Cavaliers Beat the Magic 97-83: Playoff Game Recap Game 1 / Round 1

April 20, 2024

Andy Billman

Post-Game Recap

3 Notes Around the Victory

1 – Marvelous Mitchell

Donovan Mitchell scored 30 points in game one to lead the Cavaliers to a victory. His backcourt mate Darius Garland scored 14, and he and Mitchell scored 12 of the last 13 points of the game for Cleveland.

2 – Mobley 1st half push

Evan Mobley had a fantastic first half, scoring all 16 of his points. JB Bickerstaff masterfully matched Mobley up one-on-one with Magic G Cole Anthony, and Mobley took advantage with easy hoops in the paint. 

3 – Clean up

It was not all perfect for the Cavaliers and in particular in the turnover category as the Cavs had 17 turnovers total in the game, five more than the Magic.

Game Recap

In the opening game of their Eastern Conference playoff series, Donovan Mitchell’s 30-point performance led the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 97-83 victory over the Orlando Magic. Jarrett Allen dominated the boards with 18 rebounds, while Evan Mobley contributed 16 points. This win marked a significant departure from the Cavaliers’ disappointing playoff exit last season at the hands of the New York Knicks.

The Cavs, scarred by their previous postseason experience, entered this year’s playoffs with renewed confidence, depth, and improved health after a season plagued by injuries. Despite Mitchell’s lingering knee injury, he showcased his All-Star caliber by being the primary offensive force for Cleveland for over two quarters.

Orlando’s Paolo Banchero impressed with 24 points in his playoff debut, yet struggled with turnovers, tallying nine for the game. The Magic’s offense appeared disorganized, with Banchero often forcing plays, shooting just 33% from the field, partly due to Cleveland’s stifling defense.

Game 2 is set for Monday at the energized Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, where last year’s playoffs were a disappointment for the home crowd. Similar to the Cavaliers’ situation last season, the Magic’s lack of playoff experience was evident in their gameplay.

Though the Cavs maintained control for much of the game, a lapse in scoring allowed Orlando to trim their lead to just four points late in the third quarter. Mitchell’s timely scoring and a late third-quarter surge, however, helped Cleveland secure a comfortable lead going into the final period.

Despite a couple of attempts by Orlando to narrow the gap in the fourth quarter, Cleveland remained composed, with Mitchell’s crucial three-pointer effectively ending any hopes of a Magic comeback.

Tensions between the teams boiled over in the second quarter, resulting in confrontations and technical fouls. However, Cleveland’s determination to assert dominance was evident, particularly with their effective long-range shooting, including Mitchell’s buzzer-beating three-pointer early in the game.

Up Next

After Monday’s matchup in Cleveland at 7 pm, the series shifts to Orlando for Game 3 on Thursday.

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