Donovan Mitchell had 28 points and 12 assists and Jarrett Allen extended his double-double streak to 15 straight games, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 118-108 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night. Isaac Okoro added 17 points — all in the first half — as the Cavs held off a late Clippers’ comeback and ended L.A.’s winning streak at five. Cleveland is 10-1 since Jan. 3.
Kawhi Leonard scored 30 and Norman Powell 18 for the Clippers, who got within four in the final two minutes but fell to 2-1 on a season-long seven-game road trip. Paul George scored 13 on 3 of 11 shooting for Los Angeles before fouling out with 3:07 left. Allen finished with 20 points and 17 rebounds, extending his franchise record for consecutive games with double digits in points and boards. The Cavs needed Allen to step up his game while Evan Mobley was out with a knee injury, and the affable center has done that and more over the past month.
Cleveland’s Caris LeVert, who has developed a knack for hitting buzzer beaters at home, dropped a step-back jumper before the horn — it was initially ruled a 3 — to give the Cavs an 88-81 lead entering the fourth.
The Cavs pushed their lead to 12 before the Clippers fought back and got within 112-108 on Amir Coffey‘s jumper. However, Coffey missed a free throw that would have pulled LA even closer and Mitchell dropped an 18-foot jumper with 1:09 remaining.
Cleveland is finally closer to full strength.
Mobley played for the first time since undergoing left knee surgery on Dec. 18. He finished with 10 points and nine rebounds in 21 minutes. The Cavs plan to initially limit his time until he works back into game shape. Mobley’s return is expected to be quickly followed by Darius Garland coming back after missing 19 games with a broken jaw. The point guard will likely play Wednesday night. Mobley had some strong moments and a few in which he showed rust from his layoff. In the second quarter, he grabbed a rebound, dribbled the length of the floor and knifed through the Clippers’ defense before dunking.
Leonard began to assert himself late in the second quarter, when he scored on three straight possessions — all mid-range jumpers — as the Clippers, who trailed by nine early on, opened a 51-44 lead. However, the Cavs responded with a 12-1 run, capped by Okoro’s corner 3-pointer with 1.3 seconds left to take a 56-52 halftime lead.
Up next for the Cavs : Host Detroit on Wednesday.