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Cavaliers defeat 76ers 117-114 in Mitchell’s return

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Philadelphia 76ers v Cleveland Cavaliers
Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

It was a thrilling win for the Cavs.

The Cleveland Cavaliers picked up a feel-good win that was much needed after Wednesday’s loss in Charlotte. Here’s what happened:

Nightly Notables

Georges Niang had a thing or two to give the Philadelphia 76ers. In fact, he gave them 25 reasons to regret letting go of him. Niang poured in 25 points on 10-14 shooting off of the bench in a revenge game against his former team.

The Niang addition has been tough to get behind at times this season. But when his shot is rolling from deep, it’s easy to see why he was at the top of Cleveland’s free agency list. This was another strong performance in a month when Niang hit his stride. After tonight, Niang is shooting above 45% from deep in March.

Other notables include Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley who each recorded double-doubles. We’ll talk more about Garland and Mobley later.

Donovan Mitchell made his return to the floor and while he didn’t bring his usual scoring prowess, he dished 8 assists including a handful of dazzling passes. Lastly, Sam Merrill deserves a nod for knocking down 4-8 three-point attempts in another microwave shooting performance.

Well, that happened...

The Cavs needed Garland and Mobely to step up in Mitchell’s absence. While that didn’t quite happen — at least they showed up tonight with Mitchell alongside them.

Garland and Mobley put together nine straight points when Cleveland needed it most. A herky-jerky assault on the rim from DG was a treat. But really, the main course was Mobley knocking down a confident three-point shot with the game on the line.

Big Picture

The Cavs have almost everything they wanted. Mitchell, Strus and Mobley are back, making this just the 23rd game of the season where all five of Cleveland’s ideal starters were available.

Dean Wade’s return is still up in the air with head coach J.B. Bickerstaff saying he is unsure of any potential timeline. Wade has become a vital piece to the Cavs rotation.

Nevertheless, the Cavs are back in the win column with just 8 games remaining before the postseason. All things considered, they are as healthy as they could hope to be at this point.

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