Garland dishes out 18 assists as Cavs rally past Thunder | Inquirer Sports
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Garland dishes out 18 assists as Cavs rally past Thunder

/ 05:47 PM January 16, 2022
Darius Garland Cavaliers

Darius Garland #10 of the Cleveland Cavaliers plays the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena on October 25, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. Matthew Stockman/Getty Images/AFP

Darius Garland had 27 points and a career-high 18 assists to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 107-102 come-from-behind win over the host Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday.

The Cavaliers never led until the fourth quarter, trailing by 18 in with 7:55 left in the third before coming back to extend their win streak to four. They also finished a six-game road trip with five wins.

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The loss was the ninth in 12 games for the Thunder.

Once Oklahoma City gave up the lead, it never regained it, and Garland was a big reason why.

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Garland’s floater put Cleveland ahead for what proved to be for good with less than two minutes remaining, and then assisted on buckets in three consecutive possessions to help the Cavaliers hold on.

Garland has 70 points and 40 assists over the last three games. He shot 11 of 20 from the field on Saturday.

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Evan Mobley added 20 points while Jarrett Allen had 13 points and 13 rebounds for Cleveland.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led Oklahoma City with 21 points, while Luguentz Dort and Darius Bazley added 17 each.

The Cavaliers finished the third quarter with a 27-11 run over the last seven minutes to cut their 18-point deficit to just two going into the fourth quarter.

Garland fueled the Cleveland comeback, with 14 points and eight assists in the third.

In the closing seconds of the quarter, the Thunder committed a shot-clock violation and then Shai Gilgeous-Alexander fouled Garland with 0.3 seconds remaining as Garland tried a desperation shot. Garland’s shot missed the mark but he hit all three free throws to cut Oklahoma City’s lead to 85-83.

The Thunder broke a tie late in the first quarter with 10 consecutive points, seven off the bench from Ty Jerome.

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Cedi Osman’s driving shot off the glass at the buzzer ended the Thunder’s run and ended the first with Oklahoma City leading 32-24.

Cleveland was just 1 of 7 from beyond the arc in the opening quarter.

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