Donovan Mitchell makes Cavaliers history, leads Cleveland to first win of the season, 128-96, over Chicago Bulls

Chicago – The Cleveland Cavaliers scored their first win of the season. The first era of Donovan Mitchell.

Mitchell helped lead the Cavaliers to a resounding 128-96 victory over their Eastern Conference rival on Saturday night – their biggest win margin ever against the Bulls.

They also spoiled the Bulls’ highly anticipated opener, sending 21,089 Chicagoans – once on their feet and sparking the start of the season with All-Star goalkeeper Zach Lavigne – out of United Center early. Not even DeMar DeRozan, the Bulls’ leading scorer, held him to the end, being sent off at the 4:30 mark of the fourth quarter for second technique.

Ahead of Saturday night’s showdown, Mitchell spoke of the need to take on a bigger burden with injured star Darius Garland as he struggles with an injury to his left eye in Cleveland. This is Mitchell’s responsibility. It comes with being a three-time All-Star player and the franchise. Last season, the Cavs couldn’t function without Garland, looking lost and lethargic, being outdone by 9.3 points per 100 possessions with him off the ground.

Not anymore. Not with Mitchell.

The rookie, who played his second game since joining the Cavs in a lane-changing deal less than two months ago, has a 32-point high on 10 from 19 shots and 4 of 6 from a 3-point range. Showcasing his all-encompassing style, which goes beyond just scoring a killer, he added nine rebounds and eight assists, just under his first hat-trick of his football career.

Mitchell is the first player in Cavis history to open a season with consecutive 30-point games.

“I’m really happy with the fact that we got the win,” said Mitchell. “The first match, it looked good and I felt good, but we lost. So tonight to go out here and get the first set as a group, it was great. My teammates trust me. My coaches trust me. It just allows you to play freely and do what I do without putting too much pressure on me. Myself “.

But Mitchell also spoke early Saturday morning about the need to replace Garland as a team effort. As the players have said over the past month, the strength of the team is the team.

Mitchell got a lot of help. Some are from unexpected sources. Six players hit two numbers.

Striker Evan Mobley finished the second year with 16 points on 7 of 9 shots. Kevin Love, the sixth man’s runner-up last season, focused on the bench. Low scored his first double of the season, scoring 15 points and collecting 12 rebounds. Loew even drilled his first five 3-point attempts before finishing a fourth-quarter wastage on his perfect night from the deep.

Sidi Othman also made an amazing lift, adding 15 points in 26 minutes. With Usman on the ground, Cleveland outscored Chicago by 41 points.

Even veteran and ex-Paul Ruben Lopez hit double figures, racking up 12 points from 6 of 7 shots in an impressive 16 minutes. He was awarded the Junkyard Dog Series for the team after the win.

“We’re really well balanced and I think it’s a luxury – maybe we haven’t seen it before – where we can play so many different formations and so many different ways,” Loew said. “It just generates confidence in being able to play like this and knowing that everyone has the best intention for the team. Guys love to play together. It’s a fun way to play basketball. Everyone has the opportunity to shine.”

At one point, after being late by double digits for most of the night, the bulls started to come back. They cut the lead to nine at the 5:34 mark from the third quarter. This was the first time they were in single digits since early in the second quarter.

But Mitchell responded. Just like he did many times throughout his sterling career. He buried Sitrah while being obstructed by the old 3-point play. It only became a four-point play instead, with Nikola Vucevich whistling due to a frustrating technical error.

“I was just trying to find a way to get a bucket,” Mitchell said. ISO basketball. We didn’t get our things done. In those moments, that’s why you’re here. Just find a way to regain momentum on our part. These are game-changing moments. When they get to nine, just find ways to continue staying in shape. Poise as a group. I think we all did.”

This sequence allowed the struggling Cavs to settle in temporarily – and they never looked back, as they cruised into a statement victory over a team expected to be in the playoff mix, where the Cavs are trying to go this season.

Garland is supposed to help them get there. He is the only one who couldn’t on Saturday night due to an eye injury that looks bad in Wednesday’s opener. Despite being helpless, Garland supported from afar, sending out a series of teasing tweets about the team’s performance. There was one for just about every player, including rookie Isaiah Mobley who scored his first NBA ring—three times in the late fourth quarter.

Even Garland, whose left eye was basically swollen, could see Cleveland’s boundless potential on Saturday night.

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The Cavs will host the Washington Wizards for their opening game at home on Sunday night. Tipoff is 7 pm

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