Cavaliers Win Over the Hawks 128-105: Game Recap 11/28/23

November 28, 2023

Andy Billman

Post-Game Recap

3 Key Factors Around the Win

1 – Turnaround

The Cavs were down 12 with 8:50 left in the 2nd quarter when head coach JB Bickerstaff called a timeout. 

After that timeout, the Cavs came out with a new defensive energy that helped outscore the Hawks by 35 points while shooting 53.8%.

2 – M&M

Donovan Mitchell was the leading scorer with 40 points and got stronger as the game went on, and Evan Mobley had a double-double, scoring 17 points and grabbing 19 rebounds while keeping Clint Capela under wraps, only scoring 14 with nine boards.

3 – Double digits

The Cleveland starting five all scored in double digits with all five with a double-digit plus minus. 

Game Summary

On Tuesday night, Donovan Mitchell secured 40 points, accompanied by Evan Mobley’s impressive 17 points and a career-high 19 rebounds as the Cleveland Cavaliers concluded pool play in the NBA In-Season Tournament with a decisive 128-105 triumph over the Atlanta Hawks.

Despite finishing with a commendable 3-1 record and claiming second place in East Group A, the Cavaliers’ hopes for a wild-card entry were dashed due to a shortfall in point differential. The team needed victories coupled with losses from four other teams to secure advancement.

Nevertheless, the Cavaliers are on the path to recovery, with Mitchell delivering his standout performance (14 of 25, 11 rebounds) in weeks, notably in a game of significance by regular-season standards. Darius Garland contributed 19 points to the victory.

For the Hawks, De’Andre Hunter notched 18 points, while Trae Young added 13 on 3-of-14 shooting along with 10 assists. Despite Mitchell’s recent struggles, he found his rhythm in the game, starting with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from 41 feet to conclude the first quarter.

Although the shot was disallowed, it ignited Mitchell, who scored 10 points in the second quarter, aiding the Cavaliers in erasing a 12-point deficit. A 17-2 run, highlighted by Mobley’s 3-pointer and dunk assisted by Mitchell, propelled Cleveland to a 64-61 halftime lead.

In the third quarter, the Cavaliers extended their lead to 15 points, but the Hawks responded with a 13-2 surge, closing the gap to 90-85. However, key 3-pointers from Georges Niang and Garland in the final minute of the third quarter secured a 102-90 lead for Cleveland entering the fourth.

Despite a 20-point deficit, Atlanta’s coach, Quin Snyder, withdrew his starters with 3:54 left. In contrast, Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff maintained his first team on the court, aiming to widen the lead further for a potential advancement.

With 16 teams still in contention, Bickerstaff revealed that a staff member would monitor other ongoing games on the final night of pool play to gauge the potential impact of point differential. Despite initial skepticism, Bickerstaff praised the league’s handling of the tournament, noting increased fan engagement with games across various locations.

Up Next

Host Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday night.

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