NBA: Donovan Mitchell’s big fourth quarter rallies Cavaliers past Pacers
Donovan Mitchell scored 18 of his 41 points in the fourth quarter to help the host Cleveland Cavaliers overcome a 13-point deficit in the fourth quarter and post a 118-112 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Friday.
Mitchell drained eight 3-pointers for Cleveland, which made 50.0 percent from the field (38 of 76) and 45.2 percent from beyond the arc (14 of 31).
Darius Garland collected 20 points and 10 assists for the Cavaliers, who won the opener of their season-high six-game homestand and improved to 13-2 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Evan Mobley had 16 points and nine rebounds and Cedi Osman added 14 points off the bench.
Caris LeVert scored 12 points in his first game against his former team since being acquired by Cleveland in a trade in February.
Indiana rookie Bennedict Mathurin scored 22 points off the bench and Tyrese Haliburton recorded 17 points and 14 assists.
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Buddy Hield scored 14 points on the eve of his 30th birthday and Myles Turner had 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Pacers, who have lost seven of their last 10 games.
Aaron Nesmith drained a 3-pointer to give Indiana a 103-90 lead with 9:05 to play before Mitchell highlighted his team’s 24-7 surge by converting three times beyond the arc. LeVert added a mid-range jumper to cap the spurt and give Cleveland a 114-110 advantage with 2:49 to play.
Haliburton made a pair of free throws to halve the deficit, but the Cavaliers were able to salt the game away from the charity stripe.
Osman made a pair of free throws to trim Cleveland’s deficit to two points late in the second before Indiana had the last say to finish the quarter. Haliburton answered with two shots from the charity stripe and Hield sank a 3-pointer in transition to give the Pacers a 61-54 lead at halftime.
Jalen Smith made a layup and converted a three-point play to push Indiana’s advantage to 83-71 with 4:57 to play in the third quarter. The Pacers withstood a modest push before Mathurin made a mid-range jumper to claim a 13-point lead with 20 seconds remaining in the quarter.