Garland returned from a 5-game absence with 29 points in the Cavs’ OT win

garland return
November 3, 2022

In his first game back after missing five dues to a horrific left eye injury, Cavaliers All-Star point guard Darius Garland scored 29 points. It helps Cleveland defeat the Boston Celtics 114-113 in overtime on Wednesday night to earn its sixth straight victory.


Additionally, with 12 other assists, Garland also provided an alley-oop to Donovan Mitchell in overtime, giving the Cavaliers a 112-109 lead and their second victory over the Celtics in less than a week.


Garland has been sidelined since the first game of the season on October 19, when Toronto’s Gary Trent Jr. unintentionally slapped him across the eye. Garland had to sit on the bench wearing sunglasses due to a severe cut under his eyelid and considerable edema.


However, the 22-year-old Garland was back doing what he does best as he guided the Cavaliers to another memorable victory in this early season. On Friday, Cleveland fought back to defeat the reigning Eastern Conference champs in overtime.


Garland scored 14 points in the first quarter, a career record for the first 12 minutes, without displaying a hint of rust. He made his first three 3-point attempts. He added three assists, two thefts, and his normal fluid movement on the court.


Although the Cavaliers initially believed Garland would only miss a few games, significant swelling in his eyelid severely restricted his field of vision. On Tuesday, he participated in his first full-contact session, clearing the last obstacle before the team doctors approved.


While Garland was out, Cleveland went 5-0 as Mitchell shifted from shooting guard to playing the point.


Mitchell, acquired this summer in a highly publicized trade, is still getting used to playing with Garland and the rest of the Cavaliers.


The Cavaliers increased their win total by 22 games from the 2020–21 season, thanks mainly to Garland, who developed into one of the greatest young point guards in the NBA last season. Garland averaged 21.7 points and 8.6 assists in 68 games.


In July, Cleveland extended Garland’s contract by five years and $193 million.

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