The Cleveland Cavaliers were hoping to clinch home court advantage in the first round of playoffs with a win against the New York Knicks, but the game did not go as planned. Despite a strong offensive start by Donovan Mitchell, who scored 42 points, the Cavs lost to the Knicks 130-116. Jarrett Allen and Isaac Okoro’s absence was felt in their defense, which was usually their strength all season. The Cavs were outrebounded and gave a career-high 48 points to Jalen Brunson, who carried the offensive load for the Knicks. Brunson’s spectacular performance showcased what the Knicks missed out on by not getting Mitchell, as the two were expected to pair well, and bring Mitchell back home. Unfortunately, the Knicks missed out on that opportunity and the Cavs suffered the consequences on the night. With the playoffs looming, it is evident that the Cavs need to step up their defense if they want to stand a chance in the post season.
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