The Cleveland Cavaliers had a very good night on Tuesday, beating the New York Knicks easily in Game 2 of the opening round.
The entire squad came to play and there were impressive performances all around but Darius Garland was easily the strongest power for the team.
Garland dropped 26 points in the first half of Tuesday’s game.
According to ESPN, that means he joins LeBron James and Kyrie Irving as the only Cavaliers players with more than 25 points in a playoff half over the last 25 years.
Darius Garland dropped 26 first half points vs. the Knicks 🔥
He joins LeBron and Kyrie as the only Cavs with more than 25 points in a playoff half over the last 25 seasons 📈 pic.twitter.com/htuKOUNfDQ
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) April 19, 2023
For the game, Garland ended up with 32 points, 3 rebounds, and 7 assists.
He was 8-of-17 from the field and 6-of-10 from the three-point line.
Cavaliers fans were cheering Garland on all night long, as they have been since the start of the season.
He averaged 21.6 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 7.8 assists in the 2022-23 season.
While those numbers are slightly below what he did last season, Garland has clearly grown as a player and it’s no coincidence that his team has surged so high in the Eastern Conference standings.
When the season started, some people were afraid that the combination of Garland and Donovan Mitchell possibly wouldn’t work.
It wouldn’t have been the first time that two very accomplished and skillful players didn’t mesh well on the floor.
But that wasn’t the case in Cleveland: Garland and Mitchell are now one of the best duos in the league.
As great as they are together, it was Garland’s time to shine on Tuesday night.
Now it’s time to see if he can have a similar performance when the series moves to New York City for Game 3.NEXT: Cavaliers Celebrate Evan Mobley After Award Finish