Jarrett Allen says J.B. Bickerstaff challenged him and Evan Mobley before Game 1 vs. Magic

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David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

According to Cleveland Cavaliers big man Jarrett Allen, head coach J.B. Bickerstaff challenged him and Evan Mobley to set the tone in Game 1 of Cleveland’s first-round series versus the Orlando Magic.

Allen also was seemingly a fan of the physicality exhibited in the first game of the series.

Mobley’s and Allen’s numbers on Saturday indicate that both players embraced Bickerstaff’s challenge. The former racked up 16 points, 11 rebounds, two assists and three blocks while converting half of his 12 shots from the floor. He also made a total of two 3-pointers.

As for the latter, Allen totaled the same number of points as Mobley and also contributed 18 rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Allen and Mobley were two of four players for the Cavaliers to score 14 points or more in the team’s 14-point win over the Magic. Donovan Mitchell led the way for Cleveland in the scoring column, as he dropped a game-high 30 points on 11-of-21 shooting from the floor and 3-of-8 from 3-point range.

The Cavaliers’ offense was productive against Orlando, considering the team shot 44.4 percent from the field and 81.0 percent from the free-throw line on 21 attempts.

But Cleveland played even better basketball on the defensive side of the ball. After all, the Cavaliers held the Magic to just 83 points on 32.6 percent shooting from the floor and 21.6 percent from 3-point range.

Additionally, Cleveland allowed Orlando to score only 32 points combined in the second and third quarters of the contest.

The Cavaliers will attempt to repeat their dominance on the defensive end of the floor when Game 2 of the first-round series rolls around on Monday night. If Cleveland can earn another win at home, the team will own a 2-0 lead in the series and all the momentum as the series shifts to Orlando for Games 3 and 4.

In light of the Cavaliers’ impressive victory in Game 1, Cleveland fans should feel optimistic about the team’s chances of extending its lead in the series on Monday.

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Jesse is a sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA. He has worked as a staff writer at SB Nation’s CelticsBlog and The Knicks Wall.