NBA playoffs

Mitchell takes over Game 7 as Cavaliers erase 18-point deficit to eliminate Magic


This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Mitchell takes over Game 7 as Cavaliers erase 18-point deficit to eliminate Magic

TOP PLAYER. Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell (45) celebrates after hitting a three point basket during the second half against the Orlando Magic in game seven of the first round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

The Cavaliers win a playoff series for the first time in six years, setting up a second-round battle with Eastern Conference juggernauts Celtics

Donovan Mitchell scored 39 points to fuel the host Cleveland Cavaliers to the Eastern Conference semifinals with a 106-94 victory over the Orlando Magic in Game 7 of their first-round series on Sunday, May 5 (Monday, May 6, Manila time).

Mitchell, who scored 17 points in the third quarter, made 15 of 17 free throw attempts and added 9 rebounds and 5 assists. His scintillating performance came on the heels of a 50-point effort in Cleveland’s 103-96 loss in Orlando on Friday.

Caris LeVert scored 15 points off the bench and Max Strus added 13 for the fourth-seeded Cavaliers, who overcame an 18-point deficit to record their fourth win at home in the series.

Cleveland, which posted its first playoff series win in six years, will visit the top-seeded Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the conference semifinals on Tuesday. The Celtics captured two of the three meetings in the regular season.

“We can be better,” Mitchell said postgame. “I hate to be that guy. This was a great win, great series, great test for us mentally and physically. But we can – and will have to be – better to beat Boston. No disrespect to Orlando because they are a phenomenal team with a lot of great guys. I feel that this is big for us as a group, but we really don’t have time to celebrate.”

The Cavaliers won despite playing without All-Star center Jarrett Allen (rib contusion) for the third straight game.

Orlando’s Paolo Banchero collected 38 points and 16 rebounds while playing in his first career Game 7.

Wendell Carter Jr. scored 13 points and Jalen Suggs had 10 points and 9 rebounds for the fifth-seeded Magic, who mustered just 15 points in the third quarter.

Franz Wagner made just 1 of 15 shots to finish with 6 points while dealing with early foul trouble for the Magic.

The Cavaliers shaved an 18-point deficit to 10 at halftime before Mitchell erupted for 17 in the third quarter, capped by a driving layup to stake Cleveland to a 68-66 lead with 3:08 left. Suggs answered with a pair of free throws before Strus sank back-to-back three-pointers.

Mitchell and Darius Garland each made a three-pointer to increase the Cavaliers’ lead to 88-77 with 5:53 left in the fourth quarter. The Magic trimmed their deficit to 7 before Garland sank a pair of free throws and a short jumper to send Cleveland on its way.

“That’s what special players do when it matters most,” Cleveland coach J.B. Bickerstaff said of Mitchell. “… (We) just continued to watch the lead chip away. We’ll go back and think about it more a little later, but he was special when he needed to be.”

Orlando scored 13 and 9 straight points at separate junctures to seize a 33-18 lead early in the second quarter. The Magic pumped that advantage up to 18 at 47-29 following a three-pointer from Gary Harris before the Cavaliers answered with a 14-6 run to end the half.

“They went on a heck of a run,” Magic coach Jamahl Mosley said of the Cavs. “I think they did a great job of forcing tough shots. Those tough shots and long shots led to runouts. We got stagnant a little bit [but] we found something that worked. Then we missed a couple shots and they were able to get out and run. Donovan got downhill quite a bit, similar to last game.” –

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!