Cavaliers’ Stunning Victory Over Celtics 118-94, Mavericks Silence Thunder to Even Series

NBA playoffs showdown: Cleveland Cavaliers and the Dallas Mavericks rallied to defy expectations, stunning their top-seeded rivals and leveling their respective playoff series.

In Boston, the Cavaliers defeated the Celtics 118-94, spearheaded by Donovan Mitchell, to square the score in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series at one.

Cavaliers’ Stunning Victory Over Celtics 118-94, Mavericks Silence Thunder to Even Series

After scoring 29 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, Dallas star Luka Doncic and teammate P.J. Washington combined for another 29 points to lead the Mavericks to a 119-110 victory over the Thunder in Oklahoma City, tying the score in their Western Conference semifinal.

With lots of help from his “attack-minded” colleagues, Mitchell scored 23 of his 29 points in the second half and helped the Cavaliers recover from a crushing defeat in the first game.

With 15 of his postseason career-high 21 points scored in the first half, 22-year-old Evan Mobley got Cleveland moving early. Six players for Cleveland scored in double digits, including reserve guard Caris LeVert with 21 points off the bench and center Mobley with 10 rebounds and five assists.

NBA coach J.B. Bickerstaff praised the Cavaliers’ “attack-minded” approach. “We didn’t take the first quick shot that we came across.”

The Cavaliers trailed after the first two quarters, but at halftime they were knotted 54–54. The Cavaliers took command in the third quarter thanks to an explosive 16 points from Mitchell.

With a 12-point lead entering the fourth quarter, the Cavaliers applied pressure, and Mitchell scored three straight points, including a spinning drive that resulted in a hook shot, to make the score 99-83.

With less than five minutes remaining, Cleveland extended their lead to 24 points, and by then, spectators were leaving T.D. Garden arena in droves.

After benching his starting lineup, Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla saw Jayson Tatum finish with 25 points and Jaylen Brown with 19. The Celtics’ defensive effort, according to Brown, was just “unacceptable.”

He declared, “We gave up 118 points.” “We didn’t help ourselves tonight—we lost the rebound battle on top of that.” In the meantime, Mitchell was thrilled with what he described as a “full performance.”

Mitchell stated, “Everyone did their job,” but they still need to apply more pressure when the series moves to Cleveland on Saturday. “In the end, it’s just one victory,” Mitchell remarked. “It must be done at the crib.”
With a level series record, the Mavericks will also return home for game three on Saturday.

Playing on a sprained right knee, Doncic scored 16 points in the opening quarter to set the tone for a physical contest.
Early in the game, as they rushed up court, the Slovenian star’s feet tangled with Oklahoma City’s Luguentz Dort’s, sending him face-first onto the court.

Also Read: NBA Playoffs Update 2024: Timberwolves Dominate Nuggets, Brunson Leads Knicks to Victory

The Mavericks led by four points at the beginning of the fourth quarter when Doncic stumbled again and hobbled out. Despite this, he continued to play and made a three-pointer to extend the advantage to nine points for the team.

Doncic remarked, “I think that was one of the hardest games I’ve had to play.” “Out there, I’m fighting.” Making every effort to support the team’s victory.My mindset is to start strong and the team will follow, that’s all.

After being limited to six of 19 shots in the first game, Doncic made 11 of his 21 tries in the second one. Star teammate Kyrie Irving scored just nine points, but he also had two steals, two blocked shots, and 11 assists.

The Mavs stopped a Thunder comeback in the third quarter thanks to 10 of Tim Hardaway Jr.’s 17 points from the bench.

Oklahoma City overcame a 14-point deficit in the first half and took the lead early in the third quarter. Dallas had a 10-point lead going into the fourth quarter, despite their best efforts to stay in the lead, which was only up to three points.

For the Thunder, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander tallied 33 points, 12 rebounds, and 8 assists. Jalen Williams chipped in with 20 points.

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