CLEVELAND (AP) — Donovan Mitchell had 29 points and nine assists, and Darius Garland scored 26 points, sending the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 114-102 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Monday in the teams’ first meeting since the play-in tournament last season.
Trae Young had 25 points and 10 assists, and Onyeka Okongwu had a season-high 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Hawks. Key offseason acquisition Dejounte Murray scored 11 points on 4 of 18 shooting.
Atlanta claimed the final playoff berth in the East with a 107-101 win at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on April 15, extending Cleveland’s postseason drought to four years. The Cavaliers have not made the playoffs without LeBron James since 1998.
Garland also had nine assists and tied his career high with eight turnovers, and Cedi Osman scored a season-best 23 off the bench as Cleveland won its third in a row following a five-game losing streak. The Cavaliers are 7-1 at home.
The Hawks and Cavaliers entered the night tied for the fourth-best record in the NBA at 10-6. Rookie forward AJ Griffin scored 17 points in his first start for Atlanta, which has alternated wins and losses for eight straight games.
Cleveland seized control early in the fourth, using an 11-3 run capped by an Osman basket off a Mitchell steal to push their lead out to 96-85. Mitchell was the Cavaliers’ major move over the summer, coming over from Utah in a trade.
Cavaliers forward Kevin Love returned after missing one game with a fractured right thumb, failing to score in 12 minutes.
THE LAST CEDI
Cavaliers F Cedi Osman, who fell out of the rotation last season, has played in every game and is averaging 8.8 points. The sixth-year swingman even saw significant time at power forward Saturday against Miami, posting 20 points and 12 rebounds.
“Cedi gives you an opportunity to do that with his variety of skills,” coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “That’s like a spark lineup because you can find more speed, energy and spacing with him in that spot.”
Cavaliers: Host Portland on Wednesday night.