Cleveland Cavaliers head coach JB Bickerstaff challenged Cleveland big men Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley throughout the week in the buildup to Game 1 of their first-round NBA playoff series against the Orlando Magic.

Bickerstaff wanted Allen and Mobley to control the flow of Orlando's offense by grabbing nearly every rebound possible. Well, the duo more than met Bickestaff at the summit, spearheading a  14-rebound advantage. They seized a 1-0 lead in a best-of-seven Eastern Conference series with a 97-83 victory Saturday afternoon at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

“You challenge me, and I'm going to try to deliver the best I can,” Allen said postgame, trying hard not to hide his smile.

“I think we did good,” Allen continued. “We wanted to bring the physicality from the beginning … We've learned, you've gotta be ahead of them. We've been saying all the time, ‘You gotta throw the first punch,' I think we were able to do that tonight … We know what we're capable of. We know that we're able to beat any team in this league as long as we play like this every single night.”

Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley conquer Cavs' rebounding challenge

From the moment the game began, it was clear that the duo operated with a sense of purpose, making it their mission to dominate on the glass. Overall, Allen and Mobley combined for 29 rebounds, with Allen grabbing a playoff career-high 18 rebounds and Mobley grabbing the remaining 11. The 29 boards were part of an overall performance that saw the Cavs outrebound the Magic 54-40, setting the tone and keeping Orlando from finding a consistent offensive flow.

“Those guys will never ever get enough credit for what they bring to this team,” Cleveland forward Georges Niang, who grabbed three rebounds, said. “It's truly remarkable how they've been able to be so sound and solid in the paint and dominating the details. Rebounding is a part of that, and they do such a great job. I think winning the rebounding battle is gonna be huge in this series. Obviously, those two are a very integral part of that.”

Setting the tone early and consistently against the Magic empowered Cleveland to keep swinging after throwing the first punch, which came when the Cavs opened up the game 5-5 from the perimeter. That 3-point barrage eventually led to Orlando correcting their game plan, and freeing up Cleveland to go for the throat on the interior.

Overall, the Cavs outscored the Magic 48-36 in the paint. Like the commitment to rebounding, dominating on the inside was once again spearheaded by Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley. Allen tallied 16 points on 6-10 shooting, with quite a few explosive dunks and trips to the free-throw line, further driving home his effort to play physically.

“These are the games that are fun,” a beaming Allen said to ClutchPoints. “You can get away with a lot more than you’re supposed to. That’s what the playoffs are all about. Everybody’s just playing at 110%.”

Mobley, meanwhile, had 16 points, eight of which came from inside. While Mobley's offensive game was a three-level threat relying on finesse more than brute force, he instead set his own physical tone on defense, continually frustrating the Magic. Mobley tallied a team-high and playoff career-high three blocked shots, with two coming within the first four minutes of action when Orlando tried to attack the basket.

For a duo that was considered soft after how last postseason ended against the New York Knicks, Allen and Mobley made a statement in Game 1 against the Magic. While Bickerstaff's challenge for the Cavs duo won't change until their playoff run ends, Allen and Mobley now have a firm understanding of what's needed of them every single night. Now the challenge is for them to do it again in a critical Game 2.