Jarrett Allen has been making his presence felt lately. Fresh off a 16-point, 18-rebound performance in Game 1, the center notched up another double-double as the Cleveland Cavaliers took home a 96-86 victory over the Orlando Magic on Monday. This time, Allen scored 16 points and hauled down 20 boards, nine of which were on the offensive end. His 20 rebounds are the most in a playoff game for the Cavs since Kevin Love’s performance in 2017. (per StatMuse)

Allen also added 3 blocks to finish his night with a positive 12 +/- rating. With another win, the Cavs now hold a 2-0 lead over the Magic and Game 2 felt just like the first — a one-sided affair for Cleveland.

Straight off the bat, the Cavs immediately took control. After trading baskets during the first five minutes of the game, the Ohio-based squad went on a 16-5 run to close out the first quarter. They would continue to hold their lead in the ensuing period, entering halftime with a 58-44 advantage.

In the third quarter, the onslaught would not stop as baskets by Allen, Evan Mobley and Darius Garland pulled the Cavs further away. As both teams entered the final 12 minutes, Cleveland held on to a comfortable 15-point advantage.

While the Cavs would lead by 22 at one point during the fourth, the Magic were able to get within single digits in the final five minutes. It would be to no avail, as Cleveland made sure to keep their distance until the final buzzer.

Jarrett Allen and the Cavs bring the momentum to Orlando

Cleveland Cavaliers center Jarrett Allen (31) blocks a shot by Orlando Magic forward Paolo Banchero (5) in the fourth quarter during game two of the first round of the 2024 NBA playoffs at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Cavs finished the game with more efficient field goal and three-point percentages than their opponents and Allen’s 20-board night is the main reason why Cleveland outrebounded Orlando, 48-41.

Five Cavs players finished in double-figures, scoring-wise. Alongside Jarrett Allen, Donovan Mitchell had 23 points and eight rebounds while Evan Mobley added 17 points and seven boards. Darius Garland and Isaac Okoro contributed 15 and 10 points, respectively.

As for Allen, his numbers are no surprise. After all, he’s currently averaging a double-double (16.5 points, 10.5 rebounds) this season. The center has also been one of the more durable Cavs players. After missing the first few games of the season, Allen played the rest of the way, seeing action in a total of 77 games.

Cleveland’s 2-0 playoff start is a strong statement, considering the team’s recent struggles. Plagued with injuries, the Cavs won just four out of their last 10 regular-season games. Nevertheless, the main rotation is now intact and the team is reminding everyone what happens when they field a healthy core group.

Moving forward, the Cavs secure homecourt and travel to Orlando with momentum on their backs. It won’t get any easier. With how crucial Game 3 is, Paolo Banchero and the Magic will only get hungrier and scrappier. If the Cavs want to end the series early, then they’ll have to continue playing well in front of a loud and jeering Kai Center.