Donovan Mitchell scored 34 points as the Cleveland Cavaliers claimed an impressive 105-90 road win over Luka Doncic's Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday.
The victory improved the emerging Cavs to an 18-11 record and third spot in the Eastern Conference, while the Mavs slipped to 14-14 and ninth in the west.
Mitchell was in an inspired mood against the side who bundled his former franchise, the Utah Jazz, out of last season's playoffs, shooting 13-of-20 from the field, going six-of-nine from three-point range.
The shooting guard scored 27 of his 34 points in the first half, the most he has had in a half this season. Mitchell had good support from Lamar Stevens with 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Evan Mobley added 14 points, seven rebounds and six assists.
Doncic shot nine-of-23 from the field in his 30 points, but gave up five turnovers for the Mavs, who trailed 60-41 at half-time at American Airlines Center, with the Cavs going on a 17-0 run at one point.
The Slovenian helped the Mavs rally within nine points in the fourth quarter before Mitchell hit a clutch three-pointer to thwart their momentum.
The victory ended the Cavs' recent road struggles, having lost eight of their past nine games away from their home court.
Mitchell's performance meant he has the fourth highest points per game average by a player in the first 25 games with a new team in NBA history at 29.2, behind only Wilt Chamberlain (35.4, Golden State Warriors), Elvin Hayes (30.4, Houston Rockets) and Adrian Dantley (29.7, Utah Jazz).
.@spidadmitchell scored 27 PTS (10-12 FG, 5-6 3FG) in the 1st half, the most points in an opening half by any @cavs player this season.— Cavs Notes (@CavsNotes) December 15, 2022
The previous mark was 22 PTS in the 1st half by @_bigjayy_ on Dec. 6 vs. LAL.#LetEmKnow
Curry injured as Warriors beaten on road
Stephen Curry scored 38 points but exited with a shoulder injury, while Draymond Green was ejected as the Golden State Warriors' road struggles continued with a 125-119 loss to the Indiana Pacers.
Amid a Warriors rally, after allowing 47 points in the second quarter, which tied the most by them in any quarter under head coach Steve Kerr, Curry clutched at his left shoulder in the third quarter and did not return, having previously shot five-of-10 three-pointers.
Green was tossed out in the final quarter after a second technical foul as Tyrese Haliburton led the Pacers to victory with 29 points, with the team draining 16 three-pointers. Golden State are 2-13 on the road this season.
Tyrese Haliburton in the Pacers W:— NBA (@NBA) December 15, 2022
5 3PM pic.twitter.com/e34o0oSLtY
Lillard maintains rare three-point form
Damian Lillard sunk seven three-pointers as he scored 37 points before being benched late as the Portland Trail Blazers crushed the San Antonio Spurs 128-112.
The 32-year-old Blazers point guard is averaging 34.4 points per game in December, including hitting 11 triples in Monday's win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, amid a form upswing following injury.
Anfernee Simons added 23 points and Jerami Grant had 18, while Keldon Johnson top scored with 25 points and seven rebounds for the Spurs, who had won three in a row after ending an 11-game losing run.
.@Dame_Lillard finished tonight’s game with 37 points, marking his fourth-straight game scoring 35-plus points and tying Joel Embiid for the longest such streak in the NBA this season.— Trail Blazers PR (@TrailBlazersPR) December 15, 2022