Cavaliers jump out fast, end Pelicans winning streak, 118-107
NEW ORLEANS – The New Orleans Pelicans couldn’t finish a perfect week at the Smoothie King Center thanks to a fast-starting Cleveland Cavaliers team led by Donovan Mitchell.
Mitchell had 14 of his game-high 30 points in the first quarter as the Cavaliers rolled to a 118-107 victory in a game that wasn’t that close.
New Orleans led briefly in the early going before Cleveland went on a 11-0 scoring burst to take a 15-7 lead and never trailed again. When Evan Mobley hit two tree throws with 2:59 left in the quarter to give Cleveland a 31-21 lead, the Cavs maintained a double-digit cushion for the rest of the night, leading by as many as 25.
While Mitchell did his part in just 33 minutes, Cleveland’s athletic big men gave the Pelicans fits. Mobley had 28 points, 13 rebounds and four steals, while Jarrett Allen finished with 20 points and 11 boards.
The Cavaliers’ 70 points in the paint were two off their season high of 72 and their 25 points off 12 offensive rebounds matched a season-best.
Brandon Ingram led the Pelicans with 25 points and Trey Murphy quieted after a fast start, finishing with 17. CJ McCollum struggled with his shot, hitting just four of 14 from the floor and missing all five attempts from distance.
It was the first win for the Cavs in New Orleans after 11 consecutive losses.
In addition to ending the Pels’ three-game winning streak, Cleveland (36-22) extended its winning streak to five. The Cavs have a quick turnaround, returning home for a Saturday night game against Chicago, despite Friday’s 9 p.m. tipoff to accommodate ESPN.
New Orleans (29-28) gets the weekend off before finishing the pre-All Star break schedule in Oklahoma City Monday and at the Los Angeles Lakers Wednesday. The next Pelicans home game is Feb. 27 against Orlando.
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Lenny was involved in college athletics starting in the early 1980s, when he began working Tulane University sporting events while still attending Archbishop Rummel High School. He continued that relationship as a student at Loyola University, where he graduated in 1987. For the next 11 years, Vangilder worked in the sports information offices at Southwestern Louisiana (now UL-Lafayette) and Tulane;…