Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell had a message for guard Darius Garland following a 107-90 Cavs win over the Knicks in Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on Tuesday.
“I told him, ‘This is the performance that changes your mindset,'” Mitchell said, via Cleveland.com Cavs reporter Chris Fedor. “At the end of the day, he knows he can be that good but for him to do it at this stage and this level in the playoffs, it changes his mindset.
“This is just the beginning.”
On Tuesday, the 23-year-old guard earned 32 points and seven assists against the Knicks, hitting eight of his 17 shot attempts and six of his 10 3-pointers as the Cavs left home court with a win. Darius Garland mirrored Mitchell’s shooting tactics as he took confident attempts from the 3-point line, sinking catch-and-shoot opportunities while creating his own chances with step-back shots.
Donovan Mitchell added 17 points and 13 assists, playing with a sixth sense as a distributor as he dished passes to Garland and forward Evan Mobley on drives or in the fast break. Mitchell bailed himself out of a missed dunk opportunity from a pick-and-roll when he quickly threw a pass out to Cavs forward Cedi Osman, who splashed home a 3-pointer after Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley rotated to the paint to box out Cavs center Jarrett Allen.
The Cavs managed to tie the series at one game apiece with Tuesday’s win. They will have the opportunity to pull off a home upset of their own when they pack their bags and play in New York on Friday. The Knicks were 23-18 at home during the 2022-23 regular season, the same record as the Brooklyn Nets. Cleveland went 20-21 in its away games last season.
The Cavs will take on the Knicks at 8:30 p.m. EDT on Friday in Madison Square Garden. The game will be broadcasted on ABC and Bally Sports Ohio.