Bally Sports Cleveland. “And now that I’m on the good side, it’s great to see the support and the energy from the crowd and the fans, from this group, and you can see the energy and the passion.”
Mitchell drew rave reviews from Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic earlier in the week.
“He’s a great shooter,” Doncic said of Mitchell. “He’s very quick and very athletic. He can penetrate the defense. He can shoot too.
“He’s a complete player, and when they cheer for him in Cleveland, you can see that. They’ve been winning a lot of games, and they have a good team. He’s that guy.”
Darius Garland is pretty good in his own right. He collected 20 points and 10 assists on Friday, marking the fourth time this season that he has reached those totals in a game.
“Twenty and 10 is a hell of a night for anybody,” Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “The ability to score the way that he can, and the way that he can find his teammates and create for others. He’s an All-Star for a reason, and we don’t win this game without him.”
Evan Mobley has provided an interior presence for Cleveland. He has averaged 17 points and 10.3 rebounds over his last four games while making 26 of 45 shots from the floor.
While the Cavaliers have plenty of firepower, the Mavericks will see several key cogs on the sideline Saturday. Doncic (right quad strain) and fellow guards Spencer Dinwiddie (knee) and Josh Green (elbow), center Dwight Powell (thigh) and forward Maxi Kleber (hamstring) have been ruled out versus Cleveland.
Doncic did his fair share to make certain the Mavericks walked away with a victory on Friday. The three-time All-Star recorded 33 points, nine assists and six rebounds in Dallas’ 130-110 win over the visiting Portland Trail Blazers.
Doncic’s performance on Friday came two days after he scored 30 points versus Cleveland.
Christian Wood finished with a season-high 32 points and 12 rebounds off the bench on Friday, making 11 of 17 shots from the floor.
“My teammates trust me and kept giving me the ball and finding me in the spots that they know I can score in,” Wood told Bally Sports Southwest. “That’s what they (brought) me here for, to score off the bench. Just be an energy guy, and I brought it (on Friday).”
–Field Level Media