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NBA playoffs: Magic force Game 7 with 103–96 win over Cavaliers, despite Donovan Mitchell’s 50 points

In Sports
May 04, 2024

The Orlando Magic and Cleveland Cavaliers will play a Game 7 in their first-round NBA playoff series, despite Donovan Mitchell scoring 50 points for the Cavs in a 103-96 loss.

Paolo Banchero tallied 27 points, with 10 in the fourth quarter. Franz Wagner added 26 points (going 11 for 11 from the free-throw line) and Jalen Suggs scored 22 (shooting 6 for 13 on 3-pointers) as the Magic attempt to win their first playoff series since the 2009-10 season.

Game 7 in Cleveland is scheduled for Sunday at 1 p.m. ET with the telecast on ABC.

Fortune seemed to smile on the Magic from the start. That was best demonstrated on a play midway through the first quarter, when Suggs dove to save a ball from going out of bounds on the sideline, tapping it to Wendell Carter Jr.

Carter then tried to pass the ball back out to Suggs to reset the play but nearly threw it out of reach. Suggs tracked the ball down near midcourt and when he noticed Marcus Morris Sr. far off him, he shot a long 3-pointer from the halfcourt logo that went in.

Orlando had a significant advantage shooting from 3-point range in the first quarter, hitting 4 of 10 from behind the arc. Meanwhile, the Cavs continued to struggle with 3-point shooting, going 1 for 8. (They shot 7 for 28 from three for the game.)

Wagner also started strong, looking as if he’d have a dominant game after scoring 14 points in the first quarter.

Mitchell did his best to prevent the Cavs from playing a Game 7. He almost made sure the series didn’t return to Cleveland single-handedly, scoring the final 22 points for the Cavs, including all of their points in the fourth quarter.

Mitchell’s ability to finish the game briefly looked doubtful when he went to the locker room with a knee injury near the middle of the third quarter. He suffered a bone bruise in the same left knee in early March that sidelined him for three games.

Injuries appeared to be becoming an issue for the Cavs, with Evan Mobley rolling an ankle in the second quarter and Jarrett Allen missing his second consecutive game with a bruised rib. However, Mitchell returned after a short absence and scored 13 points in the third quarter.

Darius Garland scored 21 points to provide Mitchell with some help. Unfortunately, the rest of the Cavs team only scored 25 points in the Game 6 loss.

With those 50 points, Mitchell became the second player in Cavaliers team history to score that many in a playoff game, joining LeBron James, who scored 51 in Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals. That postseason was the last time Cleveland won a playoff series, including a surprising first-round playoff loss last year to the New York Knicks.

The home team has won each game of the matchup.

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