The Cleveland Cavaliers brought in Donovan Mitchell exactly for the type of game he had on Saturday night. It just wasn’t enough to pull off a Game 1 win against the New York Knicks.
Mitchell poured in 38 points in the effort, but the Cavs fell four points shy in the 101-97 loss. Spida got real about his standout Cleveland playoff debut coming in a losing effort:
“It’s a deflating feeling,” said Donovan Mitchell, via Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor. “But in the same token, there’s no room for that emotion. OK, we gave up 17, but how do we correct it? How do we move on from there? That’s what the playoffs are. We’re going to make mistakes. It’s going to happen. We’re going to give up offensive rebounds. But there’s more physicality, there’s more intensity that can be had. Just got to clean that up, watch the film and we’ll be better.”
Donovan Mitchell was close to a one-man show for the Cavs, who only had two other players – Darius Garland with 17 and Jarrett Allen with 14 – in double-figures. Nobody else even attempted half of his 30 shot attempts on the night.
Despite trailing for most of the game, Mitchell’s 14 points led the way for a late Cavs comeback. They managed to take a 93-92 lead off a Jarrett Allen tip-in with just over two minutes left in the game, but a big three-pointer by Josh Hart and a couple of clutch buckets from Jalen Brunson sealed the win for the Knicks.
If Donovan Mitchell managed to put up another monster game like he did on Saturday, it’s going to be tough to topple the Cavs twice.