Cavaliers Beat the Rockets 135-130: Game Recap 12/18/23

December 18, 2023

Andy Billman

Post-Game Recap

3 Key Factors Around the Victory

1 – Marvelous Mitchell 

Donovan Mitchell led the way for the Cavs tonight, hitting over half of his shots and scoring a team-high 37 points.

2 – Merrill

Sam Merrill also had a big night, playing 24 minutes, scoring 19 while hitting 5 out of 10 threes.

3 – Three-point shooting

Speaking of three-point shooting, that was the difference in the game tonight as the Cavs made 19 from 48, hitting seven more from long distance as Houston only made 12 for 33. 

Game Summary

On Monday night, the Cleveland Cavaliers secured their 11th consecutive overtime victory by defeating the Houston Rockets 135-100. Donovan Mitchell led the charge with an impressive 37 points, while Sam Merrill, coming off the bench, achieved a career-high of 19 points. The Cavaliers matched the second-longest overtime winning streak in NBA history, equaling New Orleans’ record of 13 consecutive victories from 2006-08.

In the extra period, Merrill contributed five points, and Max Strus added four, leading Cleveland to outscore Houston 13-8. Rockets’ center Alperin Sengun managed to tie the game with a free throw in the regulation’s final 36.8 seconds. However, the Cavaliers sealed the win in overtime.

Despite missing key players like Evan Mobley and Darius Garland, who are expected to be out until February due to injuries, the Cavaliers showed resilience. Mobley underwent arthroscopic left knee surgery, while Garland is set for a procedure to repair his broken jaw sustained in a collision with Boston’s Kristaps Porzingis.

Fred VanVleet shone for the Cavaliers with season-highs of 27 points and 17 assists, accompanied by eight rebounds. Alperin Sengun contributed 24 points, eight rebounds, and six assists for the Rockets. The Cavaliers now boast a 2-0 record on their four-game homestand.

In a high-scoring third quarter, marked by 22 fouls and 27 free throws, Cleveland scored a season-high 42 points, taking a slim 99-98 lead into the final period. The first half saw a closely contested game with 13 lead changes and six ties, concluding with the Rockets holding a 59-57 advantage.

Up Next

Host Utah on Wednesday night.

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