Leading up to the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Game 2 win, there were plenty of grumblings about how Donovan Mitchell needed help offensively. On Thursday, the Cavs finally delivered. Sparked by a strong second half, the team managed to defeat the Boston Celtics and tie the series at one win apiece. Caris LeVert was a big part of the 118-94 victory. The Cavs guard scored 21 points off the bench, and he credited this to the said grumblings in the past few days.

“Yeah, we heard all the last couple of days that Donovan didn’t have no help,” LeVert said, per Cavs reporter Serena Winters. “So we wanted to show up for him and for our team, and we’ll keep doing that.”

Looking back at Games 6 and 7 of Cleveland’s first-round series against the Orlando Magic, Mitchell scored 44.1% of the Cavs’ total points for both games (combined), per StatMuse. The criticism toward his supporting cast primarily stemmed from the Game 6 loss, when Mitchell scored 50 points, including all of the team’s baskets in the fourth quarter.

Cleveland won Game 7, of course, but still, their franchise player had 39 points while the second-highest scorer was LeVert, who tallied 15 off the bench.

Entering the second round, many wondered if the Cavs’ lack of role-player production would carry over and hurt the team against the Celtics. During Game 1, three other starters finished in double figures, but Mitchell still tallied nearly 35% of the points and it wasn’t enough to down their opponents.

Caris LeVert and the Cavs bounce back in Game 2

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Caris LeVert (3) drives the ball against Boston Celtics forward Xavier Tillman (26) in the second quarter during game two of the second round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at TD Garden

© David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Game 2 sang a different tune. Mitchell had 29 points while LeVert and Evan Mobley tallied 21 each. Darius Garland followed with 14 points while forward Isaac Okoro and sharpshooter Max Strus added 12 apiece.

It was a back-and-forth first half, with the score tied at 54 after two periods. In the third, Mitchell and Garland combined for seven three pointers as the Cavs outscored the Celtics, 36-24. And in the final quarter, Cleveland would continue breaking away, ballooning their advantage to as much as 29 points.

The Cavs were efficient as a team, shooting 54.7% from the floor. Additionally, their 13 three-pointers occurred with a 46.4% downtown average. The team also outrebounded the Celtics, 44-31, despite the absence of Jarrett Allen, who continues to recover from a rib contusion sustained in the previous series.

“We stuck to the gameplan,” LeVert said. “Coach did a great job of drawing up a great gameplan. We stuck to it all night and held them to 94 points. This (Celtics) is a great offensive team, so we’re looking forward to going home to Cleveland now.” (per Bally Sports Cleveland)

“Defensively, we did a heck of a job on their shooters. We didn’t let them get going. I think they hit eight threes all night, so we just gotta keep doing that,” he added.

Boston struggled from deep, making just eight out of their 35 three-ball attempts (22.9%).

Stealing a game on the road, Caris LeVert and the Cavs have momentum on their side as the series shifts to Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse. Game 3 tips off on Saturday, May 11 at 8:30 p.m. ET.