NBA playoffs

Cavs throttle Knicks to even series at 1-1


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Cavs throttle Knicks to even series at 1-1

TIED UP. Knicks guard Josh Hart drives to the basket against Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell.

Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Donovan Mitchell and the Cavaliers make sure to bounce back big, pulling away early against the Knicks to level the series

Donovan Mitchell and Evan Mobley each posted double-doubles and Darius Garland helped key a decisive second-quarter surge for the host Cleveland Cavaliers, who evened their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series with the New York Knicks with a 107-90 victory in Game 2 on Tuesday night, April 18 (Wednesday, April 19, Manila time).

Game 3 is scheduled for Friday night in New York.

Mitchell, the seventh-leading scorer in the NBA this season at 28.3 points per game, fired only 17 points after erupting for 38 in their Game 1 loss, but collected a career-high 13 assists. 

Mobley had 13 points and 13 rebounds while Garland scored 32 points, including 26 in the first half.

Caris LeVert scored 24 points off the bench for the Cavaliers, whose reserves outscored the Knicks’ reserves, 36-28. 

New York’s bench outscored Cleveland’s bench, 37-14, in a 101-97 win in Game 1 on Saturday night.

Julius Randle scored 22 points in Game 2 for the Knicks, who shot just 36.7% from the field (29-for-79), including 24.1% (7-for-29) from three-point land, and committed 18 turnovers. 

Jalen Brunson had 20 points while RJ Barrett added 14 points and Immanuel Quickley finished with 12 points off the bench.

The teams traded runs in the first quarter, which began with Brunson and Randle scoring five points apiece as the Knicks took a 12-4 lead. Garland scored eight points as the Cavaliers responded with a 15-3 surge. 

New York then scored seven straight points before Cleveland scored the final six points and took the lead for good at 25-22 on LeVert’s three-pointer with 1.3 seconds left.

The Cavaliers began taking control in the second, which began with the teams combining to miss their first 12 shots from the field, before Garland scored 15 points as Cleveland outscored the Knicks 34-17 to take a 59-39 halftime lead.

The Knicks got within 16 points twice in the third, the last time at 74-58 on Randle’s triple with 2:40 left. 

But Garland and Mitchell each hit three-pointers in a quarter-ending 8-2 run as the Cavaliers extended their lead to 82-60.

The Knicks got no closer than the final margin in the fourth, when the Cavaliers took their biggest lead at 99-70 on Cedi Osman’s three-pointer with 5:55 left. –

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