Thursday, June 13 2024

PARIS (AP) — Donovan Mitchell scored a season-high 45 points and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Nets 111-102 on Thursday in the NBA’s third regular-season game in Paris.

Mitchell’s quick start sent the Cavaliers to a lead they would never lose and he scored 21 points in the fourth quarter, making four three-pointers after going 0-for-6 through three, to keep the Nets from coming all the way back after cutting a 26-point deficit to single digits.

Caris LeVert added 21 points in Cleveland’s first time playing outside North America in the regular season, while Jarrett Allen had 12 points and 12 rebounds in his career-best eighth straight double-double. The Cavaliers won their fourth straight, improving to 9-3 since Dec. 16.

Isaac Okoro also scored 12 points, while Mitchell had 12 rebounds.

Mikal Bridges and Cam Thomas each scored 26 points for the Nets, who matched their worst half of the season with 34 points in the first half and have lost 12 of 15. Lonnie Walker IV added 20 points.

The Nets’ struggles kept the NBA from delivering much of a show in front of a crowd that included French soccer superstar Kylian Mbappé and former NBA stars Tony Parker and Joakim Noah.

But better basketball is ahead.

Paris will host the Olympics this summer and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver noted that the United States, which has won the last four gold medals in men’s basketball, could send a powerhouse roster.

“I think a love of competition and a love of this market, seemingly all the marquee U.S. NBA players want to participate,” Silver said during a news conference before the game.

He added that the NBA expects to return to France next season, perhaps with the teams selected playing multiple games. Headed by No. 1 pick Victor Wembanyama, France had a record 14 players on opening-night rosters this season and has become one of the league’s most important markets, ranking No. 1 in Europe and the Middle East for sales of NBA-branded merchandise.

Mitchell scored the game’s first six points and Cleveland raced to a 16-4 lead. It was 54-34 at halftime and the Cavs took their largest lead when Mitchell’s layup made it 60-34 early in the third.

Cleveland’s Tristan Thompson was ejected early in the fourth quarter for flagrantly fouling Nic Claxton, after the Nets center had dunked and taunted the veteran center.

The Cavs, playing without Evan Mobley (knee surgery) and Darius Garland (broken jaw), played the final three quarters without starting guard Max Strus because of right knee soreness.

UP NEXT

Nets: Host Miami on Monday.

Cavaliers: Host Chicago on Monday.

Source: Yahoo Sports

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