Before Saturday, the Cleveland Cavaliers had been reeling. They had lost five consecutive games, which dropped their record to 9-10.
But Cleveland bounced back in a strong way in its game on Saturday versus the Orlando Magic, defeating them 105-92. Starting point guard Darius Garland played a huge role in the win. After the game, he confidently declared on Instagram that the Cavs are “back.”
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Garland had arguably his best game of the season against Orlando. He scored a season-high 26 points on 11-of-21 shooting. The 21-year-old also chipped in 11 assists.
On the season, the 6-foot-1 guard is averaging 18.7 points and 7.1 assists per game. With backcourt partner Collin Sexton out for the remainder of the season, Garland is expected to carry an even greater load on offense.
Fortunately, Garland has plenty of help.
Promising rookie Evan Mobley played for the first time on Saturday since sustaining an elbow injury earlier this month. Although he sat out the previous four matches, Mobley still performed solidly in his return game. The big man recorded 13 points, nine rebounds and four blocked shots.
Garland had nothing but praise for Mobley following the contest.
“It means everything to have him back because Evan wants to be great,” Garland said. “That’s why he always puts in the work. He brings a lot to the team with the way he blocks shots, grabs rebounds and, of course, his dunking.”
The Cavs are looking to reach the postseason after a lengthy absence. They will likely need the likes of Garland and Mobley to continue playing well for that to happen.