CLEVELAND — Donovan Mitchell had 29 points, Max Strus added 22 and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Sacramento Kings 136-110 on Monday night for their sixth straight win and 14th in 15 games.
The Cavs are a league-best 19-4 since Dec. 16 — when starters Darius Garland and Evan Mobley went down indefinitely with injuries — and they have climbed to No. 3 overall in the Eastern Conference.
Cleveland matched a season high with 23 3-pointers in winning its ninth straight home game and eighth in nine against teams from the West.
At the moment, it doesn’t matter who the Cavs are facing. They’re clicking on all cylinders offensively and are healthy after being without Garland (broken jaw) and Mobley (knee surgery) for six weeks.
Sacramento’s Domantas Sabonis had 12 points, 19 rebounds and 15 assists for his 15th triple-double this season, tying him with Denver’s Nikola Jokic for the league lead.
Harrison Barnes added 22 and De’Aaron Fox had 19 as the Kings finished 5-2 on a season-long trip.
Jarrett Allen had 19 points and Mobley added 14 rebounds and seven assists in his fourth game back since undergoing surgery last month.
The Cavs pushed a 15-point halftime lead to 21 in the third quarter before Fox hit a 3 and Kevin Huerter scored to pull the Kings within 13.
Sabonis then grabbed a defensive rebound, but while he was looking to make an outlet pass, Strus sneaked up behind him, tipped the ball away from the Kings’ big man and buried a 3-pointer from the corner.
Mitchell then hit another 3 to put the Cavs ahead 101-82.
The Kings closed within 10 early in the fourth, but Mobley muscled inside for a bucket and the Cavs hit three 3-pointers — two by Caris LeVert — in a span of 79 seconds to regain control.
The game was a homecoming for Kings coach Mike Brown, who had two stints with the Cavs (2006-10 and 2013-14). Brown has fond memories of his time in Cleveland, where he got his first head coaching gig and raised a family.
This is a big week away from the floor for Brown. His youngest son, Cameron, is a first-year quality control coach for the Super Bowl-bound San Francisco 49ers.
“I think I’m more excited than he is,” cracked Brown, who won’t be able to attend the game because the Kings play Sunday at Oklahoma City. “But I’ll be watching with my 49ers shirt on.”
Kings: Host Detroit on Wednesday.
Cavaliers: At Washington on Wednesday.
AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba