Cavaliers Crush The Celtics 118-94: Playoff Game Recap Game 2 / Round 2

May 9, 2024

Andy Billman

Post-Game Recap

3 Notes Around the Huge Victory

1 – Mitchell and friends

Donovan Mitchell led the way in points again, but this time got help as all five starters had double digits in points led by Evan Mobley’s 21and Caris LeVert came off the bench with 21 as well.

2 – Boards

The Cavs won the rebounding edge by 13 tonight!  Winning this category is huge for Cleveland, as the Celtics love to shoot the long ball and rely on second chances when they miss.

3 – Mitchell/Tatum 

Mitchell won the battle again tonight over Jayson Tatum, scoring more points (29 to 25), rebounds, and assists (eight to six).

Game Recap

Donovan Mitchell contributed 29 points while Evan Mobley posted a double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds as the Cleveland Cavaliers triumphed over the top-seeded Boston Celtics with a convincing 118-94 victory on Thursday night, evening their second-round playoff series at one game apiece.

Following a 25-point defeat two nights prior, during which Mitchell’s 33-point performance lacked ample support, the Cavaliers took charge in the third quarter, responding with a resounding victory of their own. Mitchell ignited the surge with 16 points in the third, igniting a sequence that included three consecutive baskets early in the fourth, including a remarkable 28-foot, banked 3-pointer that saw him shrugging his shoulders in disbelief as he retreated on defense.

Jayson Tatum led Boston’s efforts with 25 points, supported by Jaylen Brown’s 19 points. However, Derrick White, instrumental in Game 1 with 25 points, struggled to make an impact with just 10 points, missing seven of his eight 3-point attempts.

The series now shifts to Cleveland for Games 3 and 4 on Saturday and Monday respectively, before returning to Boston for Game 5 on Wednesday.

Caris LeVert provided a significant boost off the bench for Cleveland, contributing 21 points, including a crucial pull-up jumper in the fourth quarter that extended the Cavaliers’ lead to 20 points, prompting an early departure of disappointed fans from the arena.

In the closing minutes, with the outcome all but decided, tensions rose as LeVert was fouled hard by Tatum, resulting in a flagrant foul and further widening the gap. With a commanding 25-point lead, Boston’s coach Joe Mazzulla opted to empty his bench, a decision mirrored by Cleveland’s J.B. Bickerstaff, who sought to preserve Mitchell’s energy for the remainder of the series.

Mitchell’s exceptional performance, which included four successful 3-pointers in the third quarter, played a pivotal role in extending Cleveland’s lead to as much as 14 points.

Meanwhile, Celtics’ center Kristaps Porzingis remained sidelined for the third consecutive game due to a strained calf muscle. Mobley, filling in at center for the injured Jarrett Allen, capitalized on the opportunity, achieving a career playoff high in points.

The game witnessed a seesaw battle, with Cleveland initially trailing by nine points in the first quarter before rallying with an 11-point streak, spearheaded by Caris LeVert’s eight points. Despite Boston momentarily seizing an eight-point lead in the second quarter, the Cavaliers managed to level the score heading into halftime.

At the midway mark, Tatum registered 16 points, six rebounds, and four assists, while Mobley showcased his versatility with 15 points, seven rebounds, and five assists, underscoring a tightly contested matchup between the two Eastern Conference powerhouses.

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