HomeBasketball TodayGarland Shines as Cavs Beat Wizards 114-105

Garland Shines as Cavs Beat Wizards 114-105

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Darius Garland is slowly but surely getting back to his old, dominant self.

In his first game with the Cleveland Cavaliers after the annual All-Star break, Donovan Mitchell looked off against the Washington Wizards. Mitchell only chipped in with 16 points on just 4-of-10 from the field and 3-of-6 from 3-point range while dealing with foul trouble and fatigue most of the second half. During his two-game absence, Mitchell lost six pounds and although he’s still recovering, he gave the struggling Cavs just enough to secure a win on the road.

“It’s very obvious that I’m not moving the same. Trying to be out there to help as much as I can. Just get the treatments necessary and I will be fine,” Mitchell said following the game. “Glad we got the win.”

While Mitchell, Cleveland’s Batman, wasn’t quite right, it was their Nightwing in Darius Garland who stepped up to support his partner in crime and save the day for the Cavs.

Darius Garland steps up for Cavs vs. Wizards

Roughly a few minutes into the final frame, Washington reclaimed the lead thanks to a 14-0 run sparked by Jordan Poole, who scored all 14 points during that stretch. By the end of the run, the Wizards were ahead by six. But Garland, who has been under a microscope for his topsy-turvy play, responded with six points of his own, drilling back-to-back triples to pull Cleveland even again.

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“I got a couple open looks and made a couple. That was it from there,” Garland said postgame. “I don’t know what’s going on. Getting off to a rough start. But I’m going to keep being me. Have my teammates behind me and they always encourage me to keep going and keep being aggressive to help us be better. When I made a couple, I looked at the bench and they were super hyped. Felt good for sure.”

Overall, Darius Garland finished with 17 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter, to go with seven assists (which led to 15 more points for the Cavs) in 33 minutes of action. Before the All-Star break, Garland spoke about not feeling like himself yet. To be fair to Garland, he had missed six weeks because of a fractured jaw suffered in mid-December and was on a strict minute restriction when he returned in mid-January. That restriction hadn’t been lifted until after the All-Star break and, in this win over Washington, Cleveland’s franchise guard was starting to look more like his old self.

After Garland failed to hit a game-winning 3-pointer against the Philadelphia 76ers at home several games ago, seeing him rip the hearts out of Wizards fans with two crushing triples is a sign that he’s on his way back to the player he once was. Now that’s not to say that Garland will be outright dominating the Dallas Mavericks next time he and the Cavs take the floor, but it’s an encouraging sign of him finally finding his rhythm this season.

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Guiding Cleveland to a win over Washington was just the first step for Garland and the Cavs. But, as long as everyone keeps taking steps in the right direction, he should be good to go when Cleveland needs him the most: the playoffs.

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About the Author

Evan Dammarell is an award-winning sports journalist covering all things Cleveland, including the Cavs, right off the shores of Lake Erie. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. He can also be found three to five times weekly on Locked On Cavs, a part of the Locked On Podcast Network.

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