May 20, 2024

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NBA Playoffs: Donovan Mitchell’s 39 points spark furious second-half comeback, Game 7 win over Magic

NBA Playoffs: Donovan Mitchell’s 39 points spark furious second-half comeback, Game 7 win over Magic

Donovan Mitchell did it again and the Cleveland Cavaliers advanced to the second round of the NBA playoffs.

Mitchell didn’t score 50 points like he did in Game 6 on Friday. But he scored 39 points in Sunday afternoon’s Game 7 win, 106-94, for the Cavaliers over the Orlando Magic. Cleveland won the first round playoff series 4-3.

Early on, Mitchell received little help. However, for the second straight game, the Cavaliers carried. Although Jalen Suggs played solid defense on him, Mitchell had another great performance. In the first half, Mitchell went 3-for-13 with 15 points. But he did his best against Suggs, scoring 17 points in the third period and fueling the comeback.

Caris LeVert added 15 points for the Cavaliers, Max Strus scored 13 and Darius Garland had 12, giving Mitchell more of a boost than he got in Friday’s loss.

The home team won every game of the seven-match series. Orlando seemed to have taken control after beating Cleveland in Games 3 and 4. In Game 6, the Cavaliers couldn’t even score 100 points despite Mitchell having 50 points.

Cleveland looked like a team with almost nothing left, trailing by 18 points in the second quarter. However, they cut the deficit to 10 points, 53-43, at halftime and came back to lead 65-64. The Cavaliers outscored Orlando 33-15 in the third quarter to take a 76-68 lead into the fourth quarter.

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Outside shooting continued to be a major issue for the Cavaliers in the first half. They shot just 2-for-11 (17.8%) from behind the arc and Sam Merrill hit both.

However, Strus hit two 3-pointers to break up Cleveland’s long-range struggles and aid the rallying effort. A triple by Garland gave the Cavaliers their largest lead, 88-77, with less than six minutes left in the game.

If Paolo Banchero had not already arrived as an NBA star, he tried to make his presence known in his first playoff appearance in Game 7 with the Magic’s season on the line.

As Stephen A. said: Smith during ESPN’s halftime show, “Brother’s Celebrity.” Banchero, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, scored 38 points with 16 rebounds and three steals in a losing effort. This time, he was the one who didn’t get enough help from his teammates.

Banchero scored just four points in the third quarter, shooting 1-for-7 while being checked by Isaac Okoro. Virtually disappearing from a scoring standpoint was an important factor in Cleveland’s comeback.

Wendell Carter Jr. scored 13 points and Suggs added 10, but no other Magic player scored in double figures. This included Franz Wagner, who had scored double-digit points in each of the previous six games of the series, most notably 34 in Game 4 and 26 in Game 6. Wagner scored just six points, shooting 1-for-14 from the field (and 0-for-5 from three). .

Game 1 of the second-round series between the Cavaliers and Celtics is scheduled for Tuesday. Tip-off is at 7pm ET with telecast on TNT.

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