Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Portland Trail Blazers Pick & Prediction JANUARY 12th 2023

Stadium: Moda Center at the Rose Quarter Portland
Logo Cleveland Cavaliers
Logo Portland Trail Blazers

-1.5 -110
223.5o -105



Donovan Mitchell is making the type of impact the Cleveland Cavaliers expected, and perhaps he is even exceeding projections.

The star guard has topped 40 points on five occasions this season and aims for another high-scoring effort when the Cavaliers visit the struggling Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday night.

Mitchell reminded his former club -- the Utah Jazz -- of his scoring prowess on Tuesday, but Cleveland lost 116-114 in Mitchell's first return to Salt Lake City as a visiting player after an offseason trade sent him to the Cavaliers.

Mitchell scored 46 points in the setback after receiving a huge ovation from Utah fans before the game and receiving a video tribute from the club.

"I was really comfortable," Mitchell said. "It wasn't weird. It was just like playing as I have here for the last five years. The reception was phenomenal and I'm appreciative of it."

The outing wasn't even Mitchell's best of the month.

The three-time All-Star set a Cavaliers record with a personal-best 71 points in a 145-134 overtime victory over the Chicago Bulls on Jan. 2.

Mitchell ranks seventh in the NBA in scoring at 29.3 points per game entering Wednesday. His impact on the Cavaliers has been so large that he appears to be a shoo-in for another All-Star Game appearance.

The interesting part of the Donovan All-Star buzz is the location of the game. Yes, the Jazz are the All-Star Game hosts.

"God willing, I'm here in a few more weeks," Mitchell said of the game being in Utah. "I think one of the things we forget to do is enjoy the moment. Enjoy where you are and not rush for it to be over."

Cleveland is 1-2 on a five-game road trip and may have veteran point guard Ricky Rubio on the court for the first time this season.

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Rubio tore the ACL in his left knee 12 1/2 months ago and an availability decision is set to come after the club sees how the knee responds to Wednesday's practice.

Rubio, in his 12th season, was a teammate of Mitchell for two seasons with the Jazz.

Mitchell scored 34 points when the Cavaliers posted a 114-96 home victory over Portland on Nov. 23. It was Cleveland's third straight win over the Trail Blazers.

Portland is playing shaky of late with four straight losses to match a season worst and nine of 12 defeats overall.

The Trail Blazers on Tuesday began a stretch in which 10 of 11 games are at home and they never once led during a 109-106 loss to the Orlando Magic.

Still, Portland had a chance to force overtime but missed three 3-point attempts in the final 14 seconds. Star guard Damian Lillard didn't get one of the attempts as the misses were by Jerami Grant, Jusuf Nurkic and Anfernee Simons. he Trail Blazers finished 6 of 35 (17.1 percent) from long range.

"We're in a little funk, man," Portland coach Chauncey Billups said. "I don't know what it is; I can't really pinpoint it."

Lillard, who scored 30 points against Orlando, also is perplexed about the slump but feels a turnaround is coming.

"It's our job to just continue to push and continue to believe. That's how you get out of it," Lillard said. "And then there's going to come a time where we're going to look back on it and be like, 'We didn't fold, we didn't make excuses,' and it's going to be a brighter day. That's the way this goes.

"The people that can handle it that way when it's happening, those are the ones that come out on the other side. But the people that go up and down with how everything is going, those are the ones that usually break, and that's not an option for us."

Lillard missed the earlier game with the Cavaliers due to a calf strain. He is 10th in the NBA in scoring (27.4).

--Field Level Media

Cleveland Cavaliers
Portland Trail Blazers

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Portland Trail Blazers Recap JAN 12TH 2023

Donovan Mitchell scored 26 points and Jarrett Allen added 24 points, 10 rebounds and six assists as the Cleveland Cavaliers rallied to produce a 119-113 victory over the host Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday night.

Darius Garland recorded 20 points and 10 assists for the Cavaliers, who never led until 4:40 remained in the contest. Evan Mobley added 17 points and eight rebounds and Isaac Okoro had 11 points as Cleveland improved to 2-2 on a five-game road swing.

Damian Lillard scored 50 points on 16-of-28 shooting but couldn't prevent Portland from dropping its fifth straight game and 10th of its past 13. It marked the 13th time Lillard has tallied at least 50 points in regular-season play.

Jerami Grant scored 22 points, Anfernee Simons added 15 and Jusuf Nurkic registered 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Trail Blazers.

Cleveland outscored Portland 32-22 in the final quarter.

A basket by Mitchell gave the Cavaliers a 111-109 edge with 2:04 remaining. Mobley followed with a basket and Mitchell added two driving hoops to make it an eight-point margin with one minute left, and Cleveland closed it out.

Ricky Rubio of the Cavaliers had nine points in 10 1/2 minutes in his first game in 12 1/2 months due to a torn ACL in his left knee.

Portland shot 51.3 percent from the field, including 11 of 33 from 3-point range.

The Cavaliers made 49.4 percent of their shots and were 7 of 22 from behind the arc.

Cleveland finally caught Portland at 97 on Okoro's 3-pointer with 8:01 remaining, but Lillard scored the next five points for the Trail Blazers.

The Cavaliers answered with a 10-2 run. Mitchell swished a 22-footer to give Cleveland its first lead of the game at 105-104 with 4:40 remaining, and Garland followed with a driving hoop to give the Cavaliers a three-point edge with four minutes to go.

The Trail Blazers later tied the score at 109 on a 3-pointer by Simons with 2:26 remaining.

Lillard scored 25 first-half points to help the Trail Blazers hold a 58-51 lead at the break.

Portland maintained the lead throughout the third quarter. But Mitchell hit consecutive 3-pointers late in the period to bring the Cavaliers within 87-85 before the Trail Blazers took a 91-87 lead into the final stanza.

--Field Level Media