Cavs Notes: Darius Garland, Donovan Mitchell, Cedi Osman, Caris LeVert

Point guard Darius Garland and the Cavaliers didn’t forget about losing to the Hawks in the play-in tournament.Darius Garland

In fact, it seemed to fuel some of the Cavs in their 114-102 home win on Monday, pushing them ahead of the Hawks in the standings.

“This game had some more meaning to it because everyone knows what they did to us last year,” Garland told reporters. “We made up for it on defense and we got some easy buckets in transition. Everyone sees it, our team is just unselfish.”

That is very true of these Cavs (10-6), winners of three straight. It always seems to about the team.

It also is about Garland (26 points) and Donovan Mitchell (29), and how they are coming together in the backcourt. On this night, it worked wonderfully, with the Cavs’ pair outdueling the Hawks’ talented duo of Trae Young and Dejounte Murray.

“We were very precise with what we wanted to do and the way we were playing off each other,” Mitchell said. “I would say tonight was one of our best nights working together, but there is so much more we can do.”

Even Hawks coach Nate McMillan was left impressed.

“Garland and Donovan is a guard combination as good as anyone in the league,” McMillan said. “Those guys are All-Stars and elite scorers, and they give it to you both ways on both sides of the ball.”

  • Guard/forward Cedi Osman is a prime example of how role players tend to play better at home than the road. Osman has been on a tear over the past two games, scoring 23 points vs. the Hawks. A night earlier, he scored 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in a win over the Heat. He’s averaging 9.6 points on the season.
  • Guard/forward Caris LeVert missed his first game of the season after suffering a sprained ankle against the Heat. On the bright side for LeVert and the Cavs, he is not using crutches or a walking boot. His status appears to be day-to-day.
  • For the record, that game marked the Hawks’ only visit to Cleveland this season. With Young and Murray leading the charge, they are expected to fight the Cavs for playoff positioning all year.

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