Although Jarrett Allen did not exactly post otherworldy numbers during Sunday’s 121-109 home win by the Cleveland Cavaliers over the Denver Nuggets, he still played a pivotal role in containing Nikola Jokic and the reigning NBA champions. In fact, Allen finished with an incredible plus/minus of plus-42. That’s the best in a game by any Cavs player since 2015, per StatMuse.
Allen also racked up 15 points, five rebounds, and five assists, while shooting 6-for-10 from the field in 29 minutes of action on the floor. Those are solid numbers, but his biggest impact in the game could be his role in defending against Nikola Jokic. Together with Evan Mobley, Allen made life harder than usual for the two-time NBA Most Valuable Player, who dealt with foul trouble for the most part of the contest.
“Give all credit to our bigs, they did a hell of a job guarding Jokic and made it hard for him to catch the ball,” Cavs guard Darius Garland said of Jarrett Allen and Mobley after the game, per the Associated Press (h/t ESPN). “We were a little short-handed and our defense carried us the entire game. That was the key, I thought.”
The win over the Nuggets also showcased the depth of the Cavs, who took down Denver despite missing the services of their best player, Donovan Mitchell, because of a hamstring issue.
The Cavs, now on a three-game win streak, will deal with another talented big man this coming Tuesday when they face Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers on the road.