CLEVELAND, Ohio – Darius Garland continues to carve his legacy as a Cleveland Cavalier.
His latest milestone came on Tuesday night – just two days short of his 23rd birthday – becoming the fourth-youngest Cavalier to reach 4,000 points, joining LeBron James (20 years old, 318 days), Collin Sexton (22, 120 days) and Kyrie Irving (22, 244 days).
Garland achieved the feat with four seconds left in the second quarter against the New York Knicks, hitting a pair of free throws for his 11th and 12th points of the game.
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After a consistent rookie and second year, Garland took his game to another level in his third year in the league, averaging 21.7 points, 8.6 assists and 1.3 steals while shooting 46.2% from the field. Those numbers culminated with his first All-Star berth and the belief that he was the franchise centerpiece in Cleveland.
The NBA landscape – and Garland’s career – changed prior to this season with a franchise-altering trade that brought in All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell into the fold.
The two have continued to mesh. In 39 games, Garland is averaging 21.7 points, 8.1 assists, and 1.2 steals while shooting 44.8%, including 39.4% from 3-point range. In 40 games, Mitchell is averaging a career-high 28.4 points, 4.8 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game while touting career-highs in field-goal percentage (48.4%) and 3-point percentage (39.5%).
According to Statmuse, Garland entered the night with 1,455 total assists, 575 rebounds and 245 steals to go along with his 3,988 points.
Following a win against the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night, a game where they conducted a halftime ceremony for Cavaliers beloved energy icon Anderson Varejao for his new role with the organization, Garland was asked how he would feel about garnering similar praise from the franchise one day.
“Yeah, for sure, this organization has been through a lot, good and bad,” Garland said. “Just having like a legend like that come back in and be around the team and the organization means a lot as players. He said it himself; it means a lot to him as well. It would be super cool for me to come back and hopefully have my name in the rafters or something like that.”
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