Magic Johnson showers Darius Garland and J.B. Bickerstaff with praise after huge Cavs win over Knicks

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Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Darius Garland led the Cleveland Cavaliers to an important Game 2 win over the New York Knicks on Tuesday night, and he received some praise from Hall of Famer Magic Johnson for his efforts.

Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff also got some love from Johnson.

Garland led all scorers in the game with 32 points, scoring 26 of those in the first half. For the game, he went 8-for-17 from the field and 6-for-10 from downtown while connecting on 10 of his 11 free throws. He also recorded three rebounds and seven assists.

As for New York’s Jalen Brunson, he struggled with his shooting throughout the entire game, though he did finish with 20 points. He went 5-for-17 from the field and 1-for-8 from beyond the arc, making nine of his 10 attempts at the charity stripe. He was active in other parts of the game, as he finished with five rebounds, six assists and four steals.

Cavs guard Caris LeVert also played a big role in helping the team to victory. He recorded 24 points, four rebounds and three assists off the bench, playing a total of 40 minutes. While those contributions were undoubtedly nice, his best efforts on Tuesday night might’ve come on the defensive end.

LeVert matched up against Brunson for nearly eight full minutes in the game, per In that time, the Villanova University product went 1-for-9 from the field and also committed one turnover.

It seems as though the Cavs might have found a player to stifle Brunson for the rest of the series. Isaac Okoro didn’t have as much success guarding Brunson in the first game of the series, and he only played three minutes for the Cavs on Tuesday night after picking up two quick fouls in the first quarter.

Bickerstaff appeared to make it clear that Okoro’s benching won’t be a permanent one, but it will be interesting to see how much playing time the former first-round pick gets in Game 3.

With the Cavs and Knicks tied at one game apiece, the series now shifts to Madison Square Garden in New York. Game 3 is set to take place on Friday night.

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David is a Miami native and University of Maryland graduate who is proud to be a contributor of Cavaliers Nation. He is an avid NBA fan.