The Cleveland Cavaliers secured their eighth consecutive victory and 16th in 17 games by defeating the short-handed Brooklyn Nets with a resounding 118-95 triumph on Thursday night (Friday, February 9 in the Philippines).
Donovan Mitchell led the Cavaliers’ charge with a stellar performance, contributing 27 points to the team’s success. Evan Mobley showcased his versatility with 14 points and 12 rebounds, while Jarrett Allen notched a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Darius Garland added another 14 points, highlighting the well-rounded offensive effort by Cleveland.
The Cavaliers shot an impressive 53% from the field and outrebounded the Nets 45-33, displaying their efficiency on both ends of the court. The victory came on the second night of a back-to-back, following a win against the Washington Wizards the previous evening.
Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff praised the team’s performance, emphasizing the joy that comes with positive results. “You can have fun in the competition, you can have fun supporting one another, pulling for one another, doing the gritty, dirty things, sharing the ball,” Bickerstaff stated, acknowledging the team’s commitment to a collective effort.
Mikal Bridges led the scoring for the short-handed Nets with 26 points, while Cam Thomas added 17. The loss marked Brooklyn’s third consecutive defeat, and notably, their third loss against the Cavaliers this season, including a matchup in France on January 11.
Despite the Nets being active at the trade deadline, making several moves including acquiring Dennis Schroder and Thaddeus Young, and parting ways with Spencer Dinwiddie, Royce O’Neale, and others, the revamped roster couldn’t withstand the Cavaliers’ onslaught.
The third quarter saw a significant turning point when a skirmish erupted between Ben Simmons and Jarrett Allen. Simmons forcefully shoved Allen, who retaliated by charging past Donovan Mitchell to confront Simmons. Both players received technical fouls, but the incident seemed to ignite the Cavaliers.
In response, Cleveland embarked on a devastating 21-0 run, holding the Nets to 0-for-9 shooting and forcing two turnovers. The run was highlighted by Allen’s hook shot, extending the Cavaliers’ lead to a commanding 80-51.
The Cavaliers’ continued success and resilience, even in the face of a short-handed opponent, solidify their position as a formidable force in the league. As they build on their winning streak, the Cavaliers emerge as a team to watch in the competitive landscape of the NBA.