Game Recap 10/25/23 | Cavaliers Beat the Nets 114-113 on Opening Night

October 25, 2023

Andy Billman

Post-Game Recap

3 Things Around The Game

1 – Spida!

SG Donovan Mitchell made sure to start the 2023-24 season with a bang, hitting the game-winning three-pointer with 12.1 on the clock as the Cavs hung on to a 114-113 victory.  Mitchell had 27 on the night. 

2 – Welcome Strus!

SG Max Strus had a big opening night for the Cavs, setting a new franchise record for a new player and tying an NBA record for most three-pointers made for a new club with seven makes.  Strus ended the night with 27 points and a team-high twelve rebounds. 

3 – Three’s and Rebounding

Cleveland’s three-point shooting was the difference in this game tonight against Brooklyn as the Cavs hit eight more three-pointers on the night, going 17-43 compared to 9-27 for the Nets.  

On the other hand, the Cavs were outrebounded 50-38.  JB Bickerstaff will have to figure out a way for the club to get more boards. 

Game Summary

In Wednesday night’s game, Donovan Mitchell showcased his scoring prowess, contributing 10 of his 27 points during the fourth quarter. This outstanding performance led the Cleveland Cavaliers to a narrow 114-113 victory over the Brooklyn Nets, marking the Cavaliers’ first road win in a season opener since 2000.

Cleveland displayed impressive team depth, with six players achieving double-digit point totals. Max Strus, filling in for the injured center Jarrett Allen, had an exceptional game, recording 27 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Isaac Okoro added 18 points to the scoreboard, while Darius Garland finished the game with 15 points.

On the opposing side, Cam Thomas was the standout performer for the Brooklyn Nets, setting a league record for the most points scored by a reserve player in a season opener with his remarkable 36-point effort. Mikal Bridges also made a significant impact, contributing 11 of his 20 points during the crucial fourth quarter. Cam Johnson added 12 points, and Ben Simmons chipped in with four points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists.

Despite the Brooklyn Nets’ defensive-focused approach, their defensive struggles from the preseason carried over into the home opener. Cleveland managed to shoot 46.8% from the field, including an impressive 17-for-43 performance from beyond the three-point line.

After three quarters, the Cavaliers held a narrow 90-87 lead, but the Nets initiated the fourth quarter with a 14-5 run. Dennis Smith Jr. made a layup to extend their lead to 101-95 with 8:07 remaining.

Mikal Bridges made two crucial free throws, bringing the score to 111-105 with just 1:24 left on the clock. In response, Donovan Mitchell hit a clutch 21-foot jumper, and Max Strus added two free throws. Mitchell’s breakaway dunk ultimately tied the game.

The Brooklyn Nets managed to regain the lead at 113-111, thanks to two free throws from Bridges with 19 seconds left. However, Donovan Mitchell’s three-pointer provided Cleveland with a one-point advantage.

In the waning seconds of the game, Cam Thomas missed a three-point attempt, sealing the Cavaliers’ hard-fought victory.

It’s worth noting that the Cavaliers had to contend with a shorthanded roster, as Jarrett Allen was sidelined due to a bone bruise in his left ankle, and reserve forward Dean Wade was absent due to illness.

Up Next

Host Oklahoma City on Friday night.

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