Mitchell Scores 45 Points, Leading Cavs’ 128-121 Win vs. Pistons

NBA News, Donovan Mitchell, Detroit Pistons, Cleveland Cavaliers
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Donovan Mitchell delivered a spectacular performance, pouring in 45 points, with 20 coming in the crucial fourth quarter, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 128-121 victory over the Detroit Pistons during Wednesday’s NBA action.

Darius Garland made a notable return from a broken jaw, contributing 19 points to the win. Jarrett Allen secured a franchise-record 16th consecutive double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Isaac Okoro added 14 points. It was a balanced effort, maintaining a solid rhythm Cleveland has established.

Cleveland’s victory marked their 11th win in 12 games, solidifying their position with the league’s best record since December 16 at 16-4. Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff praised Mitchell’s clutch performance, emphasizing the team’s advantage of having a reliable closer.

“You marvel at what Donovan does when the game is on the line,” Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “We have a closer. Not a lot of teams can say that and it’s a huge advantage for us.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Donovan Mitchell, Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons Updates

Despite a valiant effort from Danilo Gallinari, who scored 20 points and was perfect from beyond the arc, and Cade Cunningham’s 19 points and seven assists, the Pistons fell short in their quest for consecutive wins, a feat they haven’t achieved since late October.

The game saw a tight fourth quarter, but a decisive 10-0 run by the Cavaliers, highlighted by Mitchell’s four free throws, sealed the win and extended their winning streak over the Pistons to eight games.

Mitchell equaled his season-high scoring, while Pistons coach Monty Williams acknowledged the need for better execution against Mitchell.

“We just didn’t execute with good coverage on Donovan, and that’s on me,” Detroit coach Monty Williams said. “This is the formula for us to win games, but we have to be much better. And that falls on me.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Donovan Mitchell, Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons Updates

Garland’s return to the court after a 19-game absence due to an injury sustained in December boosted Cleveland, which saw its projected starting lineup together for just the 12th time this season following Evan Mobley’s return from knee surgery.

“It’s great to have DG and Evan back, that’s first and foremost,” Mitchell said. “The biggest thing now is to continue to figure it out. We have a deep, talented team and continue building together.”

The game was competitive throughout, featuring 11 ties and 11 lead changes, and saw the Cavaliers eventually pulling ahead in the third quarter. Garland sat out the final part of the game due to having a minute’s restriction but was happy to rejoin his teammates on the court.

“It’s definitely been a long process with all the stuff I’ve been through in this last month,” Garland said. “Being back out there with the guys tonight was great.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Donovan Mitchell, Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons Updates

Cade Cunningham acknowledged Mitchell’s impact, particularly in the closing stages.

“Donovan Mitchell was tough and put a lot of pressure on us late,” Cunningham said. “He’s a really good player and he’s going to make plays.”

Detroit’s Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren contributed with 14 and 10 points, respectively, with the team having seven players scoring in double figures. However, an injury to forward Mike Muscala was a setback.

Looking ahead, the Pistons are set to host the Los Angeles Clippers, while the Cavaliers will face off against Memphis next.

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