Donovan Mitchell scored 21 of his season-high 45 points in the fourth quarter to go along with 12 rebounds as the Cleveland Cavaliers continued their surge with a wire-to-wire 111-102 victory over the slumping Brooklyn Nets on Thursday in the NBA’s Global Games in Paris.
Mitchell took over the game in the fourth quarter when the Cavaliers let what had been a 26-point lead slip into single digits. He missed eight of his first nine 3-point tries but hit four in the fourth to help Cleveland to its ninth win in 12 games.
Mitchell made 15 of 30 shots to produce his third 40-point showing this season and his fourth double-double. He also hit 11 free throws, handed out six assists and got four steals.
Caris LeVert added 21 points while his former Brooklyn teammate Jarrett Allen posted his eighth straight double-double with 12 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks for Cleveland. Isaac Okoro contributed 12 points as the Cavaliers countered shooting 39 percent from the field by making 79.1 percent (34 of 43) at the line.
Mikal Bridges and Cam Thomas scored 26 apiece to lead the Nets. The duo combined to make 19 of Brooklyn’s 20 free throws but were 15 of 39 from the floor as the Nets shot 45.1 percent.
Lonnie Walker IV scored 20 and Nic Claxton collected 13 points and 11 rebounds as Brooklyn fell for the 12th time in 15 games.
Mitchell scored 12 points in the first quarter as the Cavaliers held the Nets to 33.3 percent from the floor and took a 26-16 lead. The Cavs stretched that lead to 54-34 by halftime.
Cleveland held a 26-point advantage early in the third and the Nets trailed 78-60 going into the fourth after Bridges dunked with 31.4 seconds left.
Mitchell was on the bench when Claxton dunked to cut Cleveland’s lead to 80-70 with 9:51 left. After Claxton dunked, Tristan Thompson took exception to the center’s taunting. Thompson walked over to bump Claxton and was ejected from the game while Claxton got a taunting technical.
Mitchell returned following the break, made a technical free throw, then sank two 3-pointers and a layup to give him 30 points and push Cleveland’s lead to 91-77 with 5:53 left. After Bridges converted a three-point play to make it 91-84 with 4:51 left, Mitchell sank triples on Cleveland’s next two trips for a 97-87 edge a little over a minute later. He hit two free throws to ice it with 71 seconds left.