Following a disappointing end to Game 1, the Cleveland Cavaliers fought back and dominated Game 2 against the New York Knicks. They won 107-90 and led by 15 for the entirety of the second half to even up the first-round series at 1-1. Darius Garland, in particular, had a spectacular outing for the Cavs.
Garland was outstanding in the Cavs’ win, ending his night with 32 points and seven assists on 8-17 shooting. Cleveland outscored New York by 29 points in the minutes he played. It only took a few buckets for Garland to know that he was in for a big performance, according to Chris Fedor of cleveland.com.
“When I seen the first couple of fall, I knew it’s gonna be a good night,” Garland said, via cleveland.com.
Garland played excellent basketball on both sides of the ball. Not only did he score well but he drew a good amount of fouls and provided great defensive pressure, stepping up to lead the charge in a spectacular defensive display from the Cavs. Donovan Mitchell told him to be the All-Star that he is. And the star guard did just that.
With Jalen Brunson and Immanuel Quickley on the Knicks’ side, the Cavs need to get good play from Garland. Especially on the defensive end, he has to play a part in slowing down the two talented point guards. In Game 2, he slid his feet and kept his hands active all night, helping to force Brunson into a cold shooting night and Quickley into another bad game.
Mitchell provided 17 points and playoff-high 13 dimes while Evan Mobley had 13 points, 13 rebounds, two steals and two blocks. Caris LeVert provided some impressive defense while scoring 24 points off the bench. The Cavs’ all-around effort flummoxed New York, who committed 17 turnovers and shot a brutal 29-79 from the field. Cleveland committed 17 turnovers itself but had no problems shooting the ball, especially from deep, where it shot 14-33.
The Cavs and Knicks will now head to Madison Square Garden for two games starting on Friday night. Darius Garland will need to keep up his intensity in New York to give Cleveland a shot at clinching the series at home.