Who needs Donovan Mitchell when you have Sam Merrill, right? That’s what Cleveland Cavaliers fans were saying on Wednesday night when their squad pulled off an impressive 124-116 win without Spida on top of the absences of Darius Garland and Evan Mobley. Merrill, one of the Cavs’ best shooters, stepped up in a big way in the absence of Mitchell, pouring in a game-high 27 points, scoring 24 from three-point land.
During his post-game press conference, Merrill had the perfect reaction to the fans cheering him on. Via Bally Sports Cleveland:
— Bally Sports Cleveland (@BallySportsCLE) December 21, 2023
Merrill is on a heater right now for the Cavs. He just enjoyed a career night earlier in the week, scoring 19 points against the Houston Rockets. He then followed it up with the best performance of his young career. Merrill’s eight triples were also a career-best. He was red-hot from long range in the victory.
John Patrick Postrado ·
Caris LeVert also dropped 23 off the bench to complement Merrill, while Jarrett Allen and Max Strus combined for 35 points. Clevleand shot a blistering 45% from beyond the arc (23 for 51). That’s exactly what they needed when playing sans Mitchell, their best player. Merrill is proving to be a nice piece for the Cavs off the bench, averaging 6.3 points in 10.9 minutes per game. His workload is undoubtedly increasing given the injuries to Cleveland’s roster. Merrill is shooting 47.5% from three-point territory. Elite.
The Cavs are now winners of three straight and sit at 16-12, which is good enough for sixth place in the Eastern Conference. Thursday is the tail-end of a back-to-back, facing the New Orleans Pelicans at home.