NBA Update: Cavs, Mavs pull upsets to pull even

NBA Update: Cavs, Mavs pull upsets to pull even

Cleveland (53-38 straight up, 42-49 against the spread) pulled a Game 2 stunner last night, blasting Boston 118-94 as a 13-point road underdog to pull even in this best-of-seven series in the Eastern Conference semifinals. The Cavaliers hooked up money-line supporters with a +650 payout at Caesars, and the 212 combined points slithered ‘under’ the 212.5-point total.

Donovan Mitchell led six double-figure scorers with 29 points, seven rebounds and eight assists compared to only one turnover. He drained 5-of-7 launches from 3-point land and had an incredible plus/minus of +38. Evan Mobley added 21 points, 10 rebounds, two blocked shots, one steal and five assists without a turnover, while Caris LeVert finished with 21 points, six boards and three assists.

Darius Garland contributed 14 points, seven rebounds and four assists, while Max Strus and Isaac Okoro had 12 points apiece.

The Cavs outrebounded the Celtics 44-31, and they made 55 percent of their field-goal attempts and 46 percent of their treys. Boston was an abysmal 8-of-35 (23%) from 3-point range.

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown scored 25 and 19 points, respectively, with both players hitting 7-of-17 FGAs. Derrick White, who had scored 38, 25 and 25 points in the Celtics’ three previous games, went 3-of-11 on FGAs and 1-of-8 from downtown to finish with 10 points.

As of early Friday morning, most books had Boston (69-20 SU, 46-38-5 ATS) installed as an eight-point road favorite for Saturday’s Game 3 at Cleveland. The total was 212.5 points, and the Cavs were +270 on the money line.

Tip-off on ABC is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. Eastern.

Boston owns a 29-14 SU record and a 21-19-3 ATS mark in 43 road assignments this year. Cleveland is 30-15 SU and 21-23 ATS in 45 home contests.

FanDuel still has the Celtics as enormous -1200 ‘chalk’ to win the series and advance to the East finals. The Cavs are +800 underdogs to deny that scenario.

As for the updated odds to win the NBA Finals, Boston is the -115 favorite. Minnesota has the next-shortest odds (+300) going into tonight’s Game 3 at home vs. Denver. Oklahoma City has +800 odds, followed by Dallas (+950), New York (15/1), Denver (17/1), Indiana (80/1) and Cleveland (90/1).

Like the Cavs, the Mavericks got on the board in last night’s Game 2 at OKC. They ended the Thunder’s 10-game winning streak by capturing a 119-110 win as five-point road underdogs. The 229 combined points elevated ‘over’ the 217-point tally.

Luka Doncic and P.J. Washington led the way with 29 points apiece. Doncic pulled down 10 rebounds, dished out seven assists compared to just one turnover, and had three steals and one blocked shot. Washington buried 11-of-18 FGAs and 7-of-11 hoists from 3-point territory. He added 11 rebounds, four assists, two steals and one block before fouling out.

Tim Hardaway Jr., who missed four games after spraining his ankle early in Game 2 vs. the Clippers in the opening round, erupted for 17 points in just 18 minutes of action off the bench. Kyrie Irving had only nine points on 2-of-8 FGAs, but he distributed 11 assists with only two turnovers and had two steals and two blocks.

Shai-Gilgeous Alexander had 33 points, 12 rebounds, two blocked shots, one steal and eight assists compared to two turnovers. Jalen Williams and Chet Holmgren were also in double figures with 20 and 11 points, respectively.

OKC (62-26 SU, 50-38 ATS) fell behind by 14 points late in the third quarter and never got closer than four points the rest of the way.

Dallas (55-35 SU, 53-37 ATS) returns home for Game 3 where it has compiled a 27-17 SU record to go with a 23-21 ATS mark. The Thunder are 26-17 SU and 21-22 ATS in 43 road assignments.

As of early Friday morning, most spots had the Mavs as three-point home favorites with a total of 219.5. The Thunder were +135 on the money line.

FanDuel’s updated series price has Dallas as a -134 ‘chalk,’ with OKC carrying +110 odds.

Saturday’s Game 3 is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Eastern on ABC.