Paris Memory No. 4 - Leaving Paris with another Cavaliers W
While the events throughout the Cavs' Paris trip were great, everything culminated in an electric performance by the Cleveland Cavaliers inside Accor Arena. This game was Cleveland's first one outside the United States or Canada, making the win even sweeter.
Their Paris spectacle was only another piece of an increasingly complete puzzle in a surprisingly exciting stretch for the Cavs. Donovan Mitchell's 45 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists and 4 steals led the Cavs to their win and gave the audience a historic performance. Alongside Mitchell, Jarrett Allen continued his All-Star campaign with his eighth consecutive double-double, notching 12 points and 12 rebounds with 2 steals and four blocks to complement his work.
Three of Cleveland's five starters scored in double digits, with Isaac Okoro scoring 12 points and grabbing 4 rebounds in the game. Max Strus exited the game after only seven minutes of action with knee soreness, making him the only Cavalier not to score in the match.
Caris LeVert once again arose as Cleveland's best bench player, scoring 21 points with 2 blocks and 3 rebounds. This performance was LeVert's fourth game with 20+ points in his last five appearances, including a 31-point New Year's Day outing against the Toronto Raptors.
With the Cavaliers headed home, they are now tied with the Indiana Pacers for the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference, half a game ahead of the New York Knicks and one game ahead of the Miami Heat and Orlando Magic.
As the Cavs continue to fight their way through the East, Darius Garland's return is hopefully approaching. According to Bickerstaff, Garland is expected to miss "a few more games" after receiving surgery for a fractured jaw. Putting themselves in a solid position before Garland and Mobley return only helps Cleveland for the home stretch before the 2024 playoffs.
The Cleveland Cavaliers will host the Chicago Bulls on January 15 at 7:00 pm Eastern Time for their next game, followed by a home match against the Milwaukee Bucks on January 17. Cleveland's remaining 45 games rank twenty-third in difficulty, giving them a great opportunity to snowball their recent momentum in the latter half of the season.