Monday, June 24, 2024

Cleveland Cavaliers in Eastern Conference semis with win over Orlando Magic

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Donovan Mitchell scored 39 points as Cavs overcame an 18-point deficit to win the seven-game series with 106-94 score.

Donovan Mitchell’s 39 points have led hosts Cleveland Cavaliers to the Eastern Conference semifinals with a 106-94 victory over Orlando Magic in Game 7 of their first-round series.

Mitchell, who scored 17 points in the third quarter, made 15 of 17 free-throw attempts and added nine rebounds and five assists on Sunday. 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, who posted their 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 after the game.

“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 centre Jarrett Allen for the third straight game.

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

“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 [of] shots and they were able to get out and run. Donovan got downhill quite a bit, similar to last game.”

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