Cavaliers Lose to the Magic 121-83: Playoff Game Recap Game 3 / Round 1

April 25, 2024

Andy Billman

Post-Game Recap

3 Notes Around the Loss

1 – Guard Play
The Cleveland Cavalier starting backcourt of Darius Garland, Donovan Mitchell, and Max Strus combined for 22 points.  They struggled throughout and Mitchell was seen limping around in moments during the game.  Yikes

2 – Rebounds
The Cavaliers were outrebounded 51 to 32, gulp. 

3 – Three-point shooting

Cleveland was woeful from deep, going 8 for 34, which all culminated in the worst loss in Cavaliers history on Thursday.  Better win Saturday Cavs.

Game Recap

Paolo Banchero showcased his prowess with 31 points and 14 rebounds, complemented by Jalen Suggs’ 24 points, as the Orlando Magic delivered a resounding blow to the Cleveland Cavaliers, clinching a 121-83 victory on Thursday night. This victory trimmed the Cavaliers’ series lead to 2-1 in the Eastern Conference first-round matchup, marking the worst playoff defeat in Cleveland’s franchise history.

Franz Wagner contributed 16 points and eight assists for the Magic, who surged to a commanding 43-point lead in the fourth quarter, securing the third-largest victory margin in playoff history. This triumph marked their first playoff win since 2019 and the first on their home court since April 26, 2011. With the series now poised at 2-1, the Magic aim to level it with a win at home on Sunday.

Jarrett Allen managed 15 points and eight rebounds for the Cavaliers, who struggled with shooting percentages of 39% from the field and 23.5% from beyond the arc. Caris LeVert added 15 points, while Donovan Mitchell contributed 13 points and seven assists.

Orlando dominated from the onset, seizing control in the third quarter after trailing in the first two games in Cleveland. Mitchell, Allen, and Cleveland starters Evan Mobley and Max Strus were benched with 3:16 remaining in the period, with the Cavaliers trailing 92-58.

The Magic’s offensive onslaught saw them convert 34 of their next 52 field-goal attempts after initially faltering, ultimately finishing the game with a commendable 51.1% shooting accuracy.

Paolo Banchero’s pivotal 3-pointer early in the first quarter marked Orlando’s first lead in the series, igniting a 13-0 run to close the period with a 31-21 advantage. The Magic continued their dominance in the second quarter, propelled by Banchero, Suggs, and Jonathan Isaac, extending their lead to 55-34.

Banchero and Suggs maintained their momentum in the third quarter, combining for 21 of Orlando’s initial 27 points as they widened the gap to 88-56. This victory marked one of Orlando’s largest playoff wins, surpassed only by a 47-point victory over Boston in 1995 and a 43-point triumph against Atlanta in 2010.

Despite Mitchell’s early scoring prowess in the series, the Magic effectively limited his impact, holding him to just one field goal until late in the first half.

In a strategic move, the Magic altered their lineup, reinstating Wendell Carter Jr. as the starting center after experimenting with Jonathan Isaac in the previous games. This adjustment proved instrumental in their comprehensive victory, showcasing Orlando’s resilience and adaptability.

Up Next

Saturday 1pm Gane 4 in Orlando

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