It may be rare for three games to determine a team’s course for the rest of the season.
But, for now, Donovan Mitchell was right. The sky is not falling for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
A recent turnaround from the heartbreaking 100-97 loss to the Miami Heat last Tuesday was enough for center Jarrett Allen to take notice in a postgame press conference.
“I do feel a difference in how we’re playing,” Allen said. “We’re going out more determined. More having a mindset that we’re going to play how we play. Not necessarily playing faster or playing more aggressive. Just being more assertive with how we play.”
Cleveland’s 3-game winning streak, one that saw them beat their opponents by an average of 19 points, was highlighted by a 114-91 win over the Washington Wizards on Monday. The Cavaliers limited the Wizards to a 42.7% shooting percentage from the field and 21.4% from the 3-point line, the fifth-lowest 3-point percentage they have allowed all season, according to Basketball Reference.
The Cavs found a rhythm early and never looked back, taking down the Wizards on their home court after all five Cleveland starters hit double-digit points. With all of the momentum on their side, Mitchell made a statement dunk after Allen tipped a stolen ball to guard Darius Garland, who lobbed it up from far beyond the 3-point line to just the perfect spot for the Cavs star to slam it home.
“It’s alright,” Jarrett Allen jokingly said. “It was special, but I’ve seen him do better.”
Washington center Daniel Gafford, who scored 11 points and grabbed eight rebounds against the Cavs, said Cleveland “was just comfortable” on offense in a postgame press conference.
“There was a lot of things that they did that kind of had us in scramble situations, time and time again down the floor,” Gafford said. “They just really just got the shots that they wanted.”